7 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew

7 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew

I am part of a lot of mom groups. A few of them are of course focused on early education or future academic. And the most common thing I notice is how worried parents are.  Every parent  tries every possible avenue they think can be used, to give their child the extra edge to succeed in the world.

This worry is inherent in us as parents and something I personally face daily. But how much of it is a valid concern? Are we worrying about the right aspect of our child’s development?

According to my son’s teacher from first grade last year, ‘parents really do not need to be so anxious (namely me 🙂 ). She told me how the extra classes kids take these days are not even necessary and actually hampered her teaching at school and the child’s over all development. What was more important was kids to play freely and learn essential life skills before entering school system.  The outdoors in fact is a better learning atmosphere at an early age.’

This led to the below conversation, when I called my mother in law to wish her Happy Teachers  Day today. Geeta Singh, a prolific educator who has been teaching since January of 1985, for over 34 years and has been a principal of two schools for over 7+ years. A truly inspiring influence on the many lives she has touched during her teaching career and much loved by every student she comes across.

She spoke about how the education system today has taken much of the power away from the teachers. In the 80s and 90s, teachers had much more influence over students since they could provide appropriate consequences. But with changing time and the evolution of the education system, now it a LOT more the parents who have to support the teachers in the right way to help shape their kids growth.

Yet, not in the way parents think. Society today is very misconstrued about what every child truly needs in their early years and even in the later years. 

Here are the 7 universal things she knows first hand as an educator, all teachers wish parents knew. 

Take Time to Understand Your Child

Children are all born a certain way. There is a nature that your child is born with, which needs to be accepted. Your dreams and hopes do no define your child.  What needs to actually happen is for you to take the time to actually observe your child and take in who they are before molding them into what you think they should become. This is where play time, long walks and conversations with your children come in. Spend time with your child without purpose to better get a sense of who they are.

This is a great tool which will show you where your child is meant to excel in. Do not blame teachers or even your child for not doing well in a certain subject. They just may not be inclined towards it naturally. It’s not that your child is not intelligent enough. They just are interested in other subjects and will perform in those.

Learn to Question Your Child’s Motive

We as parents tend to trust our children blindly. Often children say things that aren’t really true. The source of this lies in many factors. Not to say that the child is bad but maybe they are experiencing feelings they cannot verbalize in the right way.

When your child says something about teachers at school or peers even, take the time to analyse what they are saying. Ask probing questions and calmly try to understand what your own child’s version might be in relaying said conversation to you. School is a different environment where a child experiences varied emotions and thus they tend to be a version of themselves parents do not often see. Before taking any rash decision based on your child’s words, understand what might have happened.

And in case of conflict, converse with the teacher, not accuse her.

Make a Habit of Looking At Your Child’s Bag

When kids come to school, they begin to think of their school bag as their private space. Since the beginning of school years, make it a habit to be the one to take out your child’s homework so you always know what is inside your child’s bag. As the kids get older and bolder, their bag becomes the place which they can use to hide things they do not want parents to see.

Teach Your Kids About Hygiene & Presentation Early 

It is unfortunate when kids are not taught the importance of presentation early. Outer appearance is a reflection of the person inside. Do not teach your kids to be flashy. But educate them about basic cleanliness concepts and how to dress for any given occasion. This is something many parents fail to teach their kids. Respecting and taking care of your bag, shoes,  clothes, accessories and self is something that should be imparted early.

Encourage Your Child Towards Extra Curricular Activities

Specially in their later years. In life, how one utilizes leisure time is very important. Kids need to know that they can work on their passion projects. Many adults today spend their time watching TV/ browsing phones since they do not know how to creatively spend their free time. Be an example for your child in this matter.

Sports and art are a very important part of every child’s growth into adulthood. It is unfortunate that over time, specially as kids get older parents stop supporting extra curricular activities, even monetarily at school. This is detrimental not only to every child’s growth but specially to those kids who excel in a certain art form.  Help your child encourage their preferred art work in any way possible.  

Your Child’s Grade is NOT Everything. 

Your child has varied interests. Not every child is going to excel academically. Or in every subject. And that needs to be okay too. This is NOT failure in any form. When parents put kids early into extra classes and apply pressure for academics, it makes the child peak and burn out soon. This hampers their future in a way many parents do not foresee. Let your child grow in the way they are meant to. No one cares what your child’s second grade position is.

