Building a Bridge Between Parent and Teacher
As a parent and a teacher, I have a pretty good view of both sides. If teachers hold the standard high for students, parents hold the standards even higher for teachers. Our society is in a major shift in which parents believe their children are perfect and the teacher should be, too. I’m here with a news flash to let you know that no one is ever perfect. So here are a few things to keep in mind while you are settling into a new school year.
From a teacher: We are not perfect. Even in the world of technology, SmartBoards and tablets, sometimes there are still glitches and nothing wants to work that day. Every once in a while, as we are putting a grade online, we might make a mistake. Your student’s average may shoot way up or down because someone accidentally fat-fingered two zeros instead of one. We are human. We make mistakes.
As a parent: Please remember no one is perfect. Please notice we are human and not robots. We also make mistakes. As a parent, please don’t scream and yell at us because we made one simple mistake that is easy to be fixed. Simply send an email that is pleasant and state the fact you noticed Suzy’s grade states she received 200 points out of 150.
From a teacher: A lot of the things that happen at a school, we don’t have much control over. We have people above us (administration, school board, etc.) that debate on what is the best grading scale to use, what is protocol for field trips, etc. We have to follow their rules in order to keep our job and don’t have much leeway with those rules.
As a parent: I know it’s annoying to fill out 10 sheets of paper for one field trip. I know it’s difficult to understand grades in I, II, III, and IIII instead of D, C, B, and A. I still need a conversion chart. As a parent, I tell myself to just sign the papers, do the conversions, and make sure it’s sent back in time. Why? Teachers are doing it because they were told this is best policy for their school. And those 10 papers for a field trip… if something happens to my kid during a field trip, I’m relying on those teachers or EMTs to know enough about my kid to be able to treat him immediately.
From a teacher: We know you truly believe that your child is 100% angel. We know it is difficult to hear the bad or negative things about him/her. When we email, call, or meet with you, we try our hardest to say positive and negative. Because it’s not like we don’t just see the negative. We see the positive as well. As a teacher, I need to constantly remind myself to tell parents that part more often.
As a parent: I know my child isn’t 100% angel. But he is my first born. He is an extension of me, the reason I’m here, my biggest pride and joy. I know he’s going to make mistakes and you as a teacher will be there to guide him. Please have patience. Please remember to tell me about the good and the bad both. Please see him for who he is. As a parent who is also a teacher, I know you will. And that’s why you teach.