An Insider’s Glimpse Into Parent Thinking
I hated reading logs. As a teacher, I only assigned them when it was mandated. As a parent, I admit I often signed them without my kiddos having read 30 minutes, or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong. Reading was hugely important in our family. We read to our kids before they were even born. After the 245th reading, I had Stan and Jan Berenstain’s Bears in the Night memorized.
For years, I kept signing logs even when we didn’t because it was easier than protesting a cultural norm.
In hindsight, I wish I would’ve been more honest with my kids’ teachers. Even though I was also a teacher, I avoided the possible conflict. Perhaps, I felt I was judged more harshly because I was a teacher. It’s kind of silly, really.
I don’t know all the reasons, but parents often hesitate to be honest with teachers about imperfections and challenges with parenting. Instead, choosing the easier path of pretending we have it all together and then grumbling when we feel boundaries have been crossed.
I put together a list of the top five things I would like teachers to remember. I know many teachers honor parent’s perspectives. But, even the best teacher sometimes gets overwhelmed and forget the families on the other end of the partnership.
Consider the following a gentle reminder from parents everywhere.
- Family life is busy.
We support our children’s education, but sometimes it’s hard to fit everything in. We’re trying to balance work, meals, lessons, sports, family time, laundry—you get the picture.
Please remember this when my child’s project is a little late because I couldn’t get to the store to purchase materials.
- You can make or break my child’s self-esteem with your words and actions.
You hold an incredible amount of power over children’s self-confidence and belief in their ability to succeed. Remember your students are watching, listening, and discovering their sense of value through your eyes.
- Children always know if you like them or not.
Children are incredibly perceptive. We understand that you’re not going to like every child. However, we ask you to look beyond the negative behaviors and habits. All children are precious, no matter the obstacles they may throw your way.
- We want to be the parent, not the teacher.
Assign homework for concepts students already mastered in school. We don’t mind answering the occasional question, helping our kids study for tests, or even taking them to purchase supplies for projects. We just don’t want to make those volcano experiments ourselves.
It’s difficult to take on the role of teacher and sometimes it impedes our relationship with our child. Please ensure my child understands the material before sending it home for homework.
- Children’s grades do not define them.
Children are wonderful little humans. Each child is unique in his special talents, interests, and abilities. Regardless of whether my child fits in the box of school, please allow her to be herself and shine in her own light.
Most importantly, the parent-teacher relationship is based on trust. We must trust each other to have positive intent in any given situation, even for those who assign or sign reading logs. We’re all in this together.
What is one thing you would like to share with teachers? Please share in the comment section below.