4th-Grade Teacher Sends ‘Handle With Care’ Note To All Parents For A Really Good Reason

As parents, we know exactly how our kids feel and behave and when they need some extra grace at school.

Things don’t remain the same every day and some days maybe be worse than others for our children, maybe they’re upset about what someone told them or they didn’t get a full night of sleep.

Fourth-grade teacher Rachel Harder understands that all too well and wants everyone to know to “handle with care.”

handle with care teacher note

Rachel Harder teaches in Hutchinson, Kansas, and recently has been handing messages to the parents of the students in her class this year that’s now been shared on social media by educators all over the country. She came up with the idea after attending a trauma conference a few years ago.

“There was a discussion how police stations across the country have started partnering with schools so that when they have encounters with families in the evenings or on weekends, the police will contact the school – either counselor or administrator – and let them know to handle a student with care since they had encounters with police beforehand,” Harder said. “We loved this idea and figured there had to be a way to make this work within our own classroom community. “

The next year, she had a new student who also had autism, some mornings she struggled to get to school and that’s when Harder started using the “handle with care” system with the girl’s mom.

“I knew that when she would text me that her daughter needed some extra time and a quiet location, not the gym for morning announcements so that the rest of her day went smoothly,” Harder said. “It’s important for me to give kids a few minutes of extra time or space – and it’s easy to give.”

Harder said the payout is “huge.” She said, “Give them a bit of time and the rest of our day tends to go a bit smoother.” That’s prompted her to use the same system with all the parents of her students.

“…they can just let me know it was a hard morning. I don’t need to know details but parents like that – they know I’m keeping an extra eye on them,” Harder said. “I also usually text back and let them know how the morning is going.”

{Handle with Care}🥰

Teacher friends, this is GENIUS!! This is a note that was shared with me. I’m told an elementary…

Posted by Angie Winn KCBD on Monday, 23 August 2021

The system is “giving kids the grace we all want after a hard night or morning,” Harder said. “We all have challenging mornings – we can’t find shoes, backpacks aren’t packed,” Harder said. “It’s doing for others what we would like done for us when we have days that are hard.”

She went on, “A lot of teachers do this without needing a text from parents. We know that kids need time and space and love just by the way they walk in the room. But, a heads-up from parents is wonderful if we can get that.”

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