An elementary school teacher and her students

1. It’s Not Just a Job

This is first on the list, because it’s important for parents to understand that we invest in our students emotionally.

This is not the kind of career where you can clock out at the end of the day and leave everything behind. Our interest in this profession spans far past the paycheck and summer vacation. We are willing to work grueling hours, sacrifice free time, and spend our own money to ensure that your children receive the education that they deserve, because we genuinely care about our students and their future.

2. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I do my absolute best to set my students up for success from 8:30 AM until 3 PM every day. But once they’ve left my classroom, I don’t have much (or any) control. Education is a team effort, and parental support is absolutely crucial.

Setting up clear homework and study policies at home will go a long way toward ensuring that your student gets the most out of their education. We also encourage parents to take an active role with homework and studying. Having your child “teach” the material to you will serve multiple purposes. It will reinforce the material they’ve learned while helping them commit it to memory, while also highlighting the areas where they need to improve.

3. Communication is Key

Teachers and parents need to act together as a team, and that means that we need to be able to communicate. If you have something to tell me; I want to know! However, it’s important to understand that right at the beginning of school, or right after dismissal, are the absolute worst times to approach a teacher. We have several job functions that need to be executed at these times.

Email is the best way to get a dialogue going with us. If you feel like your issue is something that needs to be solved with a face-to-face conversation, email your student’s teacher and ask to setup a time to talk.  They will appreciate your consideration, and you can be certain that you will get their full attention.

4. We Work Long Hours

The time we spend in the classroom teaching is followed by hours of preparation, planning, grading, evaluations, meetings, etc. We spend hours in our classrooms after school, and often go home with stacks of work to do in our free time, and this is all after trying to wrangle a room full of adolescents all day.

We’re not looking for a trophy or a parade, but this is an aspect of the job that often goes unlooked by the general public because no one is around to see us working at night and on the weekends.

5. We Spend A LOT of Our Own Money

Often times we need supplies for our lessons that simply aren’t in the budget. We dip into our own pockets for books, copier paper, tissue, dry erase markers, art supplies, etc., and it gets very costly.

If we issue a list of “required” supplies, please know that we haven’t chosen these items frivolously, and we are not running an elaborate scam to hoard glue sticks. We assure you that these tools will contribute directly to your child’s education.

6. Gifts

Looking for something to give your student’s teacher, but aren’t really sure what is appropriate? One of our private math tutors in Newport Beach says “You really can’t go wrong with a gift card. I know it seems impersonal, but we would much prefer a gift that we can actually get some use out of, rather than another ceramic apple, or scented candle. Amazon and Target gift cards are great because I can use those to get supplies for the classroom, and a little something extra for me if there’s enough left over.”

7. Kind Words Go a Long Way

We are always thrilled to receive positive feedback. Often times we only hear when something is “wrong”, so a few words of encouragement, or a gracious note can really brighten our day.

Ultimately the success of the children is the only thanks we need, but it’s always a great feeling to have our hard work acknowledged by parents.