Several months ago, Reader's Digest published an article called "Thirteen Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You."  There were several more on the Reader's Digest website. 

With some minor adjustments for our purposes here, I felt many of them were worth passing on:

  • The students we remember are happy, respectful, and good-hearted, not necessarily the ones with the highest grades.
  • Please no more mugs, frames, candy, or stuffed animals. A gift card to Starbucks or Staples would be more than enough.  A thank-you note:  even better.
  • Please help us by turning off the texting feature on your child's cell phone during school hours.
  • We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day.  Plus, we're watching for learning disabilities, abuse or other issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.
  • Kids dish on your secrets all the time--money, religion, politics, even Dad's recent surgery to insure no future offspring.
  • Your child may be the center of your universe, but I have to share mine with 180 others.
  • We're sick of standardized testing and having to "teach to the test.
  • I have parents who are CEOs of their own companies come in and tell me how to run my classroom. I would never think to go to their office and tell them how to do their jobs.
  • Teaching is a calling. There’s not a teacher alive who will say she went into this for the money.
  • We don’t arrive at school 10 minutes before your child does. And we don’t leave the minute they get back on the bus. Many of us put in extra hours before and after school.
  • We are not the enemy. Parents and teachers really are on the same side.
  • Encourage your child to keep reading. That’s key to success in the classroom at any age.
  • We can tell the difference between a parent helping their child with homework and doing it for them (especially when they’re clueless in class the next day).
  • Just because your child says he did his homework doesn’t mean it’s true. You must check. Every night.
  • We spend money out of our own pockets to buy things our students need, such as school supplies and even shoes.
  • Nobody says “the dog ate my homework” anymore, but we hear a lot of “I left it on the kitchen table.” And then Mom will send in a note to back up the story (or my printer was out of ink!).
  • We wish parents would make their kids own up to their actions instead of pressuring us to bend the rules.

Sources: American Federation of Teachers; interviews with elementary and middle school teachers in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas.

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