The Real New Year by Erica Pearson

Row of backpacks


When most people hear the term new year, they picture funny hats, noise makers, and a big shiny mirror ball that falls when the clock strikes midnight. For the educators and parents of the world, the term new year brings pictures of supply lists, new backpacks, and a big yellow bus dropping off excited kids. 

The beauty of the school calendar is that every year provides a fresh start full of brand-new opportunities. Each year brings different needs, but a few essentials stay the same: communication and prayer. These two tips can be applied to your child’s school year experience, no matter what grade she is entering. 
The main challenge of an academic new year is not in keeping resolutions, but rather in communicating with the ones who help to make each school year successful. When sending your child off to school, keeping in touch with your child’s teacher is the key to unlocking the potential each school year holds, both socially and academically for your child.  
There is a common misconception that the older the child, the less a parent should be involved; however, nothing could be farther from the truth. If you know your child has difficulty in a certain area, such as organization, let the teacher know ahead of time and, when possible, give a list of suggestions of things that have helped your child in the past.
Let your child’s teacher know the best way to communicate with you, whether via email or a personal phone call. In return, contact the teacher in the method she most prefers, as well. Most teachers do not have during the day to check voice mail or chat on the phone, and so they can better communicate through quick emails.   
The first step in achieving an open line of communication begins with prayer. Designate a day of the week that you will pray for your child’s teacher. First Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Teaching is a challenging profession that often faces scrutiny and leaves teachers feeling under-appreciated. Encouraging and positive words help build a relationship where both parties feel respected and can communicate about the tough issues when the time comes.
Remember to start each year with a clean slate, being careful not to compare teachers, children, and experiences. Thank God for the growth that your child experiences each year and anticipate another wonderful school year!
Erica Pearson is a 2nd grade teacher in Wilson County, Tennessee.  She feels teaching is a true calling and is proud to be living out her lifelong dream of being an educator.   
Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

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