As the new school year starts, inevitably there is a great deal of discussion – and often anxiety – about the new teacher(s) your kids will have. If it's a veteran teacher, then your family probably has a preconceived notion about what that teacher will be like. If it's a new teacher, then rumors have likely led to some assumptions. Either way, our views are tinted by the experiences of others – making it difficult to begin the year with a clean slate.
While it's true that there are some universally fabulous teachers, and some unfortunately poor ones, generally speaking the vast majority of teachers will be fine for most students, reaching some more effectively than others. Most of us can recall a few special teachers who made a difference in our lives. It's not necessarily that they were so magnificent, it's just that, for whatever reason, they made an impact on us.
I remember one teacher whom both of my girls had, two years apart. She was not stellar, not awful, and just fine for most kids. My oldest daughter hated her. My second daughter loved her. Different strokes for different folk. I remember another teacher who was SO strict that “everyone” hated her. She remains, today, my oldest daughter's favorite teacher. Go figure.
To give your child the BEST chance at being one of those kids for whom this year's teacher is spectacular, give the teacher the gift of a Clean Slate. Help your child get rid of all preconceived notions about this year's teacher(s), and give them a chance to be fabulous. Encourage your child to be curious, and allow his or herself to be surprised. You never know. Perhaps it's your child's lucky year!