Reception class is the place where little ones find their feet and tentatively start out on the first step of their educational journey. Reception teachers have such a pivotal role in the first year of your child’s education - they will work with your child to embed a positive attitude towards work and learning, instill an expectation of behaviour, and also introduce them to the excitement of discovery. Encouraging 4 and 5 year olds to love books, be excited by words and to relish numbers is no easy task... reception teachers are worth their weight in gold!
As well as creating a sound foundation for your child’s learning, a reception teacher is a key stepping stone into your child’s school career and will hopefully spark their thirst for knowledge. But what do reception teachers wish that parents would do to make their life that little bit easier?! Here we look at all the things reception teachers wish parents would do so you can get off to a flying start when your little one starts school!
7 Things Reception Teachers Wish You’d Do as a Parent...
1. Prior Planning
Teachers want parents to be organised and prepared so that they can get on and teach. This means having drinks bottles filled up before school, packing a coat in case it rains, bringing sun cream in (the rare!) case of sun and ensuring that your little one has all the elements to make their school day as stress-free as possible. They don’t want to be chasing each student for their snack/library book etc…it’s the responsibility of a parent to make sure the book bags have everything required. It’s also a good idea to get it all ready the night before so that your little one doesn’t have a stressful morning before starting the school day (easier said than done, we know). A peaceful start to the day gives little ones a good footing so that they are calm and collected before their school day.
2. Label EVERYTHING
Following on from point 1, teachers just don’t have the time to reunite 30 children with 30 stray nameless t-shirts after PE… imagine! Encourage your little one to take ownership of their belongings by putting things away in labelled pencil cases and bags, and making sure they use their own named peg at school. Labelling clothing, shoes, stationary and books is one of the first things you’ll need to do to make sure that nothing gets lost at school. If you label everything with your child’s name your reception teacher will love you forever. We have shoe name labels, school bag labels, all sizes of clothing labels and even allergy labels in case your child has an allergy that school needs to be aware of. Just make sure you use a good quality label such as ours because having to re-do your labelling half way through the school year is no fun!
3. Keep Teachers in the Loop
If your little one has had a bad night’s sleep, is sad about a lost teddy or is bothered by something that happened at school then let the teacher know. If they aren’t made aware of problems then they can’t help. Letting your child’s reception teacher know of any niggles your child may have will make teaching easier and make your child happier throughout their school day. Send in a note in their book bags or have a quick word with the teacher or teaching assistant at school pick-up. Keeping a good level of communication with your child’s reception teacher is key for a happy two-way relationship between school and home life. That said, with 30 kids to welcome into class don’t keep the teacher chatting for ages, be aware that they have lots of other parents to deal with too! Keep it brief at the classroom door, or schedule a meeting if it needs a long chat.
4. Make Sure They Know of Medical Needs
If your child has a health condition it’s important that your reception teacher is made aware how to handle it. For example, if he/she has asthma then it is really useful if an inhaler (which has been name labelled!) can be left at school so there’s never any risk of the child being without one when he/she might need it. Likewise with any allergies or intolerances- if your child has an allergy make sure your teacher is aware of it (with allergy labels on lunchboxes and bottles) so they can be fully prepped in the event of any mishaps.
5. Don’t Compare Your Child with Others
Every child is a beautifully unique being with their own interests, strengths and passions. Comparing your child to other children and bringing your comparisons to the note of the teacher is never going to be a constructive exercise and will only cause problems for the teacher and the children involved. Children all progress at different rates and at this tender age, reception class children will develop at sometimes wildly different speeds to their peers. THIS IS NORMAL! Yes you want your child to do well, but please trust your reception teacher and know that they are working hard to bring out the individual best in each and every child. Promise.
6. Prepare for After School Melt-Downs
Your child is most comfortable and at ease in your company at home. At school he/she will be on their best behaviour and holding it together all day as they deal with all the new noise, activity and restraints of school life. When your child gets home it’s very likely that they’ll experience some kind of after-school restraint collapse because they are finally at home where they can relax and release all that pent up tension from the school day. Give them space and time to chill, keep after school clubs to a minimum in reception class and ensure that they go to bed early to minimise any exhaustion from this first year at school.
7. Read, read, read
Reading with your child every day is the single most important thing you can do as a parent. Not only does it help you to bond and connect with your child, but it helps to grow their interest in books and words and hopefully paves the way for a lifetime love of literature. Whether it’s a school book, a library book or comic, remember that reading is crucially important and there’s no app to replace your lap!
Here at My Name Label we try hard to support parents and make their lives that little bit easier so we hope that this insight into the mind of a reception teacher proves helpful to you and your little ones. If you are a reception teacher or a parent with some additions to this list then please share them over on our Facebook and Instagram. We can’t wait to share your ideas!