Back to School: 6 Tips to Parents From Teachers on What NOT to Do

*Note to parents who are sending young children off to school, teachers have got your number. And not in the they can call you anytime way; more so in the behavior department. They know when it was you, not the child, who really completed that project. They realize too that when you are all up in their face complaining that you had no idea the field trip was on Friday, its because you haven’t been reading the letters they’ve been sending home with the child all month long.

Teachers continue to voice their frustrations in staff meetings and principals offices because obviously, trying to speak to parents, words often fall on deaf ears.

So in an attempt to help them out, here is 6 things they SO wish you would stop doing…pretty please.

If a child asks for help, find ways to be their assistant while allowing them to connect to the task as much as possible.”–Signed, your child’s teacher

Teachers say there is a marked difference in the behavior of a child who has contributed to his or her own project. This versus the child who had absolutely nothing to do with it. DON’T DO YOUR CHILD’S HOMEWORK FOR THEM!

“We can tell the difference between something made by the parents and something made by the children—call it a trick of the trade. The proudest, most connected kids are the ones who actually did the project themselves, with wonky letters crawling up the sides of the page and half glued-in photographs with the tops of people’s heads missing. They light up as they share their work, whereas the children who didn’t contribute wear glazed expressions.”

Those exorbitant lunch menu’s tho’

Seriously. Do you think your child’s teacher has time for your list of instructions on preparing little Johnny’s food? Think again!

Teacher says…

“…Please don’t provide serving instructions and special requests, like telling us to heat or cut up the food. (Just send it in ready to eat.) We also hate it when you send in candy or desserts (often against school policy) in a bento box where the junk food glows like a beckoning light in a dark storm of otherwise healthy options. If you want to treat your kids, write them a quick note—it thrills them, we promise.”

The notice was sent home three times, ma’am!

Stop it! You know you didn’t take the time to go through Brenda’s backpack looking for communications from the school. You scrolled right over that email; and promised you’d get back to that text. You never did! So why are you trippin’ now?

“Never realized you were supposed to send in a shoe box for that project? It was in that email, sent last week as well as this week with the subject line: SHOE BOX NEEDED FOR PROJECT BY FRIDAY. It was also mentioned to you, in person, while you were scrolling on your phone during drop-off. It’s extremely frustrating for teachers when parents act like they don’t know what’s going on, when we spend hours each week crafting detailed newsletters, writing reports and sending home information about our curriculum and school happenings.”

Oh Miss Becker, Yoo-hoo! I wanted to ask you something ‘right quick!’ 

Don’t do that. Teachers say expecting in-depth conversations during times when children are departing or arriving is a no-no!

“It may be the easiest time for you in your action-packed day, but it’s not best for your child’s teacher, who is actively greeting arriving families and tracking attendance, all while gearing up for the day ahead. Additionally, twenty tiny pairs of ears will be perked and ready nearby, observing the interaction and absorbing bits and pieces of the conversation.”

What happened? He was fine up until now.

As parents we know when our kids are “off” kilter. We can recognize when something is wrong; so we ask questions like were you touched inappropriately? Did she call you a name? Did they make you feel bad?

Well guess what, your child’s teacher — the one with at least 20 or more children in his or her class — needs to know of any changes in your child’s environment that may affect their behavior. Nothing is insignificant here. Black parents in particular, we’re so private and think, “They don’t need to know our business.”

“Has your child stopped sleeping or eating? Did they recently develop an allergy to strawberries? Have you or your partner been traveling? Did you move this weekend? Was there a death in the family? Any recent bump in routine can throw your child off, causing behavioral changes at school. It’s important to let your teacher know about anything new at home, so they can best help your child during the day at school.”

None of us have time, so we’ve got to make time…especially when it comes to those IMPORTANT SCHOOL MEETINGS.

“Twice a year, we are able to sit down formally and discuss your child’s progress. Usually in a short window of time. Showing up late (or not at all) or being on your cell phone for five straight minutes shows teachers you aren’t respecting their professional input. It also sends the message that you aren’t really interested in taking an active role in your child’s education.”

So there you have it! When we know better, we do better right? There’s 6 more things you SHOULD KNOW when it comes to your child, school, and your behavior.

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