A Teacher’s Take on Back to School for Parents

Here's the info teachers want you to know for back to school. Tips for parents.

A Teacher’s Take on Back to School for Parents

Well hello there!  Chances are if you’re reading this, you are a parent with a kiddo heading back to school.  You’re probably excited to get back to a routine and dreading getting back to a routine – in equal measures.  Summer is nice, right?  Moving at your own pace, doing whatever feels good for the day.  Once everyone starts school or schedules really aren’t our own anymore. 🙁  On top of those mixed emotions is also the headache of getting your child ready to head back.  Lucky for you, I have a teacher’s insight for back to school.  I can help you get yourself and your child ready for back to school.

First, let’s talk school supplies.  The dreaded list of supplies that specify exactly what your child needs and how many.  In addition to that there is always that one item you can’t seem to find anywhere.  So, my first suggestion is this.  If still have the opportunity and your child’s school offers them, buy the school wrap packs.  They get you everything your child needs without the headache of running all over town.  I used to think that I could buy the supplies cheaper myself; however, I learned that is now always the case.  In my opinion it’s worth the small premium to save my time and sanity and spend those last precious days with the kids.

Here's the info teachers want you to know for back to school. Tips for parents.

If that is not an option for you, or you prefer to buy your own, let me give you a few helpful tips.

  1. Buy Ticonderoga pre-sharpened pencils.  They hold up the best AND unlike the others, when your child goes to sharpen his pencil, they won’t eat up as much of the pencil.  Trust me, they‘re worth it.
  2. Buy Crayola.  Enough said.
  3. Plastic folders hold up WAY better than the paper versions that will have to be replaced sooner than later due to ripping, wrinkling, and accidental spills in class.
  4. Large school boxes are best.  Your child will have to hold all those pencils, markers, crayons, etc…  Small versions just can’t do it.
  5. Wide rule paper and notebooks.  Elementary kids are not ready to write on those narrow lines.
  6. Composition books hold up better than spirals.
  7. No spill, sport top water bottle – This is so 
    important.  Kids haveaccidents all the time.  With the sport top, when it happens they won’t ruin their or others stuff.  Your teacher will love you for this. 🙂
  8. Pick up some envelopes or zip top baggies for sending money to school and LABEL it.  Trusting your child with the money in their pocket is asking for trouble.  Also, when they drop the money on the teacher’s desk, she will have no idea where it came from.
  9. Paper towels for those pesky spills.  This may not be on the list, but the teacher will be so appreciative.
  10. Wide/large glue sticks are better than their smaller counterparts.

Bonus tip… stock up on extra supplies right now while they are available and on sale.  You’ll be glad you did when your child needs a replacement in December.

Other Back to School Teacher Tips

With school supplies taken care of, let’s talk about the stuff that will make YOUR life easier this school year and the things your child’s teacher wants you to know.

  1.  Lots of forms come home (especially at the beginning).  Complete them and return them ASAP or sooner.  Your teachers will thank you AND you won’t be as likely to misplace or forget them later.  Ditto with permission slips.
  2. Go through your child’s folder/planner EVERY day.  Make it part of your daily routine.  This is a primary way that your teacher and school will communicate with you.  Your child will forget to tell you about things.  This is your lifeline.
  3. Set aside a specific area in your home for your child to put their folder/papers etc…  That way, if you don’t get to it right away (life happens), you’ll know exactly where to find it when you have time.  Asking for duplicates from the teacher makes life harder for everyone.
  4. Make a note of your child’s PE schedule.  It is so important to know when they will need tennis shoes.  Even better, have your kiddo just wear them to school each day.  PE and recess are important times for them to be able to run and play.
  5. If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday during the school year, and the school/teacher allow it, make sure to also include napkins if you are sending in food.  Teachers do not have napkins, forks, etc… in the room.  If you choose to send in a cookie cake, make sure it is pre-cut.  Teachers do not have knives to cut them in class.
  6. If you child is absent, please alert the office as well as the teacher.  The office needs to track that information.
  7. If something is going on in your home life, please make the teacher aware.  Teachers can do so much more to help your child when they know what’s going on.  This goes for something small like, “she had trouble sleeping” to “the dog died” to “parents are separating.”  All these things can really affect your kiddo during the day.  Sometimes they need a little TLC, partner with your child’s teacher so that he or she can do that.
  8. Teachers cannot do it all.  They cannot fill in all the academic gaps of each child while monitoring behavior and individual needs.  Teachers need parents to help at home as well.  So, if your child is struggling in any area at school, please put in a little time at home as well.  Even 20 minutes a day can have a HUGE impact to your child’s success.
  9. Send in a snack.  Your child gets hungry – especially when they are used to snacking during the summer.  Kids don’t learn well if all they think about is how hungry they are.  Make it a healthy one too.
  10. Read class newsletters and emails.  Teachers do work hard to keep you in the loop of what’s going on at school.  Please do your part to stay informed.  Remember, it’s a partnership where everyone wants your child to be successful.


Well friends, I hope this helps get your school year off to a great start.  Do you have any special tips that you’d like to share?  Let me know in the comments below.


Until next time~



  1. My children are all grown, but I’ll share this with my world! coming from Motivational Mondays #38

  2. Thanks for the tips–the one about the water bottle hadn’t occurred to me. My daughter is medically required to carry one with her, and I’ve been sending her with one with a straw. Now I know I need to find her a different one!

    1. Author

      Oh! I am so glad it helped. I know the teacher will appreciate the sport top….there are lots of spills. 🙂 So glad you stopped by.

  3. Thank you for the back to school tips and sharing with us at #BloggersPitStop. Have a great weekend!

  4. YES on Crayola! These are perfect insider tips for our parents. It will make our lives so much easier.

    1. Author

      Thanks Brooke. To some people it may sound silly, but if you’re in the classroom, you know it’s true.

  5. This is such a helpful post, Jenny! It really is a partnership between parents, schools, teachers and children. Thank you so much for sharing with us at The Hearth and Soul Link Party. I’m featuring this post at the party this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there!

  6. There are some brilliant tips here for anyone returning to school. We’re not off an age yet where our daughter is going to school, but I wish that my parents had done some of these when I was at school. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    1. Author

      Well, thank you. I am so glad you found this helpful. I am sure when your daughter gets to be school aged, you’ll do fantastic! Thanks so much for visiting.

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