That Which is Left Unspoken (Part 1): What teachers wish they could tell parents

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1.   Sure, the summer breaks are great, but they’re not the reason I became a teacher.  In fact, many summers I get another job to supplement my income.  I became a teacher because I love learning.  I love my subject area and want to share it with the world.  I love children.  I love your children.  Teaching though is not everything I thought it would be (life rarely is), and so on some days I may lose sight of why I chose this career.  I could use your encouragement.

2.  Just like babysitting does not make one an expert on parenting. Going to school does not make you an expert on education, nor does volunteering, nor does substitute teaching. Sometimes I make choices that you don’t agree with.  Please come talk to me about them in a professional manner at which point I can either explain my choice or admit my error. 

3.  I am on your child’s side.  I want to be part of your team.  I am not your enemy.  I am not your child’s enemy.  I don’t pick on your child.  If your child thinks I do, then we need to talk in person and figure out ways in which both your child and I can interact differently so that we’ll have a smoother relationship.

4.  Please don’t send me e-mails dripping with fury or veiled threats or biting sarcasm.  If you are upset with me, please send me an email requesting a conference and let me know the subject matter on which you wish to speak beforehand.  We will be far more successful coming to an agreement if we aren’t both seething.

5.  Teaching is a calling.  In a perfect world, my entire workday would be spent teaching your child and planning to teach your child. Instead, I attend meetings, I take classes to stay on top of technology, I have conferences with parents, I update websites, I answer e-mails, I grade papers, I deal with disciplinary infractions, I fill out reports, I have extra duties (sponsoring clubs, coaching teams, monitoring the lunch room, organizing buses, etc.).  Some weeks I work 70 hours to make all this happen.  I do not spend my planning time  (what little there is) gossiping in the teacher’s lounge.  My job is hard.  But those few precious hours in the classroom watching an incredible lesson unfold, seeing those light bulbs flick on, now that’s something…that’s what pulls me back every fall. The other stuff?  I guess that’s why they pay me…


Israelmore Ayivor said...

Great teacher. Love your posts. very great

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