8 Things Every Parent Should Do On The First Day Of School, According To A Teacher

Keep these in mind when you're dropping off your child.

woman carrying backpack Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock

It doesn't matter how little or large your children are, the first day of school will always be something special. Besides taking time for photographs, making special breakfasts, and hugging your growing baby so tight they probably get annoyed, there are a lot more parents should do to get their kids ready.

As a teacher, there are certain things I secretly hope parents will do on the first day of school (like surprise me with one of these sweet gifts), but really, those aren't nearly as important as the following eight things.


Keep reading to see what you can do to make sure your kid's first day (and year) goes great.

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1. Be on time.

I'm going to start with easily one of the most important tasks: be on time! The first day can be confusing, overwhelming, and crowded, so be sure to build in extra time for finding classrooms and giving a big hug goodbye (if they'll let you).

2. Take a few minutes with everyone before leaving.

While some kids might seem eager for their freedom on the first day of school and not glance back at you after spotting their friends, make sure to still check in with them one more time before you go. A simple hug can go a long way in making them feel loved and ready for a new adventure.


3. Make sure everyone eats a big breakfast. 

Doctors aren't kidding when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Ensuring that your kids' bellies are full with a nutritious breakfast will help battle hunger and increase focus during the school day.

4. Double-check backpacks.

The last thing anyone wants is to get to school and realize that special lunch or Summer assignment was left on the counter. Take a few minutes in the morning to recheck their backpacks, just in case.

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5. Turn in all forms.

If everyone turned in the requested forms on time, the whole school community could run more efficiently. Healthcare slips, physicals, updated IEPs, and emergency contact sheets need to be given to school support staff as soon as possible.


6. Don't overwhelm the teacher. 

The beginning of school is not the time to bombard the teacher with a multitude of concerns and questions. Absolutely feel free to introduce yourself, but if you have any bigger talking points, send them in an email later.

7. Leave.

I know saying "goodbye" is hard, even if it's only for a few hours, but after you've given your child the biggest hug of their lives and told them you love them, please leave. Hanging out in a corner to observe makes it harder on them, and makes it nearly impossible for teachers to properly do their jobs.

8. Take some time to yourself. 

Chances are it's been a long Summer, and sending your kids off to school can be emotional. After dropping them off, give yourself a small break, even if it's just an extra cup of coffee or a morning yoga class. Breathe in the sweet feeling of starting a new year, and trust that our teachers are nurturing, protecting, and teaching your kids.

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