Kid President paved the way for highlighting things we should all say more often. His YouTube video on this subject has well over 17 million views, and it’s a great reminder that we can always use little more kindness in our lives.
This idea of expressing kindness is so important right now. As parents or teachers (and sometimes both in many cases) we can easily become caught up in our daily lives, and we forget to acknowledge the hard work of others around us. So, as a lead in to Teacher Appreciation Week coming up in May, and in an effort to promote general gratitude and kindness, below are 12 things parents and teachers should say to each other more often.
What parents could say to teachers…
“I see how hard you’re working.”
Many teachers go out of their way to keep things running smoothly in the classroom, but parents rarely see this up close. From answering emails in the evenings to prepping on the weekend, as parents, we can all do more to acknowledge their hard work. (As many of us know, it’s tough having a good work-life balance, especially now.) It would be great if parents could lead with recognition of all teachers do before making new or more demands.
“I know you care.”
Teachers see weaknesses and strengths in our kids. They’re fiercely rooting for their overall success. Yes, as parents, we’re inevitably going to have questions and concerns about our kids, but if we started more conversations with “I know you care,” wouldn’t that make a huge difference?
“I know you’re juggling a lot.”
Ok, so this is similar to the previous statement, but again, the number of demands on the shoulders of educators keeps growing by the day, week, and year. Most parents don’t realize what’s being asked of teachers, so just acknowledging it can certainly help.
“I support you.”
This one is a big one. Teachers and parents will always accomplish more when working together as a team. Sometimes as parents we can often come off as accusatory, or make teachers feel as if they aren’t doing enough. Offering support makes a difference, and it can go such a long way.
“My child loved ___________.”
Teachers often hear about what isn’t working well, or what students and parents don’t like. But it’s oh-so important for teachers to also hear about what our kids do at home. We can bring a lot of positivity to a teacher’s day just by sharing the good things our kids are talking about outside the classroom.
Saying thank you, even for things that might seem small, can really make someone’s day—and this is definitely true for teachers. Teachers make students’ lives easier and better every day, so let’s acknowledge that as often as we can.
Teachers could say this to parents…
“I appreciate your support.”
It may not always feel as if parents are offering support, but when they do, it’s important to tell them how much you appreciate it. By recognizing those moments, it’ll (hopefully) encourage parents to do this more often.
“It’ll be okay.”
It’s stressful being a parent, and receiving less-than ideal news about your child’s academic or behavioral performance isn’t easy. Whether it’s a disciplinary or academic concern, be sure to take the time to remind parents that things will be okay in the long run. You might be the only one to tell them this, and you might also be the only one who can help them believe it, too.
“Your child loves ___________.”
Parents love hearing day-to-day details about their kids. Yet, when they ask, “How was your day?” they might not receive much feedback from kids themselves. Anytime you, as a teacher, can give them a little insight, they’re sure to be grateful. Plus, it’s a good way to build strong long-term relationships with parents.
“We’re in this together.”
Again, parents and teachers always do better when they work together. But sometimes you just need to hear that simple statement. Telling parents you’re on their side speaks volumes.
“You’re doing a good job.”
This one can be difficult at times, but it can also really help build strong relationships with parents. If you find silver linings, or tell parents you appreciate them and their efforts in some way, it matters, and will only make it easier for them to talk things out with you in the future.
“Thanks for reaching out.”
For some parents it might not be easy to reach out or speak up with their concerns. Saying “thank you for reaching out” is great positive reinforcement for any situation, especially tense ones. It might seem like a small thing, but it can be a powerful way to start and end a conversation.
Let’s face it, right now we’re all busy and guilty of becoming wrapped up in the day-to-day hustle. We often forget to slow down or acknowledge the good in each other, even when we want to. Hopefully these simple ideas of what to say will help you get these important conversations started. When we remember to spread more kindness, as both parents and teachers alike, we not only make things better (and easier) for each other, but we’re setting an amazing example for our kids, too.