12 ways to support teachers and schools in Birmingham this fall, including how to send them on a beach trip

Bham Now Teacher support
Photo courtesy of Birmingham City Schools

Packing lunch boxes. Carpooling to school. Homework. It’s back to school time in Birmingham. How can you help your child and your child’s teacher have the best school year yet?  Bham Now has pulled together 12 tips to help you through.

Bham Now Teacher support
Photo of Mayor Woodfin greeting students courtesy of the Mayor’s Office

1. Give the teacher background on the way your child interacts and learns- No one knows better than you your child’s strengths, personality and challenges to learning. Let the teacher know these things up-front so that there is a connection.

2. Make sure your child gets to school on time and ready for class so that they can understand the day’s expectations and be relaxed about it.

3. Prepare your child for learning by implementing a family bedtime routine family breakfast and dedicated study time.

Bham Now Schools
Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools

4. Volunteer in your child’s classroom or school. In the Birmingham City Schools for example, parents can become involved in planning committees, participate in events like Education Week’s parents’ day Nov. 13, help with events, reading programs and serving on an advisory council.

Bham Now Teachers
Photo of Dr. Lisa Herring and students courtesy of Birmingham City Schools

In July Dr. Lisa Herring, Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools revealed the Force for Greatness strategic plan for the Birmingham City Schools. The plan outlines four key areas that the school system will focus on for the next five years: 1) Equipping students with the tools they need to be succeed in life. 2) Training teachers to be excellent leaders. 3) Increase parent involvement in the city schools and 4) Improve facilities and buildings.

Bham Now Teachers
Photo of volunteers courtesy of Trussville City Schools

In the Jefferson County Schools parents work with teachers in Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) or volunteer in the children’s classrooms. Check out volunteer opportunities in Alabama School of Fine Arts, Bessemer, Trussville, Hoover, Homewood and Vestavia Hills schools.  

5. Volunteer outside of the classroom by helping teachers prepare for a class project or field trip.

6. Keep an open line of communication with your child’s teacher. Let the teacher know if there is a problem at home. Also, if you sense a problem in the classroom, you should discuss that problem with your child’s teacher as soon as possible.

Bham Now Teachers
Photo courtesy of the Alabama School of Fine Arts

7. Help with school fundraisers or donate to your child’s school. Classroom dollars are always short, so monetary gifts help.

8. Respect the teacher’s time! You child’s teacher has to give attention to all of his or her students.

9. Promote school activities on your social platforms!

Bham Now Schools
Photo of students at Vestavia Hills City Schools

10. Support your child’s teacher by making sure homework gets done or by reading and signing important documents sent home by the teacher.

11. Show appreciation for your child’s teacher. Send an email or hand-written note to thank your child’s teacher for helping your child learn.

12. Nominate an outstanding teacher or school for these wonderful contests!  The local Birmingham company, Planet Fundraiser, is promoting a ‘Send Teach to the Beach Campaign’. http://www.teachtothebeach.com/ Simply go to the link above and enter your child’s teacher’s name and why the teacher is being nominated. Then the teacher will be entered into a contest to win a free weekend at 30A. What teacher would relish a little fresh air and sunshine?

Bham Now Teachers
Photo courtesy of Bessemer City Schools

“Send Teach to the Beach is all about celebrating our teachers. We know back to school is one of the craziest times of the year for educators,” said CJ Britton, Director of Marketing, Planet Fundraiser.  “So we want to give students, parents and other faculty the opportunity to nominate a deserving teacher with a free weekend at the most beautiful beach in the world! It’s our simple way of telling a teacher “thank you” for the impact they make everyday in student’s lives!”

Crayola is asking you to upload a thank you note for a teacher for a chance to win a $10,000 classroom makeover, $1000 also will be awarded to the winning student and teacher! The student’s thank you note to be featured on a box of crayons!

Rack Room Shoes Rack launched the Real Teacher of the Year Contest, and will award five winning teachers a computer lab grant valued at $10,000 will be used towards technological upgrades at their respective schools. Additionally, each winning teacher will receive Free Shoes for a Year.

We hope that these 12 tips help you, your child and your child’s teacher have a very successful school year!

Kara Kennedy
Kara Kennedy
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