My SIL sent me a link to an outstanding article about what teachers really want to tell parents in which award-winning teacher Ron Clark lays it out on the line. Two key points I’d like to share are:
- Quit with all the excuses. Do you ever make excuses for tardiness to class or late assignments? Enough already! Let your child deal with the logical consequences that follow specific behavior – such as detention or an F. What do you think is going to happen later in life when your child is late to work or fails to complete assigned tasks? It’s best to learn these lessons in school to develop punctuality and a strong work ethic for use in the real world when the consequences may include job loss. And now for your reading enjoyment here, a relevant excerpt from the article “If you don't want your child to end up 25 and jobless, sitting on your couch eating potato chips, then stop making excuses for why they aren't succeeding. Instead, focus on finding solutions.”
- Be a partner instead of a prosecutor. New flash! Your kid is not always in the right. Nor is it likely that your kid being persecuted. If the teacher has a problem with your child, don’t get defensive or assume it’s the teacher’s fault. Work with the teacher to correct the problem even if it means correcting your child’s behavior. Kids need to learn to deal with all kinds of personalities and situations to become successful, functioning adults and they need parental guidance to do so. That being said, don’t blindly assume it’s your child, either. There are a few truly horrible teachers out there – like the one my daughter had in the 5th grade. But with four kids going through the public education system, that’s the only truly horrible teacher I encountered. So, let’s see – if each child only had one teacher each year for 13 years (including kindergarten), one teacher out of 52 is still less than 2 percent. Considering that children usually have multiple teachers from about 6th grade on, in reality it’s probably less than 1 percent. So there’s not a lot of chance of getting a truly horrible teacher.
Note to Grandparents
I know the grandkids are cute and all. I know they’re just too, too sweet. BUT – don’t be blinded by love and adoration. Do the little darlings a favor and forward a link to What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents to your kids.