Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teachers Who Rock and How You Can Be One {Part 2}

This post is sponsored by Participant MediaThis series of posts is inspired by the documentary TEACH by Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim.

Life is crazy. We are in week two of kindergarten for my oldest son and I'm going to be honest and let you know that it is not going perfectly like I hoped. Have you ever looked at everyone else's kids and then at your own crazy kid and think... "Why can't you just be normal like everyone else?"

I have that thought at least once a day lately. 

This morning I looked at all of the kindergarteners all lined up on their stars waiting to go into class... and then at my son's tear stained face while he was screaming at me that he didn't want to go to school and I felt annoyed! He was tired, he wanted to play Legos instead, etc. He wanted to do anything but go to school.

I stood and hugged him. I acknowledged how hard it is to go to school when Legos are calling his name at home and are begging to be played with. I told him I understood that he was tired and that I was sure that he could sit on the carpet in kindergarten and just rest while they did calendar and sang in class.  I hugged him and said I love you and I took him into class and then I left.

I had pictured kindergarten differently. I pictured him waving goodbye and giving me a smile and then walking into class... not slumped on the floor tear stained and upset. (Fortunately not every day has been terrible... see photo below :))

Later today around recess I got an email from his teacher letting me know that he was fine and having a great day. When I arrived to pick him up he was beaming and he gave his teacher a hug and yelled goodbye. She took several more minutes to chat with me about the day and tell me about her conversations with him and re-assure me that he'll be ok. I think we're going to have a great year.

My son's teacher reminded me of an important teacher trait. 

Teachers that rock are good communicators. 

They take an extra minute or two to talk to parents or send an email or call and share something positive. They also are honest with parents and let them know if they notice that something is wrong or if a child is struggling. They also talk with their students and build a relationship with them.   

Teachers that rock communicate positively and professionally with students, parents, and colleagues. 

They recognize that they don't teach alone... but that they are part of a team... working with the child, parents, and other educators. These same teachers also realize that they have lives outside of teaching, so they also set boundaries on communication.

As parents we need to make sure we are respectful, positive, and professional ourselves as we interact with our children's teachers.

Over the past week I've had to let go of the perfect picture I've had in my head of what kindergarten was going to look like. It has made me a bit frustrated, but my son's teacher's positive and helpful attitude has helped me realize that I can create a wonderful year for us despite the imperfect year we've had so far.

Perfect is boring anyway... right?

I'm deciding to let go of perfect (or even normal) and create our own wonderful. Wish me luck. It might not be fun somedays... but it will make for a good story when everyone is all grown up.

Has your child ever had a hard time transitioning to a new school?

How did you deal with it?

Has your child ever had a teacher that was an awesome communicator? Tell me about him or her. 

If you missed Part 1 of our Teachers Who Rock series, head over here and check it out.

Don't forget to tune into a two hour special television event of “TEACH” presented by Participant Media. It is set to debut on the CBS Television Network TOMORROW September 6th at 8:00 pm ET/PT. You can watch the trailer below.

“TEACH” will also air on the new network, Pivot on September 18th at 8:00 pm ET/PT

This post is sponsored by Participant Media. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but the opinions and stories are all mine. Thanks for supporting the things that I choose to share on my site! I think Toddler Approved readers rock too.

By the way... have you entered our current Away We Go! A Shape and Seek Book Giveaway yet? Away We Go! A Shape and Seek Book by Chieu Anh Urban is a great way to teach little ones about shapes. Head on over to our Shape Activities for Preschoolers post to enter the giveaway. 

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