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What Teachers Want Parents To Know

Michael Westhoff-Thinkstock
Michael Westhoff-Thinkstock

With another school year upon us, we got the inside information on what teachers want parents to know.

Now that school is in full swing, I was able to ask a bunch of teachers what they would like parents of students to know. I received great and in-depth responses. A lot of them came in the themes so it breaks down as follows.

1) “I’m a professional and I love what I do.”

The phrase “those who can’t do, teach” is an absolute myth.  Teachers go into their profession so they can work in their desired field everyday. A lot of people can read, write, and do arithmetic but not everyone has the ability to teach others how to do it, too. Teachers go to school for this and get licensed to teach.

2) “I have my own life.”

Whether a teacher has a husband, wife, children, friends, parents, siblings, in-laws, faith, or hobbies, teachers have their own personal priority list just like you do. While your child is important, they are not any more important than the other students a teacher has. If you happen to see your child’s teacher at the grocery store, movies, or even your school’s sporting event, there’s a good chance the teacher won’t remember what grade your child got on a test or a paper or why they got that score. You can set up a meeting with the teacher at an appropriate time.

3) “You are the child’s first role model.”

Set an example. If the child sees you working hard, they will. If they overhear you talking about cheating on your taxes, it makes them think it is okay to cheat in the classroom.

4) “There is a difference between getting homework done and studying.”

Getting homework done is essentially just an open book take home test. Studying is going over the work and understanding the concepts.

5) “Failure is okay.”

Nobody is perfect, and that includes your child. This means your definition of failure. If a child does not pass a class, they are going to have to work harder the next time they take it. If a child does not get 30+ on the ACT, a 1400 on the SAT, or doesn’t get into an ivy league school, and you deem that as failure, it’s alright. There are plenty of colleges that are known to excel in certain areas. If your child knows what they want to study, find the best school for that major. It might not be Harvard or Yale. If your child doesn’t know what they want to do, a junior college to get generals done is a lot cheaper route which doesn’t tarnish the child’s education.

6) “There’s a difference between supporting your child and coddling them.”

If you do it, they won’t. If you do the homework for them, they won’t learn it. If you ask what your child can do for extra credit, they won’t. If you try to get their grade changed for them, you aren’t accepting the grade the child earned and want the grade changed for nothing. Support and encouragement are your best weapons.

7) “Praise the positive, work the negative.”

Your child could have all A’s and one B, and they are going to be scared to show that B. If your child has all C’s and an F, they are going to be scared to show you that F. Understand that. So don’t start with, “Why did you get an F!” Start with the accomplishments first, then figure out what’s going on with the struggles. It’ll be better for your child and yourself.

Here’s to another positive school year ahead!

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