"Handle with care": The genius text a teacher wants parents to send her.

As thousands of school-aged children across Australia continue to learn from home, many kids and their teachers in the US returned to the classroom this week, after the summer break.

As lessons get underway, one US primary school teacher, Rachel Harder, has made headlines for establishing a simple way for parents to communicate if their child needs extra support.

After working with the parents of an autistic student who was new to her class and beginning to struggle, she came up with the 'handle with care' text message system.

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Video via Mamamia.

In an interview with Fox News, Harder describes how some days this student would be having a tough day. So, she asked the student's mum to send her a quick text message with just three words, 'handle with care', on those especially difficult mornings.

"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.

Harder went on to say how this experience with one family eventually translated into an approach for every child in her care. 


She sent out a note to parents to explain her 'handle with care' text system.

The note read, 'If your family is experiencing difficulty at home, I would like to provide additional support at school. I understand that you are not always able to share details and that’s okay. If your child is coming to school after a difficult night, morning or weekend, please text me, "Handle with Care". Nothing else will be said or asked. This will let me know that your child may need extra time, patience or help during the day.'

Giving students some extra patience and support on the days they need it most has had a huge impact on Harder’s students and their families.

"It’s important for me to give kids a few minutes of extra time or space – and it’s easy to give," Harder explains.

It is not only easy for Harder, but with those three little words, 'handle with care', stressed-out and time-poor parents don’t need to provide any explanation for why their child might be having a tough day.

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"The [parents] 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 says that while many teachers are able to tell when kids are having a tough time, this small gesture allows her to make minor adjustments that benefit everyone.


And as many Aussie kids begin to contemplate the transition back to classrooms next month, the clear and simple text message system might be something many Australian parents and teachers consider adopting.

Meanwhile, some of us homeschool-weary parents might need a 'handle with care' heads-up for ourselves, too.

Feature Image: Fox News.

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