Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a teacher? To be responsible for upwards of 25 children every day? Your child’s teacher is one of the most influential people in their life, especially during those first few years.
But the parent-teacher relationship can be a complex one, especially when personalities clash or points of view differ. While we parents are often in the privileged position of being able to express concerns to our child’s teacher, the reverse isn’t always possible.
So we asked some teachers to tell us something they would love to be able to tell parents but probably can’t because they might offend or get in trouble.
Here’s 11 things teachers would like parents to know.
1. Let your child take responsibility for themselves instead of stepping in with an excuse to clear them. This way it is less likely they will blame others for mistakes when it’s clearly the action they chose to follow.
2. Instead of asking ‘what did you do at school today’ when you pick up your child because the answer is usually ‘nothing’ – ask them more specific questions like ‘what book did you read at school today’, ‘did you have art/music’ or ‘tell me one thing you learnt today’.
3. Teach your kids how to take turns, use manners, share and lose at games. Even though they might be the centre of your world, it would be best if they didn’t find school to be a rude awakening to the reality of the real world.
HINT: It is possible that your child hasn’t told you the full story about what happened at school (OK it is very likely!)
4. Please teach your children to use a toilet before they go to school.
5. Don’t send them to school sick, they don’t magically get better they just make everyone else sick. This especially goes for gastro, please make sure it’s been 24 hours since the last time they were sick or visited the toilet.
6. If you have a problem with the teacher, class or anything else to do with school go directly to the source. Complaining to other parents never solves anything.
7. Open communication always is the best policy. And don’t be personally offended I let you know your child isn’t coping academically or socially. Working together means we can help support the child and find some strategies to help them out. We both have their best interests at heart.
8. Also remember that if your child has messed up behaviorally that doesn’t make them a ‘naughty’ child. We all have bad hours, days, weeks – again let’s all work together.
9. Teach your child how to be responsible for their own belongings, don’t carry their bag, don’t clean out their desk etc. I’m happy if you show them how to do it but this is how to they learn to look after themselves.
10. Don’t buy a new bag and lunch box for the new school student. Leave them with the bag and lunch box they have been using and recognise easily and can open and shut. Leave a new one for the next birthday when the stress of starting school has passed.
11. The best time to speak with a teacher is not the exact moment you need to. Please give some warning that you’d like to have a quick chat as opposed to talking just before the bell goes. Maybe try emailing to make a time and outlining what you’d like to discuss so the teacher can bring the data, sample work etc that will help discussions. A surprise attack never goes well.
Remember that teachers are people too and occasionally have the odd off day. Showing a little compassion and gratitude will really mean a lot to your child’s teacher.
For more advice and tips on healthy parenting click HERE.