When you enter your child’s classroom you will find two adult-sized chairs. Choose a place and in fifteen minutes you may switch to another vantage point. This will enable you to get a chance to see the entire classroom area.
When you sit down children may come up to you – either your child or others. Please try not to engage them in conversation. A polite “hello” and a direct response as to who you are is fine. Then quietly ask the child to return to work. The children have been told before you come that your work is to watch them working and they will understand your response to them in that context.
If your own child cries, clings, is silly or ignores you completely, do not be surprised. We are not. Children respond differently to having their parents in the classroom than they do in the normal course of the school day or at home. It is the talent of the classroom teacher to deal with your child’s response and it is fine for you and your child to spend the observation time watching the class together if he or she is not able to leave your lap.
It is very likely that your child will offer you a snack while you are visiting. Although the fare may be meager (crackers and juice) remember that he or she is very proud to be able to put together and serve this food to you. Please do not refuse to partake of it even if it may not be your choice of food or if it means adding a few more calories to your diet. The joy that your child experiences in your eating the snack is a special delight to watch.
Teachers will not be able to take time from their classroom duties to converse with you either during or after your observation. If questions occur to you while you are watching, please write them down. Your child’s teacher will be glad to answer these questions within our normal parent-teacher procedure, by telephone or in person.