8 Ways To Support Teachers This School Year
Parents and teachers should enjoy a collaborative partnership with each other. Too often, though, there is a distant relationship between these two parties. Without mutual support between parents and teachers, students’ education will suffer. Luckily, there are several things that parents supporting teachers can do to invest in collaboration. This can improve your child’s learning environment and ensure they have the support they need to thrive.
More importantly, when you help teachers, you help your community. Your child isn’t the only student in the classroom, and when you give a teacher support, you provide the entire classroom support, too. If you’re wondering how to support teachers, consider the following eight tips.
1. Provide a 21st Century Education
There’s one thing that teachers need yet consistently lack access to — technology. Many class laptops are old with outdated software, and essential accessories such as headphones and USB drives are often hard to come by. Parents who genuinely want to make a difference in a teacher’s classroom can supply them with the necessary educational technology.
Of course, most parents don’t have a cache of iPads available to donate to their classroom — or the cash to buy them — but there are other ways to help. Consider starting a technology fundraiser or submitting a teacher’s name for a technology giveaway sweepstakes.
2. Flexible Seating Options in Classrooms
Flexible seating is another resource that many teachers want yet don’t have. Many students with disabilities cannot use the standard seating schools provide for classrooms. Other students require more flexible seating, so they are free to seek stimulation. One of the most popular options to meet this need is the “wiggle stool,” which lets students safely maneuver their chairs during class.
Other options include floor-level seating and bean bags for reading corners. Having a variety of seating options in a classroom can help students stay mentally engaged and physically comfortable at the same time.
3. Assist in Funding Education Kits
Education kits are hands-on educational tools that combine interactive games and activities with in-class lessons. Students can use them during school to participate in the lesson and enjoy a more active form of learning. A teacher may use a math education kit, for example, that includes di and calculators for every student.
Unsurprisingly, though, they can be pretty costly to make, and teachers often need assistance funding these kids for their classes. In addition to donating directly to an education kit fund, parents can help by hosting fundraisers or posting a GoFundMe campaign on their social media. You can also volunteer to help assemble the kits.
4. Help Expand Libraries in Classrooms
Books are a vital resource for any classroom. In many cases, though, teachers receive limited support from their school regarding filling their library. Teachers are often left to buy books with their funds, and this expense can add up quickly. If you have kid-friendly books lying around the house that you’ve read — or no longer plan to read—you can do your favorite teacher a massive favor by donating them to the classroom library.
If you don’t have any books of your own to donate, you can do a shopping spree on a teacher’s behalf and hit bargain spots such as thrift stores and used bookstores. Find titles that are appropriate for the age and demographics of the class’s students.
5. Help Cover Classroom Essentials
Books, technology, and seating aren’t the only expenses a teacher has to contend with. Classroom essentials such as pencils, notebooks, cleaning supplies, and scissors are often needed. Like many of the other items on this list, teachers often must use their own money to pay for these items — and in some cases, students are forced to do without.
Many nonprofit organizations exist to address this problem and help underfunded classrooms get the supplies they need. Teachers might be too busy to research such programs and fill out applications so that you can help. In addition to directly providing supplies, you can also look for opportunities to get help elsewhere.
6. Assist in Taking Students on Adventures
Field trips are often the highlight of the school year, but they require extensive coordination and planning to be successful. Enlisting help from parents is a big part of this planning. Students will need chaperones to accompany them, and you can provide an essential service by stepping in to assist. Field trip chaperones must keep a watchful eye on students at all times and ensure that they’re safe. They should also prepare to provide transportation in some cases.
7. Aid Poverty Students
It’s, unfortunately, confirmed that some students live in impoverished households. This puts them at a severe disadvantage, and in some cases, it may interfere with their learning ability. Children dealing with poverty are less likely to have the necessary supplies and support at home to thrive.
Teachers must tend to the needs of an entire class, though, and often do not have the resources to provide one-on-one attention to struggling students. If you are passionate about helping teachers and supporting the most vulnerable students, offering assistance to these students can make a significant difference.
8. Support Teaching in Instruction of Diversity & Tolerance
Teachers are experts in their field, so they know how to teach English, math, and any other subject they’re tasked with teaching. Topics such as diversity can be a little bit trickier, though. Teaching tolerance demands a certain level of nuance that may be best conveyed by somebody else. You can help by stepping in to teach lessons about diversity and tolerance. You can share your personal experiences on these topics and connect the class with resources to learn more. If you aren’t available to visit the class in person, connect via a Zoom meeting and use a customized background on the call.