December 2, 2014
As a former teacher, the worse thing that can happen in your day is to receive a phone call from a parent who is beyond irate that their child is missing a glove that no one took the time to write their name on it or use the attachment tools to attach it to the child’s coat. Or better yet. Receive a phone call to tell me how to “discipline” your child when I have observed in person the child cuss at you and tell you what do to. The list could go on all day but there is a point.
My point for this article is to provide parents a moment of self-reflection. This is a great time to think about your current family life, dynamics, health, among other things. If you are doing one thing, there is a high chance that your child will follow in your steps. If you are cursing, don’t be surprised when your child screams the same words…or if you watch violent shows or movies with your children, don’t get mad when you receive a phone call that your child just body-slammed another student on the ground. Taking a moment of self-reflection and identifying areas in your own life that might positively or negatively affect your child will help you get a clearer image of the entire situation.
We, the teachers, are only there to do a few things: create a safe environment in the classroom, teach academic topics, and teach social-emotional skills. We are not body guards, psychologists, doctors, nor therapists. We do care about the children but a parent who blames all their issues on the teacher isn’t making a good image in the eyes of teachers and school members. We are only with your children for 1/3 of the day and another 1/3 of the day, they are probably sleeping so the fact that you may only have 1/3 of the day to interact with your child, make that time really count and create positive memorable moments.
So, how do you create a harmonious environment between the teacher and the parents? Parents, ask the teacher what types of discipline tools they use in class and ask how they can be adapted to home life. Also, ask the teacher about schedules and how you can create a schedule that will work at home as it does in class. Or better yet, teachers can reach out to parents and provide that information without parents having to ask. That was one of my main duties while I was teaching. I would always provide parents with the same material in the classroom so they can use it at home because I needed their support more then I needed to wait for them to come to me asking for help.
So remember, before you call your child’s school and are thinking about giving that teacher a few things on your mind, take a few minutes to breathe and have the attitude of overcoming and not the attitude ready to start a street fight.
Teachers are people also