As teachers across the country go back to school, they are gearing up for a year of managing students and their parents. While most parents have the best of intentions and want to be as helpful as they can be to teachers, sometimes their efforts are errant.
1. Your child is not gifted. Well, I don’t actually know your child; he might be gifted. But knowing how to read when you get to kindergarten does not mean you are gifted. Really, it doesn’t. The average kindergarten class has twenty-seven kids in it (actually, I just made that number up, but it’s gotta be close). The parents of roughly three-fourths of those children believe their children are gifted. Two to five percent actually are. You do the math. If you’re gifted enough.
2. Teachers really do not want _____________. Fill in the blank with any of the following you feel necessary to force upon your child’s teacher: things with apples on them, coffee mugs, framed pictures of your child, to hear every cute story about every cute thing your child ever did. They love your kids, they really do. But come on. Would you want any of those things at this point in your life?
3. Sometimes ... every once in a while ... teachers actually know slightly more about what they’re teaching, how they’re teaching, and/or what is going on in their classroom than you do. I’m just sayin‘.
4. If your child is repeatedly getting into trouble for fighting, a smart mouth, chronic tardiness, whatever, you might want to take a look at yourself and the example you’re setting. We often teach our children certain behaviors without even realizing it. I had no idea how sarcastic I was in everyday speech until I heard my son repeat my biting phrases. It shocked me to hear how ugly they sounded. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree ... pun intended.
5. The best things you can do for your children are the simplest: turn off the TV. Read to them. Talk and listen to them. Play with them. Show them you care any way you can. Those simple things will help them far more than a million dollars’ worth of tutoring/enrichment classes/educational videos and workbooks will. Parenting is hard, but sometimes we make it harder than it has to be.
6. Do not ever, under any circumstances, call your child’s teacher at home. Well, there is one exception: if he calls you and leaves a message that says, “Please call me at home to discuss this matter; my number is …” It is so easy in this new information age to get people’s information, but please remember that teachers have lives too, and when they get home, they want to be home in their lives. E-mail or call the school-give them privacy at home. Please!
It’s not that any of these things are so horrible; it’s just that teachers are keenly aware of the feelings of their students and those of their students’ parents. They don’t want this information to be misconstrued as harsh or ungracious. Don’t be offended if you’ve done any of these things; the teachers aren’t hanging up a picture of you and throwing darts at it. But do try to consider them when you meet next year’s teacher; you’ll start the year off with a wonderful parent/teacher relationship.
By AnonyBetty of BettyConfidential