20 More Things Your Child’s Teacher Won’t Tell You

Interviews by Neena Samuel from Readers Digest Oct. 2009
1. My rule for hormonal middle-schoolers:
Keep your hands where I can see them.
2. My first year of teaching, a fifth-grader actually threw a chair at me.
I saw him recently, and he told me he just graduated from college. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.
3. You do your job, I’ll do mine.
I have parents who are CEOs of their own companies come in and tell me how to run my classroom. I would never think to go to their office and tell them how to do their jobs.
4. We don’t arrive at school 10 minutes before your child does.
And we don’t leave the minute they get back on the bus. Many of us put in extra hours before and after school.
5. We are not the enemy.
Parents and teachers really are on the same side.
6. The truth is simple:
Your kid will lie to get out of trouble.
7. Encourage your child to keep reading.
That’s key to success in the classroom at any age.
8. It’s their homework, not yours.
We can tell the difference between a parent helping their child with homework and doing it for them (especially when they’re clueless in class the next day).
9. Teaching is a calling.
There’s not a teacher alive who will say she went into this for the money.
10. Check their homework.
Just because your child says he did his homework doesn’t mean it’s true. You must check. Every night.
11. We get jaded too.
Teaching is not as joyful as it once was for many of us. Disrespectful students and belligerent parents take a toll on us.
12. Talk to your kids.
Parents give their kids the pricey gadgets and labels, but what kids really crave is for you to talk to them. Kids want to know you are interested in their lives.
13. We spend money out of our own pockets.
Teachers often buy things our students need, such as school supplies and even shoes.
14. Supportive, involved parents are crucial.
But some are “helicopter parents”—they hover too much.
15. Having the summer off is great, but…
Many of us have to take on extra jobs—teaching summer school, tutoring—to make ends meet.
16. Academics aren’t everything.
Success is not achieved by just making kids memorize flash cards and prepping them for an Ivy League school. Sensible parents know there is a college for every kid and responsibility and good citizenship are what really drive success.
17. Nobody says “the dog ate my homework” anymore.
But we hear a lot of “I left it on the kitchen table.” And then Mom will send in a note to back up the story.
18. Don’t ask us to do your dirty work.
We wish parents would make their kids own up to their actions instead of pressuring us to bend the rules.
19. We know you mean well, but…
Please stop doing everything for your child and allow them to make mistakes. How else will they learn? Kids are not motivated to succeed because they feel their parents will bail them out every time.
20. There are days when I just want to quit.
But then that one smile from that one kid changes it all.

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