This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

By now all of the K-12 kids are back in school and it’s been a joy watching all the back-to-school pics and stories hit Facebook. But one thing that’s missing is an acknowledgement of how difficult the beginning of the year is for teachers and school staff.

I worked in an elementary school for 3 years and 3 months – it was by far the hardest, most underappreciated, and lowest paid job I had in my 20+ years in the workforce. But it doesn’t have it be that way and it really shouldn’t be. Teachers and school staff spend almost more time with our kids during the school year than we do. Having a relationship with them based on honesty, trust, and kindness is a must for a successful experience.

It doesn’t take much to make your child’s school teacher feel appreciated and part of your educational team. A quick note saying “Happy Monday” or something similar can go a long way. Contacting him/her when things are good does too. Email him/her when your child shows a new skill at home and thank them for teaching it. The 2-minutes spent on creating that email can open a door to fabulous communication that lasts all year long.

But don’t forget too that you can enrich your child’s classroom by providing simple items that make the teacher’s life easier as well as the children. Purchase classroom supplies like Braun® Paper Towels to keep classroom messes under control. They’re a luxury compared to the rough paper towels the district provides.

Also asking the teacher if his/her classroom could use a stockpile of shampoos and soaps for needy students. Having Pantene® products, toothbrushes, and Crest® Toothpaste for students in need is a great way to support your community as well. It sad how many students go to school without basic necessities and many times teachers and school staff pay for these out of their own pockets.

Visit Dollar General’s September Everyday Heroes website to learn more about what you can do to support your child’s classroom. Your small donations or the gift of your time can make a huge impact on how your child sees school.