Are you a working parent? It can be tough to send your sweet little tot off to daycare or preschool during the day while you brave the boardroom. As you mind your daily drop-offs and pick-ups, you might wonder what your child's teachers really think about you and your kid. Here are three things your child's teacher probably wants to say to you, but might not send home in the monthly newsletter.
1: "Your child's academic success is a group effort."
By the time you finish your long workday and pick up your child from preschool, the last thing you probably want to do is deal with homework, vocabulary lists, and monotonous children's stories. After all, isn't it the preschool teacher's job to take care of all of that stuff? Although it might seem tempting to pop on the TV for your kid while you sit back and relax, studies have shown that your child's academic success depends on you too.
In fact, studies have shown that your child's brain grows up to 90% of its original size in the first three years of life. As parents and teachers work together to teach children, their little minds create new connections, and their ability to retain knowledge increases. Unfortunately, many parents take their crucial early education role lightly. For example, only about 5 in 10 preschoolers are read to regularly by their parents.
If you want your kid to have a significant head start in their academic career, take their early learning years seriously. Take the time to read books to your child, sing to them, play with them, and ask them about their interests. Reinforce the subjects that your kid learned about in school, and answer any questions that they might have. By creating a learning-centered home, you will improve your child's literacy, and potentially their entire academic career.
2: "Stop picking your kid up late."
As you rush around after work and try to tackle your daily errands, it can be tempting to pick your child up a few minutes late from preschool. Although their teachers have repeatedly asked that you pay close attention to the clock, you might figure that an extra ten minutes couldn't possibly bother anyone.
Unfortunately, late pick-ups are one of the most frustrating things that any preschool or daycare teacher has to deal with. The fact of the matter is that someone has to stay with your kid until their parent arrives, and when that person isn't allowed to leave on time, they might be late to appointments of their own.
In order to fend off late parents, many preschools and daycares impose fines for tardy parents. The bad news is, these fines are rarely effective. In a study conducted by economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, they found that when preschools and daycares imposed fines for late pick-ups, it actually incentivized parents to pick up their children late. Instead of rushing to gather their kids before class ended, parents would simply pay the fine, and pick up their children guilt-free at the end of the day.
Although it might be easy to fall into this same mindset, do everyone a favor and pick your child up on time. Doing so will improve their teacher's day, and keep you from becoming "that guy."
3: "Your child might get sick more frequently at first, and that's okay."
After your kid starts preschool, it can be frustrating to deal with the onslaught of sniffles, coughs, and fevers that they start coming home with. In an effort to control the new illnesses, you might be tempted to yell at their teachers, and demand hourly hand-cleanings and thorough sick-kid screenings. Unfortunately, your efforts to protect your kid might only frustrate their teachers.
Before you call other parents and start a full-fledged preschool revolt, you should consider the science. Studies have shown that although kids who attend preschool before age 2 are more likely to develop respiratory illnesses and ear infections, they actually have a lower tendency to deal with these problems later on in life. Because your child will be exposed to illnesses, it gives their little immune system time to grow and develop.
Instead of getting angry, try to support your child's immune system growth by taking good care of them when they are sick, and focusing on overall healthy living habits like proper diet and exercise. Remember that daycare, as seen at a site like http://www.kidscountry.net, is an excellent way to get their minds, and their immune systems, ready for the rigors of grade school.
By understanding the things that your child's teacher thinks about, you can do your part to build a successful academic environment for your kid and their friends.