Pointers for Parents are regular inspirations to bring hope and encouragement to parents. I hope to build a bridge between parents and teachers as it pertains to the education of children and how we can work together for the betterment of our kids.
11 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You
Gearing up for the school year is exciting for everyone. Here are some things you might not know about your child's teacher which they will not tell you, because they are professionals. It might be helpful to know these things in order to have a successful school year for everyone!
- They are nervous. The beginning of the year is exciting, but also full of questions. Will my students get along? Will they like me? Will I like them? Will the parents be supportive or difficult? How will I build this group into a community? Will I have students will significant behavior issues? How will I handle it?
- They don’t love all children equally. However, they do love all children individually and uniquely. Sometimes that doesn’t happen until after Christmas, because some kids are harder to love than others. Personalities sometimes clash, and students learn what buttons to push right out of the gate. Just be aware, they do TRY to love them all and treat them all fairly. Not as easy as you might think, but give them time and you will see them rise to the occasion. By the end of the year, they will be crying as the students walk out the door.
- They are tired…already. Getting ready for a new school year is exhausting. That classroom didn’t magically get that cute by itself. Making an inviting learning environment is work and preplanning days are about planning curriculum etc. …not about preparing a classroom. Therefore, most teachers either stay late to decorate or come in a week or two early…before preplanning to get it done.
- They haven’t got it all together. Open house night, or the first day of school is a push to make things look ready to go. It will take another week at least to get schedules set, routines established, and expectations learned. They will make plans to teach content, but most of the time the first week or two they will not get to use them because building relationships with their new students is more important.
- They want you to respect them. Most teachers have an outer shell which expresses itself by appearing to be self-assured. While they are confident in their teaching, they are not as confident that you will see them as the amazing teachers they are. Having parents question their every move without giving them the benefit of the doubt is hurtful after years of experience, and it is more common than you would think.
- They know you talk about them. All teachers know parents talk to one another. Sometimes they hear about it through the grapevine and sometimes they just feel it without any direct evidence. Knowing they are the subject of conversations in which they are not a participant to affirm or dispute what is being said about them is hard to deal with. Keep that in mind as you listen to people place labels on them before ever have a conversation with them personally. Would you want someone to judge you based on hearsay?
- They really do pay for all the stuff you see in the classroom. The school provides four walls, desks, chairs, white boards and computers…a basic space. Anything else you see came from their own funds. Think of it like moving into an apartment or home, you have the outer shell, but the guts of what makes it a home comes from you. It is the same for teachers. Their classrooms are their homes away from home, so they invest in making an environment that is comfortable and inviting. They don’t mind doing it for your child, but it does cost them.
- They need help with school supplies. As mentioned in #7, they do spend quite a lot of money getting ready. Asking them to fund even more in supplies becomes a hardship. As school budgets get cut and cut, the expenses are passed down to the teachers. For example, schools might supply a limited amount of paper, but once it is gone if teachers need to print anything to use in the classroom, it comes from their pockets. I know those supply lists seem long and getting longer every year, but those items are needed for the education of your child.
- They are worried about the future of education. Changes that continue to heap pressure on them are increasing no matter which party is in control. They love teaching, but teaching is very little of what they are required to do. They know that decisions being made are not always good for kids, but nothing they do seems to get the attention of the lawmakers. This causes anxiety and concern for the welfare of their students and our future as a country.
- They have health issues. There is an extremely high number of teachers who deal with depression and anxiety. They worry for their physical and mental health on a regular basis. They wonder how much longer they can hold out in adverse working conditions which require more and more of their energy and give less and less support. More and more teachers are leaving the profession than ever before. Those who are close to retirement are trying to hang on, but are finding that is getting tougher and tougher to do.
- They need your support. They may act like they can take it or leave it, but that is untrue. Having you in their corner and acknowledging their authority to your child means everything to them. It is much easier to work on a team than in isolation, and they prefer when there is mutual encouragement between home and school. They know that backing you up at school will make your interaction with your child more fruitful at home, and they desire the same at school. There is a saying, “I won’t believe everything your child says about you at home, if you don’t believe everything he/she says about me at school.” 🙂