Probably the best thing about teaching students for 10 months is that we develop relationships that last. While we have many learning conversations and class discussions, the relationships that parents have with their children grow with their child.
Every year, each group of students has different social and emotional needs that come up in class conversations. It can be anything from gossiping to table manners. Social, Emotional, and Academic learning is actually our school and county’s goal this year. Maybe things come up from what I observe at recess, or things that kids talk about in the bathroom, or things that happen in PE or in the lunchroom. These are times when I’m not within hearing distance of the kids’ conversations, and it’s natural for students to love to interact with and learn from their peers!
Here are some conversation topics that we reinforce at school, that would be good, ongoing conversation topics for home. I think it will surprise you at how great the conversation goes!
1. If something happens between your child and another student, tell the teacher that they’re with as soon as it happens. Teachers need to be able to address it immediately.
2. Please converse about things that are appropriate to talk about at home vs. things that are appropriate to talk about at school. This may include private body parts and functions, the difference between a joke that everyone enjoys vs. a joke that embarrasses someone else, age-appropriate topics vs. grown-up topics, etc. We just try to make it our goal in class to say only kind and appropriate things. I understand that it’s hard to have a filter when you’re 7, but it’s why we talk about it!
3. At recess, we talk about appropriate two-hand touch areas, like the shoulder, back, and arms. Please encourage your child to be careful about where they touch, who they touch, how they touch, and if your child is touched in an area or way that’s uncomfortable, please tell the teacher as soon as it happens.
Even though I rarely see this with my students, they do get exposed to things, usually by accident, and we do have to have learning conversations. They do a great job after we address the topic and usually it doesn’t happen again. We see more of this in third grade and upper grades, but I just wanted to encourage you because they do result in some positive learning opportunities and relationship-building opportunities with your child.
I love the way Josh McDowell had open conversations with his kids regarding relationships, technology, and everything in-between in the article below if you want to check out this podcast and article with his conversation about it.
Some other books I love are: Lies Girls Believe (This book was great for me to read, personally. It comes with a mom’s guide book to talk it through with their daughters. This may be good for 5th grade girls and up, but some of the topics do come up occasionally in 2nd grade. They also make a version for young women and women.) https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Girls-Believe-Truth-that/dp/0802414478
Raising Men, Not Boys (There is also a CD version too!) https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Men-Not-Boys-Shepherding/dp/0802416578
The Tech-Wise Family (This is next on my reading list sitting at home.) https://www.amazon.com/Tech-Wise-Family-Everyday-Putting-Technology/dp/0801018668
These are just great resources that I have found valuable. Obviously, with a 1-year-old son, I haven’t had the opportunity to have open conversations with my child, but I want to share these resources with you!
I have such a great group of students and families. Thank you so much for all you do.