Throughout the scholastic year, parents get to meet the teachers working with their children at school. Teachers always make that extra effort to gain the trust of the parents, be professional and discuss matters pertaining to their students’ progress. These meetings are filled with niceties and formalities, but in reality there are a number of things most teachers wish they could tell all parents, but don’t.
We’ve taken the initiative to list some of these points for you on behalf of all the teachers who wish they could say these things to you.
1. School is not a race
Don’t compare students, classes or schools. Everyone moves at their own pace, with their own programmes. Everyone will reach their own goals, eventually, but in their own time and with their own method.
2. Our main goal is independence
No kid will get there if mummy and daddy keep packing their bags, doing their homework and painting their crafts for them!
3. Help them be responsible and respectful by setting an example
If I correct your child and you don’t agree with the approach I’ve taken, please do feel free to discuss this with me.
I’ll gladly share my reasons, but you telling me you think your child did nothing wrong in front of your child will only teach your child not to respect the authorities at school. Your child is responsible for actions and words used, no matter the circumstances. You looking for excuses to bail them out will only result in a lack of responsibility and ownership of behaviour.
4. Feel free to air your grievances with me
If you have a concern related to your child or my teaching methods, bring it to my attention.
Please don’t discuss it with other parents. Your friends are not professional educators, nor are they present in the classroom. They might give you the wrong feedback and issues might escalate as you chat about the matter.
5. I do have a life
I’m a human being just like you and I have a life outside of work, so please don’t assume I read emails at 4am, at lunchtime or on a public holiday.
6. When I’m in class, I’m teaching
I’m working with kids, not stuck to my laptop or phone, so no, I won’t read your emails whilst giving a Math lesson.
If I’m not dealing with corrections, in a planning meeting, calming a student down because his favourite pencil broke, trying to find a snack for the kid who forgot his lunch bag at home or comforting Ella because Jack said that unicorns are not real, I will try to glance at my inbox, whilst scoffing down my cereal bar.
7. Keep your friendships and your kid’s separate
Just because you and another parent are BFFs, it doesn’t mean that your kids have to have the same relationship.
Don’t impose your friendships onto your children. On that note, relationships between parents can get catty – keep the kiddos out of it. Just because you and a friend fell out, it doesn’t mean your children should no longer play together.
8. Pick-up time is not an informal Parents’ Day
At that point, I’m supervising the rest of the class and can’t afford to stop to discuss your child’s progress. If I gave each parent five minutes to have a chat at the door, I would need to allocate more than two hours for dismissal.
9. We can always exchange pleasantries
If you see me at the supermarket, on the beach, at mass, having a drink with friends, or on a date night, do feel free to approach me and say hello. I’ll gladly exchange pleasantries, but that is not the time to talk about anything related to school.
Here we wish to thank teachers for all their hard work and dedication towards learners. We see you!
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