It’s back to school time for the kids. Many of us have already finished back to school shopping. We’ve got our new school year started and are adjusting to the routine of school drop offs and pick up lines. Now that the busyness of getting back to school is done, it’s time to take a minute and learn a few things from the teachers. Think back to open house and remember how the classrooms looked. There are some definite things that teachers can teach us parents as we adjust to the new fall schedule.
Hobbies on a Budget received products or discounts from Oriental Trading for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
Things we can learn from Teachers
Everything has a place:
When you look around the classroom, you see order and organization. . Backpacks get placed in cubbies; pencils go in cute little boxes or jars; books go on the shelf; extra tape and glue get stored in a cute box with a lid. Now take a minute and look around your house. If you are like me, there are extra boxes of crayons that I bought for a quarter just tossed on a shelf. Supplies for the next craft are just stacked in a corner. The kid’s backpacks and shoes get heaped in a corner. We could take a lesson from teachers and organize things. In a 30 minute sweep of the house, we could clear the coffee table of watched movies, xbox games and magazines. Imagine how nice our homes would feel if we remember that everything belongs in its place.
I ordered these simple canisters and boxes from Oriental Trading. Now instead of having a drawer full of pencils, pens and dried out markers, we can easily find what we need. And these can even be used to help sort their LEGO bricks.
Everyone has a job:
I am always impressed when I help chaperone a school field trip or volunteer in the classroom and I see how smoothly things run. Most classrooms have a job chart and everyone fulfills that job. As Moms, we often think we have to do it all. But in reality, school and home both function best when everyone takes ownership and has a particular job or chore that they are responsible for.
Organization is pretty:
In the classroom, everything is functional and beautiful, but in our homes, we often think of organization as a functional necessity more than an opportunity to create beauty. This organization doesn’t have to be expensive. You can pick up colorful boxes that fit your style or create them yourself using colorful Washi tape or scrapbook paper.
When you do something good, you get a reward:
Remember how nice it was to get a scratch and sniff sticker on your paper when you got an A? Whether it’s a simple ‘thank you’, a new colorful pencil or a sticker on the assignment, teachers know that students need to be recognized for their good work. We should do the same thing at home. When we catch our kids cleaning their room without being asked, we should find a way to say thanks! When we finish a task, we need to take the time to reward ourselves with a cup of coffee or something small that helps us feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
I ordered these fun stickers for Natalie to use to decorate her notebooks and planner for school. Sometimes we forget the power of a new page of stickers!
Success should be displayed:
Like many of you, we have a place in our house where we display the kids projects and schoolwork. But this year I am taking a page from the teacher’s playbook and using a pocket chart that makes it even easier than ever to display their papers and work when they bring it home.
Another fun way to celebrate success is to use customizable key-chains. Last year my son played basketball and loved it! His team even won their tournament. So a simple picture key chain is a fun way for him to remember their success while he is making new friends and adjusting to the new school year.
Thank you Notes should be Timely:
I am always amazed at how quickly most teachers respond when the kids take Christmas gifts. Sometimes the thank you notes come home the very same day. Not only does this show the kids that saying thanks is important, it also makes it easier on the teachers so they don’t have to keep up with who they owe the thank you notes to. In our house, we keep a stack of thank you notes in a drawer so they are easily accessible. We make it even easier by keeping stamps right there beside the notes. Saying thanks should be an easy, common place occurrence that the family just does by habit.
What other things do you think we need to learn from teachers? I’d love to hear!
Excerpts of this article first appeared in the print edition of the Advocate Messenger, Danville Kentucky.