Teachers continue to face rising pressures from government-imposed rules and regulations, economic cutbacks, state mandated tests and curriculums such as the “No Child Left Behind” Act and parents who want their children to succeed in spite of it all.  In addition, there is a continual lack of funding for special education teachers, leaving responsibility for implementing individualized special education plans on the backs of teachers who were not trained as special education teachers in the first place.  To make matters worse, some parents can be hostile and critical if teachers do not give their children stellar grades, and aren’t afraid to complain to the principal or the school board if they think their children are being slighted somehow.  Given these difficulties, teachers can quickly become jaded and cynical and lose motivation.


There are many things parents can do to help motivate their children’s teachers.  Parents who are involved in their children’s education are a teacher’s greatest resource.

Parents can provide invaluable insight into their children’s behavior and can reinforce the educational goals being set in class.  Making sure that your child does his or her homework and turns it in on time sends a message to the teacher that you care about your child’s academic progress.  Helping your child prepare for tests, follow school rules and always being on time for school send the same message.


A teacher who enjoys the cooperation of the parents of his or her students benefits greatly from their participation.  This, in turn, motivates the teacher to work hard to ensure the academic success of her students.  As one teacher told a group of parents, “I promise not to believe half of what your child says happens at home if you promise not to believe half of what your child says happens at school!”


In addition, parents can volunteer to assist in school activities.  Teachers are sometimes overwhelmed with responsibilities in the classroom and are then expected to supervise school parties and field trips.  Offering to accompany your child’s class to these events  tells the teacher that you support them and their goal of educating your child and offers them real support and encouragement.


We all need a little appreciation now and then.  Sometimes the one thing a teacher wants to hear is a simple “thank you.”  Teachers have made great sacrifices in order to enter the classroom and work hard to help their students achieve.  Faced with constant budget cuts, many teachers purchase school supplies from their own money.  A sincere thank you from a parent, in the form of a “thank you” note, is another thing parents can do to motivate teachers.  Teachers hear lots of criticism from angry  parents and community members.  A compliment or two can go a long way towards encouraging teachers and reinforcing their desire to help their students succeed.


Therefore, the best motivator of your child’s teacher is to let him or her know that you appreciate the hard work they are doing, that you support your child’s teacher in her efforts to teach your child, and to communicate with the teacher on a regular basis, letting him know that you are as interested in your child’s education as they are.