I’m a teacher. However, I’m also a human being. A human being who makes mistakes, who tries her hardest but sometimes comes up short.
Who is hurt when you tell her she isn’t good enough.
I know that, as a parent, I’m going to be fiercely protective of my baby girl and any other future children I have. However, I’m also going to be respectful. Here is my oath that I’m putting out there now. Hold me to it when she hits school age.
Instead of accusing, I will inquire kindly — just as her teacher will do of me — if maybe I drop the ball and forget to do something.
I will thank the teacher for her hard work even if my child doesn’t get every concept immediately. I will put the same hard work in at home with her. I will understand that it isn’t lack of effort sometimes, but the child just isn’t ready for that yet. I won’t stop trying, but I’ll celebrate her successes as well and ask what I can do to help.
If something doesn’t come home graded immediately, I will remember that the teacher has a family too. She may have chosen to snuggle her sick baby that night instead of grading a math paper.
I will understand that there are a lot of moving parts at a school and that the teacher can’t control all of it. I won’t take my frustrations out on the teacher when it is out of his or her hands.
I will ask my child what happened, but I will also take the teacher at his or her word unless there is a glaring reason not to.
I will understand that teachers have 2 eyes and 20+ children. Not everything can be seen, but I know they’re trying to. They want to send them home in the same or better condition than when they arrived.
I’ll understand that the teacher didn’t discipline my child because he or she is mean. I won’t think he or she did it to humiliate her or make her upset. As much as it breaks my heart when she’s upset, I will look for the lesson the teacher was trying to teach and work to reinforce it at home. They’re teaching my child to be responsible, take responsibility for their actions, treat others well, work hard, and many other things we work on as parents as well. School isn’t just about learning math and reading.
I will not try to change my child’s grades. She didn’t turn something in? There’s that lesson again. A low grade? Maybe we needed to practice more during homework time, ask for tutoring, or ask the teacher if she could go back over it with her. I will try to teach her how to cope with it and how to avoid it happening in the future.
If my child is having a continual problem with another child, I will let the teacher know but will also be teaching my child peaceful ways to deal with it. I won’t let her get bullied or hurt, but I will understand that kids are kids. If someone says they don’t like her shoes, she can tell them they don’t have to wear them and that it hurts her feelings when they say that. Conflict resolution is so much more valuable than fighting or avoidance.
I’m teaching my child to be a responsible, kind person. I appreciate that the person spending eight hours a day with her is doing the same thing while away from his or her own family. Be kind to teachers. They love your kids. They want the best for them. They are doing their best.