Parents and teachers don’t always see eye-to-eye, but the one thing they undoubtedly have in common is that they care about the same children. Your child’s teacher wants them to succeed, just like you do. While the classroom is the teacher’s domain, they need the right support from the parents to help their students succeed in and out of school.

Parents often want to help teachers, but they don’t always know exactly what their child’s teacher needs or wants. While the best way to find out is to simply ask them, there are plenty of things you can do on your own time that will help your child’s teacher in the long run.

Prepare Your Child To Learn With Proper Food And Rest

When your child is feeling good, they can direct all of their energy and focus on their schoolwork. One of the best ways to ensure they are in tip-top shape is to give them a healthy breakfast. If they can start their day with a filling and nutritious breakfast, they’ll have a good foundation for their schoolday. Getting a good night’s rest will also help prepare your child for a day of learning.

Another important aspect of their health is ensuring they attend medical appointments. Your little one should go to regular doctor’s appointments for physicals and check-ups. They also need to go to the dentist every six months. Not only is this important for their dental health, but 99.7% of adults believe a healthy smile is socially important. By taking your child to regular appointments, you will be setting them up for good health, a good social life, and great learning.

Communicate Openly

Having open lines of communication between you and your child’s teacher is essential. While your home and your child’s school may seem like two completely separate environments, they aren’t for your child. They will carry the same thoughts, feelings, and issues from one to the other.

If something is going on in your child’s personal life that could affect them at school, you should let the teacher know. The teacher can then use the resources at school to help your child while providing insight on patterns and behaviors they observe at school. This collaboration between you and the teacher will only serve to help your child and get them the support they need. For instance, about 80% of children who have an anxiety disorder are not receiving the proper treatment. With attentive eyes and open communication, you and your child’s teacher could spot symptoms of anxiety early on and get your child the help they need.

Encourage Reading At Home

You can help your child’s teacher have a more productive time in the classroom if your student already has a love for reading. Fill your home with books for your child to read on their own and for you to read together. Make sure that your child sees you and other family members reading as well. Children naturally acquire language skills for their first eight years, primarily learning through imitation and repetition. When you regularly read, it will help your kids realize that reading is something that adults love too and they will model their behavior after yours.

While digital tools like e-readers and tablets can help you bring books anywhere you go, be sure that this isn’t your child’s only exposure to reading. People often skim digital material in just 15 seconds and are more engaged with printed text. As your child needs to be able to comprehend what they’re reading beyond what basic words mean, having a printed medium is important.

Volunteer At School

A tangible way to get involved in your child’s school is to volunteer at events. Even if you don’t have room in your schedule to go to every single one, showing up at a couple throughout the year will help you feel more connected and show the teacher that you care. Giving your time to your child’s school is just as valuable as giving monetary donations or support.

When it comes to volunteer opportunities, there are plenty you can help out with. Start by attending PTA meetings or check out the school’s calendar of events. Identify some fundraisers or activities that fit in with your schedule. Whether you contribute to the $517 billion consumers spend online working with U.S. merchants and help buy items for an upcoming event or spend an evening running a booth at a school fundraiser, you’ll show that you care. You’ll also help lessen the workload for the school’s board and the teachers that usually run these events.

Remember That Teachers Are Humans Too

This should be an obvious point, but it’s all too easy to forget when you only think of your child’s teacher sitting at their desk in the classroom. Parents tend to compare their jobs to the teacher’s and believe that the teacher has an easier time with their child, based on hours alone.

However, teachers often have very little downtime in their eight hour days, during which they are responsible for 20 to 30 kids. Even teachers in states with the best education, such as Maryland which has ranked among America’s top states for high-quality public education from 2009 to 2018, don’t have perfect days every day of the week. They often face intense situations on a daily basis and this stress can burn them out quickly.

With the holiday season around the corner, now is the time to extend a helping hand to your child’s teacher. By this point in the school year, they’ll likely have plenty of ideas on the type of help they need and what can best help the students. When Thanksgiving comes around, be sure to ask if they need additional school supplies, snacks, or tissues. At the very least, remember to give thanks to your child’s hardworking educators.