What is in fact needed is the teaching of all round growth.

Knowledge
Understanding
Application 
Skill

What a screw is and it’s use once taught is understanding. But the actual applications of screw at home and making use of it in day to day life is skill development. How to apply knowledge what is more important. Instead of sending kids for academic classes after school show them the ways in which what they have learnt gets applied in their day to day life.  Mark sheets are no guide to real life.

Nurture Your Child’s Moral Growth

This is something parents need to focus on more at home and teach ways in which kids can be kind to their peers and teachers at school. Helping others gives everyone a better sense of self worth, that is severely lacking in today’s child driven society. Parents are so way focused on academics that they lose sight of teaching kids how to go that extra mile for another human being. And that is a major reason for negative experiences by students at school.

In addition to this, it is very important it is for everyone to honor teachers in every form. Not just the ones at school, but their parents who are the first teachers of every child, family members and friends who help teach us many of life’s important lessons.

After this conversation, I found another great resource that spoke about this very same topic.
Are you a teacher reading this?
What would you add to this prolific teacher’s list of things parents should be aware of?
7 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew #HappyTeachersDay #TeachersDay #education #kids #teaching

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  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties and trips to the library with her little ones are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”. Her own book Strong Roots Have No Fear comes out soon.

 

The Day My Son Realized We Are an Interracial Family

Laura Ramnath

The Ramnaths

I am American and about as pale white at they come. My husband is from the Caribbean and also lived in South America and has the perfect year around tan. When my son was born, he came out a perfect mix of the two of us but with my skin color. Given that we are an interracial couple, I assumed my son would easily accept other people and cultures. I found out a few months ago that I was wrong to assume that. I honestly never thought that I would have to explain why daddy was different.

Strange Behavior

A few months ago, my son, Logan, started acting very strangely towards Shadrach (his daddy). Logan wanted nothing to do with Daddy. He would push him away, run away from him, or did not want to play with him. The strange behavior started all of the sudden.

One night as I was putting Logan to bed, I asked him why he did not want to be around daddy and was treating him so badly. He told me that he did not like the color of daddy’s skin because it was different from his and mine. His answer floored me and caught me completely off guard.

Immediately my heart hurt for Shadrach. I was not expecting an answer like this. I never stopped and thought about the fact that I needed to teach my child about the differences in people and how that makes them each unique, especially when it came to his family. I just assumed that because this was his daddy and it was all he had ever known, that he would just love and accept him.

How We Taught the Differences Between People

I finished putting Logan to bed that night, after his confession about not liking his daddy’s skin color. My heart was heavy and I just kind of sat there and wondered what to do next.

The first thing I did, the very next day, was to start talking to Logan about what was different and what was the same between people. For example, I would ask him what was different about me. I would point out that I am a girl and he is a boy. That makes us different. Then, I would point out that he and daddy are both boys, which gives them something in common.

This little game continued when we were out in public. Quietly I would ask Logan what was different about people and then ask him to tell me if he could find something in common with them. Quickly Logan caught on and started pointing out people that looked like Shadrach and would exclaim, a little too loudly, “That man has the same color skin as my daddy!”

I was so glad to realize that he understood each person is made different and unique. The thing I wanted him to understand was just because someone looks or acts differently; it does not mean that is a bad thing. Also, my goal is to help him understand that we can always find something in common with another person.

This whole situation with Logan has taught me that as parents we do need to take the time to sit down and teach our children that people are made in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and that is a good thing! Everyone has a unique feature about them that sets them apart, and that is something to be celebrated.

[bctt tweet=”Everyone has a unique feature about them that sets them apart, and that is something to be celebrated.” username=”contactrwc”]

Each person reacts differently when they realize people are not quite like them. Logan acted scared and mad about it because it was something he did not understand. Some children are just curious and stare. Others may ask many questions about it. There is no wrong way, but as parents, we can pick up on these cues and start teaching them that those things that stand out are what makes those people unique.

Imagine how different our world could be if we all took the time to teach our children about different nationalities and cultures. The fear of someone different would go away because that fear comes from the lack of knowledge. While I am not done teaching Logan about all of this, I know that he is starting to understand and I see him learning to love people just as they are.

