By GreatSchools Staff
The last weeks of the school year can stretch the stamina and budget of any parent.
You and your child will want to say thank you to the adults who have helped your child learn and grow this year, from the classroom teacher to the soccer coach and the bus driver. But the cost of all those individual gifts adds up fast.
You'll want to attend the class play and band recital, and figure out a way to get your child to all the rehearsals. You'll almost certainly be asked to bake cookies for the class party.
You and your child will probably also have questions about the coming school year: Will the teacher be a good match for your child? Will your child's best friend be in the same class?
Add a little anxiety about summer plans that are still coming together and you've got a recipe for stress.
Our GreatSchools staff has celebrated dozens of graduations and grappled with many end-of-the-year crises. We realized that there were tips we wish someone had shared with us. We offer some here in hopes that by planning ahead, you can spend less time buying last-minute gifts for the teacher and more time applauding your child's successes as the school year comes to a close.
If you're concerned about the teacher, class or program your child will be assigned next year, don't wait to find out how the system works at your school or the new school your child will attend. May and June are hectic months for principals and guidance counselors, so it's best to give the school any information you'll want them to consider as soon as you can.
Does your child benefit from a particular style of teaching? Now is the time to speak up. That doesn't mean asking for the teacher "everyone" wants because a teacher who is great for one child may not be right for yours, and school administrators are more likely to respond to "fit" issues rather than requests for specific teachers.
Write a letter to the principal (or the guidance counselor in middle or high schools) that explains your child's needs to officials and documents your concerns. You might write, for example, "I believe Alex will perform better in a classroom with a teacher who uses a gentle, guiding approach. That's why I am requesting Mr. X."
Think twice before asking to have your child's best friend in her class. Most kids are quick to make new friends, a life skill that serves them well. But there are exceptions, and this is the time to raise the issue, if you haven't already. If you are concerned, for example, that your child has become too dependent on another child, you may want to talk to the principal or teacher about separating them. Follow up your letter with a phone call.
Plan your gift to the teacher
Getting together with other parents to honor important teachers in your child's life can be less expensive than going it alone, and the gift you give can be priceless. But it takes a little planning. You might organize parents to decorate the teacher's lounge and host a staff lunch there, have each child contribute a page to a class scrapbook, or ask the businesses in your community to contribute gift certificates to your school's teachers. Whatever course you choose, it's easier to do now, than scramble the night before the last day of school.
Beat spring slump
It can be tough to maintain the homework routine when it feels like it's time for summer. Do you need to try new strategies to help your child keep up the momentum? Try the online homework help sites in Go Online for Homework Help. For general tips about fighting homework battles read Coping with Homework Horrors on GreatSchools.org.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.