PARENTS NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT TEACHERS ARE PEOPLE TOO
by Abby Rosmarin
image via shutterstock
Be kind to your children’s teachers.
Be damn kind to your children’s
teachers. If you drop off your child in the classroom, say hello. Compliment
the new decorations. There’s a good chance he or she worked off the clock to
make the room festive. Remind your children to listen to their teachers. To
respect their teachers. And don’t forget to respect them yourselves, because if
your kids see you act disrespectfully — even at home, even on the phone to your
friends — then they will, to.
Be understanding to your children’s teachers. Don’t
be that parent who points out a typographical error in a newsletter. Understand
that the newsletter was probably typed up at midnight on a schoolnight, with
tired, bleary eyes desperately trying to blink away the exhaustion. Understand
that, much like the decorations, she’s doing this on her own time.
Be realistic in your expectations. Your children’s
teachers are doing all they can to make sure everyone gets a quality education.
That those who need individual education plans will get individual education
plans. That those who need a little extra help will get that extra help. But he
is one teacher amongst upwards of 45 students. If your child is getting a D in
a subject, don’t yell at the teacher. Don’t demand an explanation as to why
your child isn’t making the grade. Help your damn child. Study with him. Work
alongside the teacher; see what you can do to complement the day’s
lessons. Don’t have the time or energy to help turn that D into a B? Then don’t
expect your child’s teacher to, either. You might’ve had a 45-hour work week;
your child’s teacher has a 45-student classroom (and probably a 60-hour week to
Stop it with the snide remarks. Teaching is not
babysitting. Teaching is not a part-time job. Don’t like how kids are taught to
take tests? Take it up with the school district. Take it up with your local,
state, federal politicians. Support government officials who campaign against
standardized testing and universal, cookie-cutter lesson goals. But, for the
love of God, do not use that against your children’s teachers, or any
teacher. Odds are, they are just as frustrated as you, being forced to go down
such a formulaic route that sucks all the joy out of learning.
By the way: “Those who can, do; those who can’t,
teach”? Nah, kid. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, criticize.
Show your gratitude. Your teacher could be in any
other job, with better pay, fewer hours, and considerably less stress. A job
that doesn’t force her to attend hours upon hours of workshops — usually on the
teacher’s dime, and in their free time — in order to keep their job. With the
burnout rate as high as it is, it is small wonder if any teacher can stay at
any school for longer than 5 years. But your children’s teachers are there.
Working tirelessly, usually with administration breathing down their backs,
usually with parents who drop their kids off at 6:30 in the morning, pick them
up at 5:30 that afternoon, and still make the joke that teaching is a
part-time job. Show that you acknowledge and respect what they are doing.
Tell them this. Sometimes the only time a teacher
hears anything from a parent, it’s in the form of a complaint. Sometimes a
formal complaint that will go on the teacher’s record, sometimes over things as
tiny as a typographical error or shoddy penmanship (you laugh, but I’ve seen it
happen). Thank them. You don’t have to buy them presents on Teacher
Appreciation Day, but you damn should write them a Thank You note. Have your
child help you write the Thank You note, if not write a note as well. Tell them
this, because sometimes a parent or student’s gratitude is the only source of
support for a teacher.
Be active with your children. The best, kindest
thing you can do for your children’s teachers is also the best thing you can do
for your children themselves. Care about their field trips. Attend their Open
Houses. Ask about their day and work with them if anything is the matter. For
the love of God, get off your damn cell phone when entering the school.
Be kind to your teachers. If you go in with a low
image of them and the education world at large, if you go in already expecting
the teacher to mess up the education of your young child, if you go in with any
type of improper attitude, you are doing a world of damage.
They are not miracle workers. They are not there
to raise your children in place of you. They are not there to move mountains,
even if they wish to. They are your partners in education. They will do
whatever is in their power to provide instruction and guidance during school
hours (and sometimes beyond). They will lay down the foundations that only the
nurturing from the child’s guardians can build from. They will set out the base
that only the life experiences outside of the classroom can continue from. They
will invest time and money that they don’t have in the name of your children.
They will butt heads with administration, advocate when no one else is
advocating, and sacrifice more than any teacher should sacrifice in the name of
So you better be damn kind to your
*This entire article was copied and pasted fromHERE
I can't tell you how many of us teachers have had
this conversation. Privately behind closed doors or at lunch or with our
spouses at home. Everything stated could not be more spot on. Oh parents,
please remember, we are there to help your kids, teach them, care for them, but
we can only do so much. You, the parents have to pick up where we leave off at
the end of our day.