Monday, August 24, 2015

If your school does not have a formal “meet and greet” day, it might be a good idea to write a letter to a teacher to introduce your child to him or her. I am so excited that this year our teacher has actually asked for one!
Write a Letter to Your Kid's New Teacher

Start of a New School YearMamaDaughter-FirstDayofSchool

We have started our new school year last Thursday. Once we received our classroom assignment and bought school supplies, Smarty was eagerly anticipating the start of a new year. I, on the other hand, was trying to suppress my anxiety about this year. We want Smarty to enjoy her school experience and we also want her to be challenged and grow on her level, not to be held in place by the curriculum of the 4th grade. My husband and I discussed on whether it would make sense to meet with Smarty’s new teacher or to write to her and decided that we will wait at least the first couple of weeks and listen to what Smarty is saying about her new class and new teacher. However, we didn’t have to wait long. On the second day of school Smarty brought home a heap of normal paperwork, plus this letter from Smarty’s teacher:

What Do You Want a Teacher to Know?

It might be our own fault that in our four previous years of school we have never given teachers this kind of glimpse into our daughter before they got to know her in the classroom. Originally, our trust in the system was still strong, and we had an outstanding teacher in kindergarten. Then the same teacher had her in the first grade, and we thought that she knows her enough. Our meetings with second grade teacher always felt rushed, and even after several months we did not feel like she really gets our daughter viewing her only as a high-achieving “problem-free” student. So now we want to make sure that her new fourth grade teacher understands that while our daughter is a gifted high-achiever, it’s not all rose petals and unicorns for everyone involved. I am sure that I will be able to stay under million words, but I already wrote 4 pages in Microsoft Word, and still didn’t cover everything that I want her to know about Smarty.
Will it help our daughter and her teacher have a better year? I want to hope so, because she asked us to share what did not work in the past. We have a strong opinion that gifted students should not be given the same worksheets as kids who are learning the material for the first time. We also don’t believe in piling more advanced material on top of “busywork”, because this looks more like punishing than encouraging a student to challenge herself or himself. At the same time we are hopeful that this new teacher, who Smarty so far described as “strict but funny”, will help her get more organized – both in time and in space, and will help her believe in herself as a strong writer. We also hope that we can be partners in keeping our gifted learner thriving in public school this year.

Your Turn

Will you write a letter to a teacher this year? I have put together a simple letter to a teacher printable with important points that can also be used for parent-teacher conference.
Topics for a letter to your child's new teacher

More Back to School Ideas?

Follow my Pinterest board In the Classroom.
Follow Natalie Planet Smarty Pants's board In the classroom on Pinterest.


Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

Thank you for the checklist! My daughter's teacher requested that the parents write her a letter so she can learn more about the kids, which I think is great, but I was a little stuck on what to actually write!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Great printable! Emma's teacher called me on the first day of school, which really impressed me.

Ticia said...

That's a great idea to do!