Like many parents, you may love engaging in your child’s school life and connecting with their teacher each year. Additionally, you may long to get more involved, but need some help figuring out the best way to support your child’s teacher. Fortunately, some of Lausanne’s teacher have shared different ways families can provide support throughout the school year, along with a couple strategies parents have used to foster a positive, supportive relationship.
- Teachers love to hear positives from a student’s parent just as much as the parent loves positive feedback about their child. First-grade teacher Tabatha Whittaker has made many great connections with parents during her last decade at Lausanne and says a simple, “I noticed” is genuinely appreciated. “When we hear a parent say something like, “I noticed how you took the time to write a sweet note on Emily’s reading response,” it truly goes a long way, Whittaker shared. “Parent partnerships are key to a successful year and teachers love to hear things they are doing well! It makes us strive to be even better.”
- Understand teachers are people, too. Gina Christian, a Lausanne parent and staff member, says one way she strives to support her son’s teachers is by remaining patient and understanding that they also have their own families, after-hours activities, and lives to attend to outside the classroom. “Remember, emails may not be answered by the teacher on a Saturday night, but this does not mean they don’t care,” Christian said. “Self-care is vital for us all and giving teachers the space to do so allows them to reset and offer the best version of themselves when teaching your child.”
- Help prepare your child to learn. One of the best ways to support a teacher is to help prepare your child to learn each day by establishing a bedtime routine that permits a good night’s rest and making sure they eat plenty of breakfast. “Being well-rested with a full belly helps ensure your child is ready to learn, listen, and engage in the classroom,” Pre-Kindergarten teacher Peggy Boyd said.
- Communicate with the teacher. Keeping a teacher in the loop about your child is essential says Erica McBride, a Lausanne parent, and Assistant Head of Lower School. “If it is something you feel comfortable sharing, let the teacher know of things happening in your child’s personal life that might affect them at school,” McBride said. “Understanding what is going on outside the classroom can help a teacher better use school resources and provide insight into observed behaviors, patterns, and challenges.”
- Volunteer in your child’s classroom. There are many ways to get involved in your student’s school environment throughout the school year. Parents can chaperone field trips, read to a class, help host a classroom party, participate in special projects that include a guest visitor, and so much more. Some parents may even have a unique skill set, career, or cultural activity to share. While many parents choose to volunteer more frequently, offering to help once or twice still goes a long way! Most teachers will not turn away an extra set of hands in the classroom and asking how your child’s teacher how you can get involved is always greatly appreciated.
- Bonus Tip: If you like to show your child’s teacher support through gift-giving, asking them about their favorite goodies will make shopping easier and offer a more personalized present for the teacher. “We have a lot of families that like to surprise their child’s teacher with gifts, so they’ll ask staff members in the Lower School office for ideas,” shared Lausanne Third-Grade teacher Shelby Longfellow. “As a sweet gesture, the teachers get to fill out a form at the beginning of each year that lists some of our favorite goodies for the office staff to have on hand when parents ask for suggestions. As students get to know the teachers, they usually come up with gift ideas, too, and it’s so endearing when a student remembers a store I told a story about shopping at or a special meal I had at my favorite spot. The students are always so eager for teachers to open their gifts!”
The unique learning environment at Lausanne Collegiate School includes small class sizes as well as inspiring and supportive faculty. Lausanne is located at 1381 W. Massey Rd, 38120. Learn more about what sets academics at Lausanne apart or call (901) 474-1000 to schedule a tour.