Teaching is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs on the planet. Teachers are responsible for educating the the future. It is a given that parents should be their child’s teachers ally, but sometimes that is not how it works.
Parents can actually make the teachers job harder and more complicated when it comes to educating their child. With school in full swing, Business Insider took time out to talk to teachers across the country in order to find out what are some things that parents should never do. Take a peek at some of the top things that they had do to say.
Don’t voice frustrations about the school or teachers in front of the children.
It is understandable that when parents are frustrated and angry, they want to address things immediately; however, this should not be done in front of the child.
“The children need to know that teachers, schools, and parents are on the same team and holding them accountable and to a high standard,” Joe Glass, a public middle school teacher in Champaign, Illinois, said in an interview Business Insider.
“Disputing with the teacher in front of the student makes everyone uncomfortable,” Alejandra Castillo, a social science teacher in Florida said, sharing a similar sentiment.
Request meeting with the child’s teacher and/or principal, become active in your PTA, but never address concerns in front of the child.
Show the same respect to the teacher as you would expect your child to do.
It is important to communicate with your child’s teacher in a respectful manner, especially when you are angry/frustrated. Do not accuse, but simply question; therefore helping to avoid both parties getting put on the defensive.
“By seeking to understand the full story, (parents) will build a relationship with the teacher that is more collaborative and leads to better conversation about an issue,” Alex, a public high school teacher in Cincinnati said.
Questioning a child’s grade can come off as disrespectful to the teacher’s professional experience.
Feel free to inquire, ask for an explanation about the grade and/or grading scale, but never accuse the teacher of being unfair.
“It completely undermines the work I do and sets a difficult precedent in the classroom: that if parents complain enough, the student will get what they want,” Jo Acholonu, a teacher working in a private international school in Southeast Asia said.
Another private high school teacher based in Washington, DC, shared a similar sentiment. “I think my biggest pet peeve is when parents tell their children that they will ‘fix it’ or ‘get the teacher to change it. In my class, grades are earned based on a set of given criteria. They are not subject to parental approval or adjustment.”
Lastly, remember children sometimes stretch the truth, especially when it seems improbable.
Children don’t want to get in trouble at school and definitely don’t want to get in trouble at home, so they may tend to stretch the truth to make things work out in their favor.
“I wish parents would come to me with questions or concerns before always taking their kids’ words,” Sarah, a fourth-grade teacher in Colorado said. “Yes, most kids tell the truth most of the time. But there are some times where I wish parents come to me first before believing the worst. I guess in all, I wish parents would assume the best and realize that we have the best of intentions in mind.”
Remember, you and your child’s teacher have two very important things in common-the education and success of your child. Take time to get to know them and they get to know you. Let them know that you are on their team and if there is anything that you can do to help make the school year a success, do it! When your child realizes that you and their teacher are truly on the same page, things in the classroom will be a lot easier for everyone.