Can I challenge you as parents? Let children ask questions about people but make sure to explain things. Use it as an opportunity to teach about other cultures. If you do not know about certain cultures, be honest when your child asks. Then take the time to sit down and learn about it together.

Raising “world children” does not mean you have to travel around the world.

To me it means you sit down as a family and learn about different cultures, right in your home. Thanks to the internet, Pinterest, libraries, and television, there are plenty of opportunities to learn and teach your children about all the different cultures that make up our world.

I am thankful that we are such a diverse little family and it has opened up the doors to talk about different cultures and teach how to love each and every person, no matter who they are or where they are from.

The Day My Son Realized We Were An Interracial Family www.raisingworldchildren.com #interracial #family #parenting #multicultural

Laura Ramnath is the voice behind her Family and Lifestyle blog The Rambling Ramnaths. She has held positions in banking and worked for a children’s clothing designer, but currently, enjoys the crazy role of being wife to Shadrach and stay-at-home mom to their 4-year-old son Logan. He keeps life interesting as there is never a dull moment with him! Laura has a passion for life and enjoys family travels and adventures, hiking, going to the beach and binge watching Netflix. She is also a strong believer in CoffeeFirst!

Teaching Mother tongue

Teaching the Mother Tongue to Children in a Foreign Country

Being bilingual is beneficial for children. People who know more than one language have better problem-solving skills and are good at decision making as per the latest research. If you are like me, who relocated to a foreign country, do you feel difficult to teach mother tongue to your kids?

When we moved to the USA 2 years ago, we visited a doctor for a regular checkup for my kids, the doctor asked if my toddler can speak/ understand 2 languages. I said, “yes”. She told me that it is good for the development of children to learn more than one language and she encouraged me to continue teaching 2 languages to my children. But, Teaching the mother tongue to children in a foreign country is not that easy as everyone around our kids speak one language which influences them more. My children speak English fluently with friends and teachers and converse in “Telugu” (our mother tongue – a South Indian Language) at home.

Here is a post on a few tips for the parents staying in foreign countries to teach mother tongue to their children.

Teaching Mother tongue

1. Speak the mother tongue at home:

Learning always starts at home for children. If we speak in our native language to our kids, they tend to catch the words and use them. The only way to teach a new language is to get them exposed to the vocabulary in that language. By constantly listening to the language at home, children learn quickly. Start with teaching simple instructions like – “Switch on the light” and get them familiar with basics like greeting others, asking for help, requesting and thanking someone.

2. Make writing the new language a part of their homework:

If we have to separately teach Telugu at our home, it is tough as the concentration levels of children below 7 years is not more than 20 to 30 mins. So, I make it a part of their homework. After finishing their class homework, they spend only 10 mins writing the Telugu alphabets. After the children learn all the alphabets we can move to forming words and sentences and making them write simple words like their name, some objects/ toys they like etc.,

3. Read stories in native language:

Reading stories is the best way to teach anything to the children. They focus and understand better when anything is narrated as a story. So, get some books of your native language and read them daily. This way, they catch the new words and sentences and even try to use them when they speak.

4. Encourage and Correct their mistakes then and there:

When children try a new language, they are hesitant if they are using right words or not. So, encourage them to speak and help them with the vocabulary. If they use wrong words/ make mistakes while speaking, gently correct them then and there, so that they won’t forget. Use the language that they are comfortable with(like English) as a medium to teach new words and their meanings so that they can correlate both the languages easily.

5. Use tools/ aids to support learning:

We can make use of word games to encourage kids to learn new words. Crossword puzzles, word jumble, and Pictionary are some of the fun ways to teach languages. We can ask kids to identify the letters, form sentences using specific words and even ask them to give an impromptu speech for one minute on their favorite topic. Watching movies in our native language also improves vocabulary to a great extent.

Click here to download our comprehensive checklist. A great tool to make sure your kids speak their native language. 

Numerous studies have shown that learning more than one language can improve brain function and can help in multitasking. It is surprising to know that being bilingual also slows the aging process.

Can your children speak 2 languages? Do you encourage them to learn a new language? If you are in a foreign country, do you teach your children your mother tongue? Let me know if any of my tips find helpful.

 Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.