Ever wonder what teachers do on weekends? I know you do. Well, we go out in groups and talk about school. And kids. And our kids at school. Sometimes we talk about other things. Like the parents of our kids at school.
Last Friday was no exception. Happy hour at The Black Thorn meant beer, pizza, foos ball and talk of all things kids. We somehow got on the topic of what we wished parents knew about us, as teachers of your precious children. I thought this would be a great thing to blog about.
So, parents of school-age children, listen up. Your child’s teachers have some things they want you to know.
1. We love all your kids. We love the good, the bad and the ugly. We love their ups and downs and anything in between. It’s part of our nature. Our job is to maintain order, and we therefore sometimes have to speak firmly or administer a consequence. It sucks for us too. But we don’t hold grudges or judge them.
2. Ninety-nine percent of what we teach is not our choice. We’d love to be able to do cool science and social studies lessons, math that made sense, real reading and writing. Unfortunately, curriculum is dictated to us and we have to follow it. To complicate this, we have to present this to you with a smile, and defend it to you, because if we began complaining about the school’s choices, we could lose our job. And we love our job, and your kids, so we can’t do this.
3. If you have a problem or question, please bring it straight to us. That’s the fastest way to get it fixed. Going to administration only means adding an extra step. And, while we’re on this topic, think about checking emotion at the door. We understand your children are linked to you in a very primal way, but it is difficult for us to identify and solve problems with parents who are personally attacking us.
4. Respect us. At a minimum. And never, ever bad talk us in front of your children.
5. Right now in the United States, preparation for teachers is not effective. We learn most of what we know in our first few years. We know this. We know we come into the classroom undereducated and unprepared. But we compensate for this by the fact that we eat, sleep and breathe our jobs. We stay at school late to talk to colleagues; we spend our weekends shopping for cool materials and developing lesson plans; we never, ever stop thinking about what we do in the classroom.
Teaching is a tough job. It’s an amazing job, but it has some restraints. Like the fact that we never have lunch out. We have to use the restroom at scheduled times, not whenever we want to. If we have a headache or PMS we have to roll with it. There is no putting your head down in your cubicle. There is no cubicle to hide behind.
OK, so teachers have had a moment to speak up. Any parents out there want to have a chance to fill teachers in on what rolls around in your brain?
By Sharon Linde, education blogger for SmartParenting