What Teachers Secretly Wish They Could Tell You
Teaching is hard. Fulfilling and life-changing yes, but also hard. Taking care of that many kids for 40 hours every week with the requirement of them actually learning things at that time….that can be a tall order.
Add in the politics of it all, mandatory testing, continuing education requirements, packed classrooms, long days and sub-par pay….
[2020 Edit: And right now, they’re doing all this from a kitchen table or spare bedroom!]
Well, let’s just say it can get stressful.
And then there are the parents.
Yes, I’m talking about you. About us. The Parents. Well-meaning, but we can be a big pain in the butt at times.
As a teacher and a parent, I know it’s true. It’s practically an epidemic.
You just want your child to succeed at school, right? Of course, you do. You are an involved, invested, hands-on parent. That’s your job and you’re gonna rock it! So you check-in, give feedback, suggestions….dare we say even direction?
Admit it. We all do it.
There are times that the things we do out of love can add to the heavy burden our teachers already carry.
Here’s what your child’s teacher wishes they could tell you (if only they weren’t expected to be so gosh darn diplomatic and agreeable 24/7). Out of love of course. With a dash of desperation for easier days.
8 Secrets Teachers Want to Shout
Yes, your child is special. To you.
You see the sunrise and set in their eyes. They are the love of your life. Their talents endless and their mistakes dismissible. Odds are that in reality, they are probably pretty average. Most people are. Everyone has their strengths to be sure, and likewise, everyone has a weakness or two. If your child is coming home with grades that you don’t think to correlate to the genius status you have assigned them, it’s possibly because they deserve the mediocre marks they get. Not because the teacher is trying to sabotage their invitation to MENSA.
Stop being a superhero.
Seriously stop. Superheroes are for movies, not for parenting strategies. Don’t call your kid in sick because they didn’t study for a test. Don’t rush their homework to them in the middle of the day because they left it at home. And don’t storm in guns blazing because you are convinced they should have been given a better grade on that project that they (you) worked so hard on last week. You’re not doing anyone any favors here. Your child least of all. Letting them experiencing age-appropriate failure and consequence is letting them practice for life. Stop bailing them out. That’s not the real world. Teachers will thank you now and your kids will thank you later.
Please don’t let our next generation survive on a diet of complete crap.
Sure, little Jimmy just loves Capri Sun and GoGurt! But 20 packets of sugar in his breakfast is the reason your “wild man” convulses in his chair for the first hour of school until he finally slips into the catatonic coma of the nutrient deficient. That is, until snack time when he can grab his bag of Doritos like a boss and start the cycle all over again. How can he learn when his physical needs are all out of whack? Help him learn what to do for his body so that he has the best shot of being successful. It makes a difference. (Yes it does.) Try it.
Don’t call them or text the kiddos when they’re at school.
C’mon moms and dads! Think back to the olden days when our parents called the office if they needed to talk to us during school hours. (And how rarely that needed to happen.) Take a cue! It’s difficult enough for teachers and administrators to keep kids away from phones and devices at school without the added issue of their parents being on the other end! You’re inadvertently sending a message that the rules don’t matter. Texts and calls say time in class isn’t valuable. Every text and call says there’s no reason not to interrupt. Don’t be part of that already an extremely prevalent problem.
Teachers know your child in a different way than you do.
No, not better. Just different. Teachers see what students act like with their peers. When you aren’t there. This can be significantly different from the way they act at home or when they know you’re around. If you hear a story from a teacher that you refuse to believe- because you could never in a million years imagine your sweet little girl doing that- reconsider. Admit that you don’t know everything she would or could do. Her teacher has nothing to gain by pretending that she acted unfavorably. There are no kickbacks for calls home. They would rather be doing anything else.
You don’t know how to do a (good) teacher’s job better than they do.
Education has become a free-for-all of uninformed opinions. Everyone feels entitled to speak with authority on teaching and they don’t mind sharing it with their child’s educator. You would never dream of telling your dentist how to perform a root canal, or your electrician how to wire your generator. Why is telling a teacher how to teach any different? Teachers have put time, effort and years upon years of study into their profession. It’s likely that they know how to do it better than you do.
Teachers care about their students.
About your student. They are trying their best every day to make his education all that he deserves. They work long after that last bell rings and there are times they lie awake at night thinking about their classroom. About their students. About how they can help. Aside from you, no one wants your child to succeed more.
Put a lid on it about how lucky teachers are to have summers off.