6 out of 10 parents stay in touch with their childhood teachers

Teachers make such an impact on us – six in 10 parents claim they can name every teacher they had in their childhood (62%), according to a new survey.

The study of 2,000 American parents of children ages 0 to 18 examined respondents’ early childhood education memories and revealed that three in four parents credit their former teachers for positively influencing their lives (76%) — such as showing them how to be a better person (58%), impacting the hobbies they picked up (52%) and half even saw them as a role model (51%).

What parents remember the most about their early childhood education experience is learning new subjects (56%), making new friends (55%) and learning how to be creative (53%).

Teacher talking to her young students who are sitting at a classroom table.
73% say if it weren’t for their teachers, they wouldn’t be the person they are today.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Almost half of parents also consider having their teachers invest in them (48%) and playing with their favorite toy or game (47%) as some of their best school memories.

That may be why 73% say they learned more life and social skills during their early school years versus their later ones.

The research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care system further suggests that teachers play a very important role in their students’ lives — since 73% say that if it weren’t for their teachers, they wouldn’t be the person they are today.

It’s no surprise that two in three parents (68%) had a “favorite” teacher when they were in school, and 60% even admit that they still stay in touch with one or several former teachers from their childhood.

But why was their “favorite” teacher their favorite? One parent said, “Because she took her own time to help me get caught up in math.” Others recalled that their teachers “influenced the career I chose” and “they gave me extra help.”

Most respondents keep in contact with their elementary school (59%) and preschool (54%) teachers – mainly because they want to know how they’re doing (71%), to show their appreciation (66%) and to keep them up to date with their lives (61%).

Kindergarten teacher sitting on chair in classroom with pupils.
60% of those surveyed say they keep in touch with one or several former teachers from school.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“We’ve seen how the pandemic has deeply affected teachers,” said Joy Turner, vice president of education for the Kiddie Academy brand. “These findings speak to how integral they are in our students’ daily lives and how early learning is more important than ever. Whether it’s creating a nurturing classroom environment for young children or helping them develop soft skills — we see children successfully transition to elementary school and beyond fully prepared.”

Parents also reflected on their children’s education and social skills. Despite their kids being more creative than when they were children (49% vs. 44%), four in five parents still encourage them to be as creative as possible (79%).

The way parents motivate their children to be more creative include: watching educational shows/videos together (57%), engaging in arts and crafts with them (52%), enrolling them in after-school programs (50%), playing educational games together (48%) and taking them on educational field trips (47%).

Over half (54%) think being creative has a significant impact on helping a child develop socially, such as making new friends or having positive relationships.

Teacher in classroom with sixth grade students.
80% of parents don’t think teachers get enough credit for what they do.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

But for 78% of parents, the most important thing they want to instill in their children is to be a good person.

While 73% are satisfied with their children’s current education, more than that believe teachers don’t get enough credit for all that they do (80%).

That’s why four out of five parents (81%) always encourage their children to show appreciation towards their teachers.

“As teachers, we know that a child’s early experiences and relationships, especially in the first five years of life, are critical for development,” added Turner. “When you pursue a career in teaching you have to be committed to doing what’s right for children because the impact lasts a lifetime.”

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