What Your Child’s Teacher Really Wants You To Know


What Your Child's Teacher Really Wants You To KnowI have been in education for the past 18 years and so much has changed in that time. When I started my first job at a local middle school, most of my lessons were displayed either on a chalkboard or an overhead projector. Now, I communicate to my students’ families through text messaging or apps. As technology has increased and made some of the logistics easier for teachers, the addiction to tech, particularly social media, has made teaching very hard. I am now in competition with the latest trends and devices that send out information quicker than I can teach it. The pandemic taught us that students are resilient. Many students took charge of their own learning as the world went remote. And while those moments gave us insight into virtual education, it made our students even more dependent on their devices.

As we head back into the classroom, thousands of teachers haven’t returned. Many have taken early retirement and many have changed careers altogether. What we know now is that education must be a collaborative effort between teacher, parent and the entire community. More and more teachers feel like they are not being heard. Factors like social media, politics and varying opinions on how education should move forward has lessened teacher voice.

So, before we more deeper into the school year, here are a few things your child’s teacher really wants you to know:

1. Trust us: Many of us are trained in our specific domains and have taken lots of time and effort in learning how to best meet the needs of our students. Let us utilize our expertise. We also have standards set forth by the state that tell us what to teach. We try to make learning as engaging as possible, but we are under certain limitations.

2. Be transparent: Let us know when there are struggles at home. No, you don’t have to go into detail, but when children are dealing with family issues, those moments can disrupt learning. Let us know so we can look for signs of struggle and help manage them throughout the day. It should also be noted that we want to hear this information from you. Many times your child has already told us what’s going on.

3. You are in charge of your child: While I am a parent myself, I am not your child’s parent. What you allow them to do or say at home they will do it with us…times 10. However, when the behavior is dealt with at school, there will be consequences that you may not agree with. It’s best to have conversations with your child at home about following rules and respect.

4. Chain of command is important: I have so many stories of small matters that turned into huge issues because the parent reached out to administration before reaching out to the teacher. Of course when there is a serious situation regarding the general well-being and safety of your child, take the necessary measures. But for things like grades, behavior, and classroom protocols, reach out to us. We can work together to find a solution.

5. We don’t like standardized tests, either: Unfortunately, many of those who make decisions about education aren’t teachers. We know how smart your child is but unfortunately we must measure proficiency on a test. Know that we understand test anxiety and we know all children don’t learn the same.

In order for us to nurture the future generation, we must work together. It is imperative that we collaborate during our children’s educational journey. We cannot be successful without your support. We cannot develop the best and brightest this world has to offer without being on the same team with you.