It's a new school year which means new pencils, new notebooks, and gasp... new teachers! Now, I'm not sure if you are aware but teachers... are... PEOPLE. It was always weird for me to see one of my teachers out in public. Like, what, you shop? You don't eat, sleep, and live in the classroom all day and night?

And with people comes different personalities. Some are very sociable and want open communication with parents and some are more private and want to keep it strictly professional. As a parent, I'm never really sure how to approach this each new school year. It's almost like dating. Do I call them first? Do I give them my email and see what happens? Should I - gasp - Facebook friend them? Sweet baby Moses, no! Don't come in hot, Ashley. Let them friend you. But, I don't want our first communication to be regarding my child acting a turd, you know?

My child is 17 and in your Calculus class - let's be Facebook official!

In the past, I've let my daughter's teachers drive the communication. If they Facebook friend request me, then I accept. So far, I am 5 and 5! And, I know as she grows, getting to know your child's teacher is less appropriate. My child is 17 and in your Calculus class - let's be Facebook official! And I understand why some teachers want to keep it professional - teaching is their job. But, I love having the personal connections too. Last year, I was freaking out because I was in Kentucky when there were multiple tornado warnings here in the tri-state. My daughter's teacher was texting me to let me know that my daughter had a panic attack but was okay. She held her through the storm while they hunkered down in the bathroom. God love her!

So, here's what I've come up with. At the beginning of the year, I give my child's teacher her welcome gift. My go-to is an insulated cup in the school colors with the school mascot decal on it. I include a card with my contact info... you know... JIC. I want them to know they can reach out to me at any time. I like having that open line of communication and NOT waiting until my child acts like a turd. If I'm aware of a situation ahead of time, I can usually solve the issue (99% of the time - it's an earlier bedtime) or at least talk her off the ledge. I would think that most teachers want parental involvement at this level. But becoming Facebook official - well, the ball is in their court!