10 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew

Editor’s note:  Our regular devotions will resume next week.  However, this week I want to give a voice to what I believe a lot of teachers are thinking….

Teaching is a dichotomy at times – exhilarating and exhausting, happy and sad, fun and boring (testing, ugh), rewarding yet frustrating.  The emotional wear and tear can be taxing on teachers.  One day we’re like “Wow, it can’t get any better than this!” But then, the next day rolls around and BOOM, it’s “Wow, this day was a bust!”

I hope sharing my wish list of the 10 things I wish parents knew will help in spreading the word about the thought life of teachers and that the knowledge gleaned from it will perhaps assist parents in helping their kids’ teachers enjoy a more productive experience in the classroom educating their children.

     Wish #1 – We wish you knew we have the best interest of your child at heart.

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In a recent survey of teachers, 80% of teachers stated they went into teaching because they love working with children and 75% said they wanted to make a difference.   Conversations with my peers correspond with the results of this survey.  Parents, please rest in the assurance that we love your kids and want what is best for them.

Wish #2 –  We wish you knew that because we love your children, we discipline them as any good parent would do.

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This picture says it all.  Look how miserable the students are who are behaving and trying to learn.  It only takes one or two mischievous or disruptive students for the above scenario to play out.  It’s frustrating for both students and teachers. Therefore, we don’t discipline your child because we don’t like them, we discipline them so that they, as well as other students, can learn.

Wish #3 – We wish you knew we want you to please, please, please be more involved in your child’s education.

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The more you are involved, the more successful your child will be in school. It’s that simple, but it’s oh, so important!  Ask them about their day.  Ask them what they made on that math test.  Ask them what tonight’s homework assignment is.  Be sure to look up their grades on Powerschool.  Sometimes you won’t get the complete story parents! (Just sayin’)  Also, it’s a good idea to check out both the school’s and teacher’s websites, and resource links or apps.

Wish #4 – We wish you knew we need encouragement from time to time.

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Everybody needs encouragement from time to time – a thank you or pat on the back – but someone has to take the time to actually convey the message.  I’m sure there have been many times when parents or students thought this, but they didn’t follow through and state it or write it down. I love to open my e-mail inbox and read a message from a parent saying, “My kid loves your class!” or “You are doing a good job!”  What’s even better is when you cc our principal! 🙂  Teaching is tough, and sometimes an encouraging word is what’s needed to get us through the day.

Wish #5 – We wish you knew we appreciate the benefit of the doubt.

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It’s discouraging when a student goes home and gives their account of something that happened in class, whether between them and a teacher or them and another student, but doesn’t tell both sides. A lot of times this causes unnecessary strife and bad feelings. Parents who lash out at their children’s teachers only make matters worse.  I’ve seen students from time to time that don’t tell the whole story, and their parents buy it hook, line, and sinker.  Teachers are not perfect, but we are adults and professionals. Giving teachers the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps waiting 24 hours to cool down and really think things through, is the best approach instead of burning bridges.

Wish #6 – We wish you knew that when your child is absent (other than when they are really sick), it’s hard to educate them.

Don’t get me wrong, I know children get sick from time to time, and those are not the ones I’m talking about here. I’m addressing those children who lay out of school because they act as if they are sick to get out of going to school!  I would estimate this occurs with about 1 or 2 students in class everyday.  I’m sure the percentage is greater than this depending upon the school system students are attending.

I’ve seen a student who had been out of school a couple of days playing basketball at our area recreation gym on one of those said days!  My oh my, that’s not good!  Not only do they miss important information, but that’s exactly what they will do when they’re adults in the working world.  That behavior won’t lead to success.

Rule of thumb:  If they aren’t bleeding, if they don’t have a bone sticking out, if they aren’t throwing up, or don’t have a fever, then send them to school!

Wish #7 – When a child doesn’t do well on an assignment or test, the world won’t end!

There will be chances to bring that grade up and sometimes, through failure, life lessons are learned better. Just take a deep breath and don’t let it rattle you.  (I wish I had known this one a little earlier in life when my children were younger!)

Wish #8 – We wish you knew how much we appreciate it when you replenish your child’s school supplies at least once every 3 or 4 weeks…  

…your children do too!

Wish #9 – We wish you knew that helicopter parenting stresses out your child (if you are one, that is).

Not only does it stress them out, it probably stresses out fellow family members, and for sure it stresses your child’s teachers.  Listen, children make mistakes, and I’ve seen helicopter children over the years who will try to dig themselves out of a ditch they’ve dug for themselves by blaming their teacher when they were the ones who totally blew it. The reason they do so is because they understand, and are well aware, the helicopter is about to crash and burn, so better to blame the teacher than to suffer personal injuries.

Teach them, love them, but don’t hover! Hovering is smothering, love rises above!

Wish #10 – We wish parents knew that more than anything, we want your child to succeed!

When your child succeeds, all of us succeed.  There’s nothing better than knowing that we contributed to the success of your children and our students.  Hands down, it is the best part of being a teacher!  That’s making a difference.  That’s making the world a better place.  Thank you for helping us help them!


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