Back to School is back again, and here are a few things teachers would like the parents of their new cohort of students to keep in mind.

Teachers begin the year with a lot on their minds. They have to get to know twenty to thirty new kids, with all of their needs and foibles, and have to be ready to support those needs, some of them conflicting, right off the bat. Parents can be either their biggest allies or their worst impediments, and teachers want to help parents help them.

Tip 1: Let the teacher know what you did this summer.

Children have different needs coming back to school if they spent all summer staying up all night or if they spent eight weeks at structured camp.

Tip 2: Got a problem? Talk to teacher first.

If your child is having trouble in their class, especially conflict with another child, don’t go to the parents of the other kid first. Contact the teacher, and be prepared to listen to what they have to say. Looping in the other parents and the principal first may feel like doing what’s best for the students, but it may be escalating something beyond what’s good for anyone.

Tip 3: Don’t call or text with your kid at school.

Kids are already paying too much attention to their phones in class. Parents don’t need to be part of the problem. Be aware of your child’s schedule, so you can contact them at lunch if it’s important. If they contact you, especially complaining about something that’s going on in class, waiting to respond may see the situation resolve itself.

Tip 4: Include your children.

When you’re talking to the teacher about your child’s progress or needs, include the child. That way, kids, parents, and teachers hear the feedback together, and there’s no game of telephone with details lost or warped along the way.

The most important thing, above all else, is communicate with your teacher in good faith, and trust that they are doing the same.