While parents understand that a lot happens in between dropping their child off at school and seeing them at the end of the day, many don't recognize exactly what it's like. Along with the books, tests, and classroom assignments, your child's world is revolving around actively turning into a little person within his or her classroom community. In order for parents to better relate to their children and understand their daily experiences, one anonymous teacher shared nine things about a typical school day that most parents don't realize — but should.
They turn into your mini me — for better or for worse.
Why your child acts or speaks a certain way usually all makes sense to teachers come parent-teacher conferences. But your mannerisms and expressions aren't the only things your little one brings to the classroom; they also share your team spirit, work ethic, and drive — or lack thereof. Your problems also have a way of creeping into your child's day and teachers as well as their friends definitely pick up on it. The impact of a fight you had that your little one overheard or a chaotic morning can be observed in your child even after you've forgotten about it.
Recess means something different for every child.
Most kids love recess, but it can be for two very different reasons. While this time is an opportunity to go outside and run around with friends, some embrace it as a chance to spend time with their teacher in a more personal setting. Sometimes recess is when your child is thriving on the court or making new friends, but it can also be when they are developing confidence and feeling secure in the classroom setting thanks to some extra time inside instead of out.
Just because they do it at home doesn't mean they can do it at school.
Oftentimes parents are frustrated with tests that are marked incorrect because they know their child can do it — they even saw them answering those questions correctly at home! However, this can be a warped sense of reality and parents need to understand what they see at home isn't what happens at school because of their involvement. Parents who hover too much during homework time or "help" with assignments are actually hurting their child's growth because when they have to do the same work at school (and independently), they don't know how. These kids don't know how to correctly answer questions in school even though they got them right at home because they don't know how to complete all of the steps with out some extra help from you. Your involvement outside of school can hurt them in the classroom and leave them struggling even more.
Every child has a role within the classroom community.
Your kids are essentially dealing the same politics that parents experience in the adult world. As kids interact within their classroom community, roles are unconsciously given and both kids and teachers work within these labels. Children know who the kind kid is if they're having a bad day, the troublemaker, and the good student, and they naturally embrace their own roles while finding where they fit. Where their spot is on the carpet is also a good indicator of their role — teachers often place the kids they can depend on to pay attention in the back or a shy child next to another who has a reputation for always being friendly. This gives students an equal opportunity to learn within those roles.
Hurt feelings aren't always a bad thing.
School isn't just about reading and writing; it's also about learning social skills that are equally important. During their time in the classroom, children are learning how to become people. Kids can be mean — oftentimes because they don't realize — but when your child's feelings get hurt during the day, it's an invaluable opportunity for them to learn how to react in an appropriate way and recover from the upset.
They blossom when you drop them.
Just because your child seems shy or clingy around you doesn't mean that's how they still are moments after you leave. Some children really do transform into completely different people when they aren't guided by you and it's important for parents to never assume that their child takes on the same role at school as they do at home.
There's way more joy than you realize.
Despite the dread of homework and agony of tests, school can be a bright area for your child. Kids still laugh and play throughout the day and within that, they are learning how to communicate, be good citizens, and work within a community. They might come home upset about the amount of work or a mean kid, but that doesn't mean that there weren't smiles and laughter during the day.
You're probably thinking about them way more than they're thinking about you.
Separation can be hard for some students, but despite the drop-off meltdowns, kids quickly forget the upset after their tears have dried. While many parents spend all morning thinking about how upset their child was and worrying about how he or she is doing, most kids quickly recover and don't realize how much they missed you until you are united again. Even if your child was hysterical when you said goodbye, chances are you weren't the focus of the rest of their day.
Their teacher has their best interests at heart — even if he or she is teaching them Common Core.
Most teachers are just as dedicated to your child's development as you are. Even if it seems like what your child is doing is a waste of time, you have to trust that your child is going to gain something from it, even if it wasn't what or how you learned. If your child comes home with what seems like a ridiculous assignment, often it's because his or her teacher doesn't have a choice in the matter and is embracing it to make the most of the learning opportunity for your kid.