Thank you for joining us for Views on Back-to-School! Throughout August and September, VolunteerSpot is honored to be featuring guest posts from our favorite bloggers about back-to-school. Today, please welcome Amy Mascott, author of teach mama where
she provides parents with the tools and resources they need to be the
best teachers for their children.
Today, Amy shows us how a short note can go a long way towards erasing the anxiety of the first day of school for your little ones. Thanks Amy!
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Hello, School Year, Hello Teacher Notes
By Amy Mascott
Last August, when Maddy began Kindergarten, I was a nervous wreck. Did I do my part to prepare her? How many sight words did she know? Could she count to twenty? Why didn’t we read more this summer? Can she even write her full name? OHmygosh, was she even able to recite her phone number and address? Did she know how to open her juice box without help?
Realizing that I could only do so much to prepare her this late in the game, I decided to focus my attention on something else—someone else—the person with whom Maddy would be spending her loooong days as a big-time Kindergartener. I wanted Maddy to feel as comfortable as possible with this person and maybe feel a little connection with her even before the bell rang on the first day. I switched my focus to her teacher.
Knowing first-hand how incredibly busy the initial weeks of school can be for teachers as they organize their classrooms and prepare their lessons, I wanted to do something that would be easy for Maddy, would take up very little time for her teacher, and would be a little something special for the two of them before they really got to know each other.
Maddy delivered her Hello Teacher Note to her teacher’s mailbox one late August morning last year, and even walking up to the building, going into the office and meeting the secretaries, and searching for her teacher’s mailbox helped us all a little. And at the Back-to-School Night, this over-emotional mom could have ugly-cried when her sweet teacher walked over to me and handed me the return letter to give to Maddy. When we read it the next day, my baby was beaming, and she was more excited than ever to hit Kindergarten.
This year, Maddy, Owen, and Cora each wrote a Hello Teacher Note—Maddy to her first grade teacher, Owen to his pre-K teacher, and Cora to her preschool teacher--and we set aside one morning to deliver all of the letters. It was seriously exciting for them; I think these letters are a super way of moving gently into the new year, and we’ll be writing them each year for as long as we can.
Even if the year is already underway, Hello Teacher Notes can be used to create a stronger connection between teacher and student. The Notes give everyone a little more of a reason to talk, get to know each other, and realize their commonalities before the year is really up and rolling.
Want to download the Hello Teacher Note to try it out yourself? It’s here as a pdf.
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A Reading Specialist, Literacy Consultant, and freelance writer, Amy Mascott is a mini-van driving mom of three crazy-cool kids, ages 6, 5, and 3. She shares the ways she sneaks a little bit of learning into their every day over at teach mama where she provides parents with the tools and resources they need to be the best teachers for their children. She is also the creator of we teach, a forum for parents and teachers to learn from each other, share ideas, and grow as educators. On Twitter, she’s @teachmama.