Top 10 Things a Primary Teacher Wishes Parents Knew

August 14, 2018

 

    1. I’m here to help your child learn and grow. Yep, that’s why I took this job. I like kids, and I enjoy watching them develop both academically and personally in my classroom. Please believe in my good intentions.
    2. I’m here to do the same for other children, too. Unfortunately, the district wasn’t down with providing private tutoring on the taxpayer’s dollar. Please keep in mind that I have 20-30 other children in the classroom, and though their needs may be different, they ALL need a lot of me. Sadly, it’s impossible for me to do everything for every child every time. That being said, I’m doing my best to be superhuman. 
    3. Sometimes your child says and does ridiculous things. Seriously. When I tell you about it, just work with me on it, and maybe we can share a laugh about it later. But, don’t tell me that Johnny just “wouldn’t say that” because I HEARD him. Oh, and sometimes I don’t tell you about these things at all because I know I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face. 
    4. I love it when you communicate with me. Sometimes you have questions or concerns about what’s going on academically or socially with your child. I’m happy to talk with you! Sometimes you need to let me know that your child will be leaving early on Friday and requires the homework. Great, shoot me an email! Sometimes you want to tell me that Sarah coughed a little bit last night (not that much, just a little bit), but she woke up a little early, so she might be a teeny bit tired, and will I check in with you every hour on the hour this morning to let you know how she’s doing? DENIED. Please see #2. 
    5. “What can I do to help you?” is the golden phrase. Sometimes, kind parents with the best intentions say, “I’d like to come in tomorrow and help you make a winter bulletin board,” or “I’m going to come in on Friday and help you with your reading groups.” Often, though, I need different things at different times. I LOVE you when you show up and say, “I’m here to help with whatever you need.” If you just give me advanced notice that you’ll be coming, you'll get a "Parent of the Month" award. 
    6. School is not like it was when you were there. Everything has changed and continues to change. Sometimes I'm teaching something in a way that is unfamiliar to you because I have seen it work, and unfortunately, sometimes I'm teaching something in a particular way because someone is making me do it. If what I am doing is NOT working for your child, please make your voice heard. If what I am doing IS working for your child, please try to learn more about it so you can support it at home. 
    7. I have plenty of candles. And mugs. And little wooden thingies with teacher poems. I am ecstatic that you want to show me your appreciation, though I’d ask that you put yourself in my shoes before purchasing that perfect little something. Start with #2 (the 20-30 children thing); now, add on a lot of #3 (Johnny called MULTIPLE people obscene names AND his mother gave the ol' “he’d never do such a thing” line); and finally, imagine that the weather has called for “indoor recess” for the past three days. And that a six-year-old has vomited on your shoe. What would YOU want most at the end of the day? When it comes to teacher gift-shopping, please don’t hesitate to be a pioneer within your parent circle.
    8. I spend hours a day on core subjects like reading, writing, and math. Standards in the lower grades are higher and higher. We work hard. If you see us playing hard, please assume that it’s because we deserve a break. 
    9. That’s not nearly enough. Again, I’m trying to be superhuman, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply cannot do it without your help. Please, please, please read with your child at home every night. Please practice number concepts and their applications to everyday life. Please talk with your child and teach him/her new words as they come up in conversation. You are the #1 Teacher (maybe I can interest you in one of my mugs that says so?).
    10. I am your friend. I would love it if you would be mine. Please trust in me and work with me. Your child is growing up in an exciting but scary time, and needs all of us to support him/her. He/she is on a journey to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful through school, and to ultimately land that job of the future that doesn’t even exist yet…so let’s make this a partnership, and help him/her get there.
This post was written by Lauren, a teacher and guest blogger. Would you like to write a guest post for The Dime? Email us at dimecontact@copera.org.