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Trusting and Supporting Teachers

By Traci Black Salari
 | Aug 23, 2016

Salari 082316We all send our “babies” off to school each day watching our greatest blessings exchange our hands for their teachers’. As they walk away, are you crossing your fingers each day hoping you made the correct choice in school placement?

Although we may worry, we also trust.  We breathe.  And we trust some more.  We trust that the education our children will have is rooted in love, safety, and knowledge. In the classroom there is joy, triumph, fatigue, and worry, although there are also deadlines, communication, paperwork, and management that must be on point to run a successful classroom where students become lifelong learners and thrive. We have to trust that all of that is happening. I know this from both sides of the desk, as the mother of two young boys and as a reading coach.

Until you have really lived the balancing act of a classroom teacher’s job, giving support, suggestions, or mandates can be too abstract and unrelatable. Every day, teachers are expected to reply to parent e-mail by the end of the day, hold guided reading groups, ensure a particular student is completing short-term goals for the individual behavior chart, tend to hurt feelings, celebrate small successes.

This is all to say, “trust me.” Parents, let me be your voice at your child’s school while you are at work. Trust me. Trust me to assist teachers in helping to meet your child’s individual needs. I, too, am balancing the trepidation about the start of school as a mother while also calming the fears of my fellow educators on the other side of the desk as a reading coach. I am walking in two sets of shoes.

Teachers, let me be your voice to administration.  Trust me to walk beside you and guide when necessary as you make literacy decisions for your classroom instruction and for individual students.  Let me be your biggest cheerleader because you have the most important job in the school.  

I want to help you grow professionally.  Sure, sometimes change is hard and feels personal.  Together, we can work through your concerns about change and peel them away like an onion.  The science of reading has changed since many of us have been trained.  You joined the teaching profession because it was your passion to help children, and now we know better how to do that.  Change will not happen overnight, nor will your comfort level with new ideas and strategies.  However, I would not help if I did not share with you up-to-date research and how best to help your students.  I have two voices at school.  My first voice speaks for the children—as their parents would—and what is best for student learning.  My second voice speaks for the teachers and the support they need to be successful.  Let me be those voices.

TraciSalariheadshotTraci Black Salari will soon embark on a new journey as the fifth-grade writing and word study teacher at the Whitehurst campus of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL.  She holds a master’s degree in reading education from Jacksonville University and is trained in Lindamood Bell reading intervention programs.  As an educator for 15 years, her career includes classroom teacher and learning specialist positions.

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