A parent and former middle school teacher uses thank you notes at the start of the year to foster ties with her child’s teachers.

By Johanna Rauhala

As a peer coach who supports new teachers and a former middle school teacher, I’m a dual citizen of the worlds of parenting and education. I tread lightly here because I never want my role as a school employee to come across as meddling or to create power struggle with the teacher. I rarely mention my job or my role and keep my school and parent dual citizenship to myself.

But lately I have been thinking about the ways that I, as a parent, can support teacher resilience. I want to build a relationship that includes a personal connection so my daughter’s teachers know they can communicate openly.

At the end of each school year, I often write emails or letters to teachers to thank them for their efforts with my daughter and to express my appreciation for the hard work they do.

This year, as my daughter entered her first year of high school, I decided to do something different: I wrote my thank you notes at the start of the year. Writing initial notes of gratitude offers opportunities to connect, provide support, and share information with your child’s teachers.

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