Special Note to Parents

  • Teachers are rarely the incompetent, bumbling scatterbrains that you see in your nightmares. There are several things that you can do as a parent if you are hoping to have a positive working experience with the teachers of your children. Begin by:

    Recognizing that teachers are professionals. The old adage, "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach," is not only insulting—it is inaccurate. Teachers are generally highly trained professionals with a deep understanding of the content they teach and the instructional methods to make that content approachable for students of different ability levels. While you may not always understand the decisions made by teachers, in the vast majority of cases you can trust their training and experience. You'll score points with your child's teacher by providing him or her the professional respect that you expect to be given in your workplace.

    Giving your child's teacher the benefit of the doubt. There are going to be times each year that your child comes home distraught over the actions of a teacher. In any setting where human beings are together for six hours a day, there are bound to be disagreements. When this happens, begin by giving your child's teacher the benefit of the doubt! Make an appointment to hear what happened from the teacher's perspective. You'll sometimes find that your child's version of events was not a "complete disclosure" of the situation, and together you can work out a set of next steps to keep future misunderstandings from happening.

    Saying thank you. Teaching is demanding. Imagine spending hour after hour alone in a room with 20 to 30 children who all have different academic, social, and emotional needs. And then imagine working in those conditions year after year with little recognition or praise. Like any profession, the critics of education are often louder than the supporters—and teachers take these criticisms to heart. It can be terribly discouraging to work long hours with little pay in difficult conditions and then to hear only about failures. Take a few minutes each month to thank your child's teacher for something that he or she has done. Your kindness will remind teachers that their efforts are appreciated—and score you serious points!

    From: Parents Are From Mars, Teachers Are From Venus
    by Bill Ferriter
Last Modified on July 16, 2014