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What Teachers Want Parents to Know About the First Week of School

Here are 12 things teachers want you to know about that first week of school.
teacher in classroom with kids
By: Tara Dusko

Back to school time is quickly approaching. You’re probably stocking up on backpacks, pencils, and other school supplies for your children. In just a few short weeks, you will be turning them over to a teacher who will spend more hours each weekday with them than you. 

More: 5 Positive Phrases To Say To Your Anxious Child About School

Here are 12 things teachers want you to know about that first week of school.

1. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye to your child on the first day of school.

Even if you’ve been looking forward to sending your children back to school all summer long, you will probably feel a little bit of sadness as you drop them off or put them on the bus that first day. 

As a teacher, I’ve had 14 first weeks of school. You would think that I am an expert at going back to school by now. However, sending my own child to school for the first time was a completely different experience. 

When my son started kindergarten, I was an emotional wreck. I cried the whole way to my school, even though I knew he was in good hands. My daughter starts kindergarten this year, and I already have the box of tissues ready.

2. Your child will experience lots of emotions about the first week of school, too.

The fun of summer is coming to an end, and a new school year is starting. There is a lot of uncertainty - a new teacher, new classmates, more challenging work. Your son or daughter will probably experience all the emotions from sadness to excitement to nervousness. 

Support your child by answering as many questions as you can about the new school year. Reassure him or her that it’s going to be a great year.

3. Your child will probably be grumpier in the evenings.

In addition to increased nerves, the first week of school also brings grumpier children at night. Getting back into the school routine can be hard. The kids are used to a more relaxed schedule over the summer. During the first week of school, they’re learning the new rules and expectations. Things are more structured. 

After keeping it together all day at school, they may have more meltdowns when they get home that first week. Try to be patient, and an earlier bedtime might help combat that back to school exhaustion. 

4. You don’t have to buy the fanciest supplies.

When you get the classroom supply list, don’t feel like you have to buy the most expensive and fancy supplies. My favorite place to get my son’s supplies is the Dollar Tree. I know all those notebooks, folders, and pencils are just going to get shoved in his desk or get lost. There’s no reason to spend a lot of money on supplies you’re sending to school.

5. Please send tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.

Classrooms can be very germy places. Runny noses, coughs, and dirty fingers bring lots of germs to the surfaces in a school. We can always use more disinfecting supplies to keep the classroom clean and everybody in it healthy. 

6. Please read the information we send home during the first week of school.

Some of the most important information of the whole school year will come home the first week. Please make sure you check your child’s backpack every night and send back any papers that need to be returned. 

7. The first week of school is a great time to start having conversations with your children about what they did during the day.

“Nothing,” is often the answer you get when you ask your child what he did at school that day. Try asking more specific questions, and you might get some more information. 

Here are some good first week of school questions:

  • Who else is in your class?
  • What are some of the rules in your classroom?
  • What special did you have today?
  • Did you do any special activities today?
  • What books did you read?
  • Who did you play with at recess?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch?

8. Don’t be surprised if there aren’t a lot of academics going on the first week.

As you’re having those first week of school conversations with your child, there might not be any mention of new math concepts or reading strategies. The first week of school is all about building relationships and learning classroom expectations. There might be a little bit of review, but not much new content will be taught.

9. Your child will make friends. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time.

If your child comes home from school on the first day and says none of his friends are in his class, don’t panic. It might take a few days, but he will make new friends. The first week of school is all about getting to know new people. Your child will make new friends and will still have to opportunity to play with his other friends at recess.

10. We are excited to be partners with you in your child’s education.

When children have support at school and at home, they excel. We can’t wait to meet you at Back to School Night or Meet the Teacher Night and begin our partnership. 

11. We want to keep the lines of communication open right from that first week of school.

Whether it’s through email, phone calls, or a communication app, we want to make sure you know what is going on at school. Please read our newsletters, reply to our emails, and check out the pictures we upload. We want to keep you in the loop and help you stay connected to what’s happening in the classroom.

12. We will treat your child like one of our own.

As you hand your child off to her teacher on the first day of school, rest assured that we will take the best care of her. The classroom becomes our second home, and the success of all our students is our top priority. 

So, as you wave good-bye to your child on that first day, don’t worry. This is the start of a great school year.

As the first week kicks off, here are 5 Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their Kid During the First Week of School.

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