27 November 2013

Teachers are people too. Take notes parents

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 boot).
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 their students.
So you better be damn kind to your children’s teachers.

*This entire article was copied and pasted from HERE

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.


  1. MY FAVORITE ARTICLE. would it be too much to send this home with my weekly newsletter?!?!

  2. I couldnt agree with you more! I have no words other than YES YES YES!!!

  3. Amen! Too many parents don't do this... I feel like this is one of the biggest differences in the school system today, compared to years ago. Instead of criticizing or evaluating their own child's strengths or weaknesses they instantly go to the teacher for blame. Ridiculous.. and one of the many reasons I opted to continue my education and work with children outside of the public school system. I hope soon the government, parents & entire country realize how valuable teachers are to our future.

  4. Bless your heart!! This made me feel so much better after the week I've had. Unfortunately, it seems like our school has had more and more of "those" weeks recently. I would love to have a magic wand and "fix" all my student's learning issues but it just isn't going to happen. I would love to concentrate on each and every child and work one-on-one with each of them everyday but with 20% of my class being sped and another 15% with behavior issues it just doesn't happen. I try my best to get with as many as I can in a week but I run out of time during school. And, you are right. Parents need to take a more active role. The saddest part is where I am the parents, some not all, have little more or less than a high school education and always use the excuse that they don't know how to do the math. I would be glad to have little get togethers with them to show them the math but they never show up. It really does take a village and some how our country has forgotten that.


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