Dear Parent, From a Teacher: 3 Tips for Keeping the School Year Organized

plannerIt’s that time of year when the summer is winding down and families are starting to get prepared for the new school year. Maybe it’s slowly adjusting to an earlier bedtime, buying new school supplies, or getting in the last vacation before fall arrives. Summer is the time of year when we can all relax a little and have some flexibility: There’s no homework, sports are on typically pause, and the daylight hours are longer to enjoy more time with family and friends.

However, as we creep closer to the start of the school year, we know that once again, our schedules might get a little crazy and hectic. Maybe you are ready for a routine again, but you know that along with a routine comes homework, projects, sports, and clubs. And every fall it’s the same thing — you try to prepare for it the best you can, but a lot of you end up stressed fairly quickly. The motivation to stay on schedule wears off, and before you know it, you are just trying to keep it together by making sure everyone is where they need to be on time, and everyone is fed.

As teachers, we get it. Most of us have children of our own. We know the hectic and busy lifestyle while trying to stay on top of our work and house, and still enjoy time as a family. There have been a few things that I have tried myself over the years. Some have worked, some have not. As a teacher, I want to share with you what works best for me not only as a teacher but as a parent as well.

First and foremost, ensure that your child has a planner. Some schools provide them, but others do not. If your school doesn’t, then make sure that your child has one. Set expectations for your child to write down all their assignments with due dates in the planner. Make it a habit to check it at night (preferably when you come home), so you can make sure that your child completes their assigned homework on time.

I get it, some nights are probably so busy with sports and work that it makes it difficult to get homework done. That being said, we as teachers, expect the homework to be completed. Homework is either a reinforcement of what has been taught in class that day or a review. Either way, homework is important to the classroom, and we love to have parents support us in helping or checking over their child’s homework. Assign a time in your house that homework has to be completed by in order for your child to do X, Y, and Z. Sometimes that may even mean completing it in the car on the way to practice. We get it; sports are a huge part of our lives nowadays, and there isn’t really much getting around multiple practices a week.

Second, buy a planner or calendar for the house that everyone uses. Place test dates and project dates on this calendar so you are aware of when your child needs to study and complete a project at home. I know as a parent that sometimes our kids like to surprise us and wait until the last minute to tell us. Ensure that you are communicating with your child about those expectations and reach out to the teacher if you are unsure of what’s next.

Third, read our newsletters and emails. Our newsletters typically come out either once a week or once a month. I promise you, these contain all of the important dates and events coming up. Make it a habit to write it immediately onto your calendar so you don’t forget. Even put a reminder on your phone. We appreciate it when parents read our newsletters as this contains most of the information that we need to communicate with our parents. Also, get into the habit of reading the school’s newsletters and emails, as sometimes they have great information about what is going on throughout the school and the community.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us! We love to have emails from our parents inquiring about projects and tests or even just checking in on how their child is doing. This allows us to know that you are supporting us in the classroom and supporting your child at home.

We also get that sometimes, things happen. Maybe an emergency came up and you had to take the whole family out of town quickly, so homework didn’t get done. Maybe practice ran super late and by the time you got home, everyone was falling asleep. Maybe you ended up having to work late and you forgot your child had to study for a test. We get it. We are human, too. We know that things come up, and we can be flexible for you and your family. In order to do that, we just ask for your support for the school year to ensure that your child has the smoothest and best year that they have ever had. We truly want the best for our students, and we can’t do that without our parents.

Our “Dear Parent, From a Teacher” series helps parents obtain the tools and insight to ensure a successful school year for their children. If you are a teacher who wishes to write a guest blog for this series, please email your topic to [email protected].


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