With many students already back at school and the remainder starting in the next couple of weeks, Arizona’s educators are hard at work doing what they love – helping our kids succeed. Many parents aren’t aware just how much work teachers do while our kids are not in the classroom: preparing lesson plans, grading papers, administrative work, helping with extracurricular activities, communicating with parents, and a lot more. Teachers begin their days early in the morning and often take work home with them at night.

While we hope you will join us in advocating for policies that lead to increased compensation, opportunities for meaningful professional development, and better working conditions for Arizona educators, there is plenty you can do to support your child’s teachers in their classrooms today.

Here are 5 activities you can offer to help with:

Make copies

  • Teachers spend countless hours before and after school making copies for their students. Your child’s teacher may be able to prepare items for you to copy while they are busy in the classroom. This will allow you to copy the materials at times when the copy machines are less busy. Check with your child’s school for their policies regarding guests in the staff workrooms.

Lead a reading group

  • Differentiated instruction is key for students. While your child’s teacher is leading one group of students, you can guide an activity or read with another group of students. Students generally rotate through groups and you’ll get to work with lots of students in the class. 

Set up large classroom projects

  • Many lessons, especially for science and social studies, require materials to be set up and lots of preparation in the classroom. Your child’s teacher may need some extra help getting set up for the lesson if they are quickly transitioning from one subject right to the other. It is extremely helpful for you to get the lesson ready while the teacher is finishing the previous lesson and getting the students ready for the new material.

Present to the class about your career

  • It’s always enjoyable for students to learn about different careers. Check with your child’s teacher to find out when they are learning about something similar to your career and offer to present. Hearing about how the lesson applies to your job will make the material students have recently learned relevant and exciting.

Prepare materials at home

  • If you don’t have time to dedicate to the classroom during school hours, offer to help prepare materials at home. Many teachers are able to send materials home with students that need to be cut and organized or collated for lessons. Then you just send it right back to school with your student.

Your child’s teachers will each have different needs, so always feel free to ask, “How can I help?” They’ll appreciate the gesture, and likely take you up on your offer.