How you can help your teacher be successful


The importance of the role of a teacher cannot be overstated. In a world where we are preparing students to do jobs that haven’t been invented yet, the pressure can sometimes to overwhelming. Couple that with the demands of high stakes testing and constant action in the legislature that proves they don’t understand the current state of affairs in education, and you have a recipe for some very tired and anxious professionals who, through all

 that, still attempt to push for what’s best for kids. Through all that, they still work to include content and experiences that they know are relevant to getting kids ready to live in the world. After all, shouldn’t that be our ultimate goal?

To prepare kids to live and succeed in a global society and excel in whatever vocation they find passion should be our goal. Let’s not forget that we’re also partnering with parents to teach kids how to be good moms and dads when the time comes. It’s easy for most of us to forget that before teachers can do the work of teaching, they oftentimes must fill in the gaps of a kid whose mom couldn’t afford to by him a pencil. They look over the hole in the kid’s pants even though it’s out of dress code because they know that’s all he has. They go to the closet to find a shirt for the kid who has the same shirt on for the 3rd time this week. They write a note for a kid who arrives just on time to go to the cafeteria to eat breakfast because they know that’s one of the only two meals they’ll get that day. They give up their planning time to help a kid with work because even though dad wanted to help at home, he was working and wasn’t able to. The examples of servitude are endless.

This is the time of the year when teachers (and students) begin to get worn down. They’re nearing the end of their content and they’re shifting into review mode to make sure that kid that struggled all year or maybe even just on a particular unit doesn’t fall through the cracks. This is the time of year that teachers need your support and encouragement to fight the good fight and finish the course.

Here are 3 ways I believe you can support teachers (and their students) at this time of the year:

1. Communicate with them and let them know that you all are on the same team as it relates to your student. It’s important to remember that though parents and teachers may have different opinions from time to time, we all have the same goal: student achievement, both academic and personal. Teachers and schools have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose when any student isn’t successful.

2. Have real conversations with your students about the importance of working hard in school and being respectful to their teachers. All the research you can find points to effort and education as the two most important factors related to success in adulthood. The job is hard enough without a smart mouth adolescent thinking he knows more than a person who went to school for at least 4 years and has 10-15 years experience.

3. Build your school up in the community and help create the positive image that schools deserve, especially good ones. If you have legitimate concerns about something at school, talk to your child’s teacher. Again, remember that everyone is on the same team. Blasting anyone on social media and in the community really doesn’t help solve any problems. A simple conversation usually works out any issues or misunderstandings that may be present We’re better than that and we can do better than that!

Supporting teachers and kids to max on this journey,

Tyler Hansford is the principal at Union Middle School and will be the UPSD Superintendent July 1.