I shared this on Facebook first, but I thought I’d go a little off-topic and post it here, too. I have very few requirements for my kids’ teachers, but here are the biggies.
1. Smile. You should act like you want to be there and are happy to see your kids. Your attitude makes their attitudes. Whoever first said, “Don’t smile until after Christmas” was an idiot.
2. Expect the world from my kids. They are fully capable of hitting the targets you set, whether high or low.
3. Connect. Your relationship with my kids is MUCH more important to their learning than how well you know the TEKS or the latest pedagogy.
4. Be fair. If my kids do the crime, they should do the time, and I will support you 100% of those times. Communal punishments (e.g. No one gets recess because 2 kids were talking out of turn.), however, are a pathetic excuse for discipline, and they’re lazy. How would you like it if the police wrote you a ticket because the guy passing you is speeding? I was guilty of this a time or two myself, but we learn from our mistakes.
5. (You had to know this was coming!) Mix in opportunities for them to use high-level, relevant skills often. Creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, technology. These will have a much greater impact than knowing who the 17th president was (Andrew Johnson, by the way–isn’t that some valuable knowledge?).

That’s it. Do those things, and my kids will continue to love school and grow as students and people. Don’t do those things, and I’ll be setting up a conference shortly. Actually, if you do these things, I’ll come see you, too–to thank you in person.