It’s not that we teachers discriminate, or give preference to one child over the other- a professional would never dream of doing that, but teachers have feelings too. I’ll have to admit, there are always a few kids that just make us smile when we think about them. I’m getting a few images in my mind right now. Again, I would never give preference to any child over the other. One of the most fundamental doctrines of teaching is to be fair and just. However, I believe that you parents can instill a sense of that something extra in your child’s teacher’s heart by encouraging them to follow these little tips (and no buttering her up is not one of them- that doesn’t work really).
1. Etiquette: There’s nothing like those ‘polite words’ to melt our hearts: ‘thank you’, ‘please’, ‘you’re welcome’ and ‘sorry’. When used in the right case scenarios we tend to look at these kids with respect and admiration. The best thing you can do, is incorporate these in your daily life as much as possible.
2. Interaction: We love kids that attempt to engage with us. Notice the word ‘attempt’- trying to answer questions is what we’re looking for, not necessarily the correct answers. Better yet, asking questions, showing the desire of inquiry and curiosity. So encourage your kids to talk up in class. A boost from you goes a long way in the classroom.
3. Neat Work: Here’s our dirty little secret- we love neat and tidy, well-presented assignments. Again, not necessarily accurate work, but words written on the lines (and not floating about like random helium balloons), perhaps the use of colour pencils for headings and such- it makes grading and checking so much more easier and we give out silent prayers of thanks for that in itself. I mean we can give code breakers a run for their money. You can reinforce this at home by simply monitoring homework and suggesting ways for making it look better.
4. Following Classroom Rules: No kid will ever follow through completely on this one, but raising hands, waiting for your turn, not running in corridors, asking before borrowing, putting things away in their proper place, all these things don’t escape our notice. I appreciate creativity and accept that a certain amount of freehand has to be given, but still it matters. A good tip is have a discussion with your child sometimes about how they behaved or how other kids behaved at school.
5. Cleanliness: I appreciate the fact that mornings are usually rushed, I am also aware that certain kids don’t necessarily ‘have it all together’ at home. Usually a dirty unkempt child are red flags for something not right at home. Missing books, incomplete home assignments, lack of stationery, untidy clothes- these really stand out. I still believe that the primary caregiver must look after these things. By human nature we are repelled by bad odors and dirt. So yes, this is an important factor.
6. Out of the Way Response: In contrast to the above possible situation, there are those kids who come in with extra information about a certain lesson the next day, be it in the form of an anchor chart, a print out, some well meaning queries, or even little projects. I’ve found that hands on parents contribute to a big chunk of success in early childhood education. Be the hands on parent as much as you possibly can. Your child will thank you for it, so will the teacher and most of all, so will you. I could include encouraging your child to participate in extra-curriculars as well.
Teachers toil away preparing lesson plans and activities, figuring out ways to not only educate but also to build character and promote, for a lack of a better word, goodness. But parents hold a great deal of power as well, and combined, we can reach the sky.