Schools are starting up all over the nation. For some parents, this is a moment of sadness. For others, well, it may be cause for celebration.
Most parents seem to agree the start of this school year includes tensions that did not exist pre-2020. Politics and a pandemic have placed a cloud over what is normally a fun and exciting time of the year.
Parents feel it. Teachers feel it.
For this new school year, showcase God’s generosity toward us by being intentionally generous toward your child’s teacher. Let’s look at five ways to be generous to, specifically, elementary teachers this year:
1. Don’t be quick on the critiques and assumptions.
“Look at this email. She’s a poor communicator.”
“He probably won’t connect with my child.”
“I bet he hates masks.”
“I bet she got both Pfizer and Moderna shots just to be sure.”
Critiques and criticisms will quickly find their way to the teacher’s inbox this year. Be different than everyone else. Be slow with the critiques and assumptions but quick with grace and benefit of the doubt. Be generous with your words. Talk about the teacher’s strengths to your child and others. Don’t engage when other parents gossip or speak poorly of the teacher they barely know. Be generous through word and action.
2. Get everything on the supply list.
How can completing your child's supply list be an act of generosity? Primarily because not every parent completes the list, which can cause additional stress in the classroom. Each box of crayons, No. 2 pencil, and yellow folder has a purpose. Teachers request the purchase of these items for the classroom to run smoothly, with every child having exactly what they need for the day. They don’t need to guess whether little James has the colors the worksheet requires. Instead, they know that little James has all the colors he needs, assuming little James didn’t eat any of them. Help the classroom run smoothly and ensure that the teacher is not paying out of pocket for supplies (which frequently occurs). Be generous. Make the teacher’s job easier. Get everything on the supply list.
3. Clear the list.
Go on Twitter and search the hashtag, #clearthelist. You will find classroom supply lists created by teachers. These lists allow the general public to support teachers by purchasing items for their classrooms. The goal of #clearthelist is to reduce the amount of personal money teachers use to sufficiently outfit their classrooms. See if your child’s teacher has a classroom supply list. If not, ask him or her what additional item they could use this year and purchase the item for them.
4. Provide a note of encouragement.
You can counter the inevitable criticism and critiques your child’s teacher will receive this year by providing some words of encouragement. While a brief email can be encouraging, consider the personal touch of a handwritten note. In our digital world, handwritten notes stand out. They are more meaningful than digital text. So, consider writing a note encouragement.
5. Pray for them.
Your child’s teacher needs prayer. Pray they can clearly communicate their lessons. Pray they will know how to adapt to a child’s particular learning style. Pray for their wisdom as they deal with disruptive children. Pray for their patience and mercy because, well, they are spending their day in a room full of kids. Pray for your child’s teacher.
God has been so generous to \each one of us. Reflect God’s generosity to your child’s elementary teacher at the start of this school year.