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4 Things your child’s teacher would like you to know

TEACHER AND STUDENTS
Sebra | Shutterstock
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Ever wonder what teachers really wish they could tell their students' parents?

Teachers don’t always get to tell their students’ parents everything they’d like to — whether that’s because they don’t have the opportunity, they fear your reaction, or they are just too polite. However, sometimes there are things that simply need to be said. Here are some things that many teachers would like to be able to tell their students’ parents or guardians if they could.

1
Education starts at home

It’s your job to teach your children good manners.

Children should learn to say “please,” “thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “excuse me.” This is something they need to learn from their parents at home; the most teachers can do is reinforce manners in the classroom.

Encourage your children to read.

Take time to encourage your children to read. Read out loud to them, share books you think they’d enjoy, and talk with them about the stories afterwards. If they learn to read well and to enjoy reading, it can be a great help for them both in school and for their human development.

It’s important to have rules about cell phone use.

It’s understandable that parents want to be able to be in touch with their children throughout the day. However, you should teach your children from the very beginning to use these devices responsibly and intelligently, and, above all, not to use them when they shouldn’t — such as during classes.

Don’t cover up for your kids if they don’t do their homework.

Parents may discover that their child doesn’t want to go to school one day because he didn’t do his homework. The easiest solution is to write a note to the teacher with a made-up excuse. But this isn’t helpful because it teaches a child to lie and be irresponsible, and encourages them to form a bad habit of not doing their duty. Instead, teach your children to take responsibility for their actions.

2
Know your your children

No child is perfect.

Parents seem to think that their children are a delight to be with at school. They may be forgetting that their children, when not in their parents’ presence, often show a different side of their personality that may not not line up with their idea of their “little angel.”

Children don’t always tell the truth about school.

Children (like many adults) like to get out of difficult situations. That’s not to say that all children are pathological liars, but they’re still forming their consciences, and especially when they’re younger, they might not fully appreciate the importance of truthfulness and of not “telling stories” to their advantage. If their story contradicts their teacher’s version of events, don’t be too quick to side with your children.

Trust, but verify.

If your children tell you that they’ve finished their homework, it’s still a good idea check just to be sure, whether by asking to see it or by asking them questions about the content. Even if they’re telling the truth, the fact that you asked to see their work will help them understand that it really is important. It may also help them not to procrastinate regarding assignments that aren’t due tomorrow, but need to be started today.

Children can also be surprisingly (and inconveniently) open.

Some parents talk about private family matters in front of their children, thinking that they’re not paying attention. Don’t be fooled! Whether you’re talking about family debts, your political beliefs, or family feuds, the fact is that children know many of their parents’ secrets, and often don’t hesitate to reveal them at school.

3
Respect and appreciate teachers

Education requires teamwork between parents and teachers.

Parents and teachers are on the same side, seeking what’s best for the children’s education. Don’t turn teachers into villains, just because their rules or perspective might be different from yours, or because they might point out some of your children’s imperfections in their efforts to help educate them. Work together so your child can grow up smart, responsible, and disciplined!

Teachers aren’t in it for the money; it’s more of a vocation and passion.

No one gets rich being a teacher. Remember that your children’s teachers are motivated by dedication to their students and by the joy they experience in teaching. Good teachers often become important role models for their students. Be thankful and appreciative of their efforts.

Teachers have many responsibilities.

On a daily basis, teachers have to play many roles, including mother, father, psychologist, friend, and counselor. Plus, they have to be constantly on the watch for problems such as learning disabilities, bullying, behavioral problems arising from problems at home, and even drug use. Their job will be easier and more effective if you do yours, too.

Being a teacher takes special training.

Some parents give teachers advice on how to improve their class plans and techniques. While there may be legitimate disagreements about some aspects of class methodology, don’t underestimate the years of study and experience your children’s teachers have.

4
The goal of school isn't just to get good grades

Going to school isn’t just about performing well on academic tests. Children’s education, both at home and at school, is primarily about helping them become educated, well-rounded human beings, and to become responsible citizens, prepared to participate in the workforce and in society with human, spiritual, and civic virtues. Consequently, getting good grades isn’t the only sign of success in school. For teachers, the students who stand out aren’t just the ones at the top of the class, but the ones who are responsible, happy, and good-hearted. That says as much about the children’s home environment as it does about the children themselves.

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