Here in Georgia, we start school early in August for some reason I am unable to fathom. It is cooler in Georgia in June than in August, so it stands to reason that we would be better served in terms of cooling/electricity costs if we started in September and went through later in June. However, no one asked me. I don’t think it would overlap with college semesters, which was the ostensible reason given for starting in August.
At any rate, my own three children started back last Monday, and my students will start on this coming Monday. My eldest is in 8th grade, my middle one is in 1st grade, and my baby started pre-K. The eldest is happy to be the big cheese in middle school. I asked her language arts teacher which books they might read (because I’m nosy), but she hasn’t definitely decided yet. My middle one’s teacher is on maternity leave, which is tough for transition, but there’s not much to be done, I suppose. My youngest is in a great special needs pre-K class — five students — with an amazing teacher who already has my undying gratitude and loyalty.
Which leads me to a question I wanted to ask you all. What does it for you with your own kids’ teacher(s)? What I mean is, as teachers yourselves, what do you look for or notice that makes the difference for you between a good teacher or a great one? Given what you know about teaching, what does your own child’s teacher have to do to make you sit up and take notice?
I realize my son’s teacher (as a special ed teacher) simply has to go the extra mile because the nature of working with special needs students requires it. She has shared photos with us on Snapfish (I cannot link to her photos, nor would I if I could due to privacy concerns), created journals so we can share information back and forth, and responded promptly to e-mails, but more than that, she did little things to make me feel comfortable leaving my son in her hands. She gave him a picture of herself before school started so he could get used to her face. She gave me an exact copy of their schedule so I can see what he’s doing during the day. She is arranging parent night around all our schedules because we have kids in other schools (his school is not our “home” school because our home school cannot accommodate a special needs pre-K class). You just can’t imagine how scary it is to send a child like my son to school for the first time unless you’ve had to do it, and it’s been an amazing experience.
So what about you? What can a teacher do for your children that wows you? And what do you plan to do to wow the parents of your own students?