I know you’re busy. I know you work three jobs, are taking care of an aging parent, are getting a divorce, have health issues, have kids in two different schools and you breathe a sigh of relief when your kid goes to school in the morning and you know someone else is in charge, if only for a little while. I get it. But I do need one thing from you. I need to know you’re there.
It doesn’t need to be much. A signed permission slip, submitted on time. A response to a question or a question sent to me about an assignment, or even a critique. Just something to let me know that there is a living, breathing parent out there that is keeping an eye on their child and their classroom life.
Teachers work in a bubble. We work all day in the classroom, send assignments home as well as notes to families, and sometimes, it feels like it’s a big, black hole beyond the classroom door. Is anyone out there? Does anyone care about what I am doing in here?
I always appreciate parent participation, whether in the classroom, on field trips and other help, but I also always am aware that not every parent has the time or energy to be of help during the day. However I always value it when parents respond to my queries, assignments or notes home, so I know someone is paying attention.
Yes, it’s ideal to be as involved as you can in your child’s school life and functions, but if you can’t, don’t disappear in guilt. Don’t compare yourself with others or shrug off the responsibility on someone else or simply give up, feeling you’ll never be able to do enough. Keep it simple: respond. If you start with this, you’ll find that you’ll become more involved in your child’s education instead of fretting over the fact that you haven’t been on a field trip all year. Your kid’s teacher will be appreciative, your child will know it, and everybody wins when the permission slip is turned in on time.