How Military Families Should Handle Meet the Teacher Day

“Hi! It’s so nice to meet you. Welcome to our classroom!”

Before you is a bright-eyed, chipper teacher, excited to see you. He or she wants to know about your child, your family, and what you need to succeed this school year.

Except you’re tongue tied and unsure what to say.

Here’s exactly how military families should handle meet the teacher day.

Meet the Teacher Day is super important. It helps to set the tone for the whole school year. You can also give your child’s teacher a little lead time to prep for any known concerns. Going to Meet the Teacher and being honest with the teacher is one of the best things you can do for your child this year.

Download All About Me for MilKids

Your child’s teacher will probably have something on hand to help her keep track of the students. But it totally helps to come prepared with your very own All About Me pack completed.

The free All About Me for MilKids helps to explain some of the ins and outs of military life. It’s specifically created with MilKids in mind. It includes space to share about their last duty station and tell about the friends there.

There is also a whole page just for parents, too! You’ll be able to share your concerns, special considerations, and contacts at your child’s last school.

As a special bonus, there is even a checklist to help speed up your enrollment process!

Be Honest

Now is not the time to sugar coat things. If your child honestly struggles with academics, distractions, or development issues, now is the time to alert the teacher. You need to tell:

  • special seating concerns
  • IEP or 504 Plan specifics
  • second language learning issues
  • social or friendship issues
  • family situations (ex: deployment)

If you want specific questions to ask or talking points, Talk to the Teacher can help you!

Take a Tour

If your family hasn’t walked around the whole school yet, now is a perfect time. The whole school staff is on hand to direct you. Find:

  • fastest or preferred route from the front door to their classroom
  • their locker, if one is assigned
  • the art and music rooms, PE room, any other specialist rooms
  • the cafeteria
  • nurse’s office
  • main office
  • playground
  • bathroom closest to each of these places

Schedule a Meeting

Meet the Teacher is not the time to pour out every single little detail about your child. It is the time to give the headlines or major concerns.

All children in schools come with baggage and special situations. Military kids come with a few very unique things: deployments, long separations, frequent moves, far from friends and family.

Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher for a few weeks after the first day of school. Set up the appointment at Meet the Teacher.

Setting it up for a few weeks later gives your child a chance to settle in. The teacher will also get to know your child and can better comment on his or her academic and social development.

Negative Comparisons

Kick these right out the door! Your child is probably already upset, sad, mad, disappointed, or grouchy about having to PCS away from their old school and friends. He or she is looking for reasons to dislike this new place and people.

Don’t feed into it! Even if the school you picked isn’t on par with your last one, keep it between you and your spouse. If you think the teacher isn’t a great match for your child, talk to your spouse, the teacher, and the school’s principal.

When a child sees his or her parents being negative about the school, teacher, or situation, they feel like they have permission to do the same. This can set up a conflict between your child and the teacher. In this situation, everyone loses.

If you need help navigating a sticky school situation, contact me!

Tell me how Meet the Teacher helps set your child up for success!

~Meg

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