A preschool teacher, in my experience is an amazing person. How they found this calling in life I can only guess. I am a mother three children under four and two stepchildren, making an insane household at times; the preschooler causes most of this insanity. Now imagine having fifteen of them in your care. It would be enough to test anyone’s patience, even at a short period of time in the classroom.
A preschool teacher needs recognition for their efforts. They are the person who is vital in your child’s early learning, developing long lasting impressions that will be integral to all their future learning. For someone so important, they must be made aware that they’re appreciated for their efforts.
Here are some simple ways that a parent can show their appreciation to the person who is providing their child with integral learning skills and experiences.
GET TO KNOW THE TEACHER
Prior to school commencing, arrange a time to introduce yourself to the teacher. Get to know them better, ask about their hopes and their aspirations for the coming preschool year. Discover what they enjoy about being a preschool teacher and learn what they like or may dislike.
Just take the time to know the person, as a person not as a teacher.
You may also like to take the opportunity to visit the preschool when in session to see how the teacher interacts with students. Observe how the children respond to her, what she may like to be addressed as and how she treats the children in her classroom. This will show the teacher that you respect what she does for a living and also that you are a caring parent.
TAKE SOME TIME TO SAY HELLO OR GOODBYE
Breezing in and dropping off your child and picking them up at nominated times can be seen as rude. The preschool and the teacher is not providing you with a babysitting service, they are there to provide your child with necessary learning and life skills for development.
I do understand how hectic a preschool can be during pick up and drop off times, but when you have gathered your child just make eye contact and give a little wave or say a quick hello.
If you’re in a hurry due to other children’s schedules for school or your schedule for work, nominate a day that you do take a moment to talk to the teacher.
Unless your preschool has designated days where parents volunteer their time, always offer to help if you see the opportunity. Offer to clear a desk, answer a phone or open a door. You may also offer to take laundry home, bring in some essential craft items or offer to make her a coffee if the opportunity arises.
DISCUSS ACTIVITIES YOUR PRESCHOOLER MAY TALK ABOUT
Preschoolers are filled with enthusiasm and love to receive praise. If they come home and are talking enthusiastically about the teacher, or something they may have learned, tell the teacher next time you see her.
You may say, “Thomas loved the story you read last week Mrs. Bell.” This will then lead onto more discussion about how your teacher may have read the book, or how they noticed Thomas’ attention at the time.
At the beginning of the school year, just like a high school teacher a preschool teacher will sit and work out their curriculum. If they receive positive feedback that their choice in curriculum is being enjoyed, then this is very encouraging for them.
ARTWORK MADE BY YOUR CHILD FOR THE TEACHER
Encourage your child to do a painting or drawing for their teacher. You could have your child give it to their teacher next time they see them. This will tell the teacher that they are becoming an influence on the child and hopefully an integral part of their learning.
THANK YOU NOTE OR CARD
A small card purchased for the teacher mid-year or at the end of year to acknowledge their hard work is a nice gesture. Purchase a card at the store and write a note telling them that you appreciate their time and their knowledge that they’re imparting onto your child.
INVITE TO SPECIAL OCCASION
If your child is having a birthday, or is having another special occasion, invite the preschool teacher to attend. This will make the teacher feel as though they’re an integral part of your family’s life and welcome that they were thought of to attend.
At the end of the year and if funds allow it, try and purchase a small gift to show your appreciation. A nice gift besides flowers would be a gift voucher to a bookstore or a movie pass. This will allow the teacher to purchase something they would like to buy while at the same time acknowledging their hard work and effort. These gifts are a little more personal, as your preschool teacher may feel that flowers will need to be displayed at the preschool.
Another great gift would be a coffee mug that will be especially used at the preschool. It could have a lovely flower print on it, or some other words such as “Best Teacher” if your preschool teacher likes those types of gifts.
RETURNING AFTER PRESCHOOL
The best way to acknowledge a teacher and their efforts is to return when you have left their tutelage. Preschool is the first step to formal learning and by returning once your child has began primary or even high school, giving them an update on your child’s progress will enable them to feel they were a positive influence in all your lives.
A preschool teacher is your child’s first mentor in learning and the learning experience. They have many children that they are involved with and the preschool age can be one that is trying and exhaustive. They need to feel that their efforts are appreciated and welcomed, while at the same time respected for their hard work. Sometimes the smallest of gives, of taking a moment from your busy schedule to say hello or to say thank you, will show them how much they truly are appreciated.