Sunday, August 5, 2012


As you begin the school year, I have a little piece of advice they never taught you in college.  SAY SOMETHING NICE to each parent about his or her child.  We are all anxious when we let our children go, and a compliment or kind word about a child can go a long way to establishing a positive relationship.

Our grandson K.J. visited us this summer and attended day camp.  Each day when I picked him up I waited for one of the counselors to say something nice.  “Thanks for coming K.J.”  “You did a great job playing soccer.”  “You’re a great camper.”  “You’re so enthusiastic.”  (I mean, if you can’t think of anything you can always go for enthusiasm.)  I know that K.J. is awesome, but it would have made my heart sing to hear someone else reaffirm that.

Some of you may have heard the story about my friend’s grandson David.  After his first day of school his grandmother asked, “Did you like school today?”  David replied, “Oh, yes, granny!  And they asked me to come back tomorrow!”  How sweet if you would tell your students before they go home the first day how glad you are to be their teacher and “I hope you’ll come back tomorrow.”

When I taught I made a point of calling each parent during the first two weeks of school.  “I just wanted to tell you how happy I am to have (child’s name) in my room.  I know we’re going to have a great year.”  A personal email or note would have the same positive effect.

You’ve all heard, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  Finding a special characteristic in each child and communicating that to parents is a simple act of kindness that will let them know how much you do care!