This was originally posted on The Mother List last May. See the original post here:
By Vicki Little
On the first day of Kindergarten, our school has a little tissue
tea for new parents where they can eat refreshments, cry a bit, write a
letter to their child and meet other parents. The principal tells
parents the same thing every year: “We promise to believe only half of
what your student tells us happens at home, if you promise to
believe only half of what they tell you happens at school.” Here are 8
other things that your child’s teacher would like you to know:
1) Learning is a process, not a letter. The teachers
I’ve talked to say they wish parents would realize that one bad grade
doesn’t mean that their student is failing. Sometimes the particular
assignment is challenging, or maybe they just had a bad day. Your
child’s teacher isn’t ignoring the grade; they will address it as
needed. But a child’s low score on a pop quiz isn’t a reason to call
your local tutoring center, either.
2) Grades are not a negotiation. If you are
concerned about a grade, set up a meeting and talk with the teacher, but
don’t expect to “negotiate” a new grade. Be proactive in getting ideas
on how to help your child and be willing to schedule time for tutoring
or working with them.
3) Accountability is a valuable lesson. Don’t save
your kid at every turn! If they continue to forget their homework and
you keep bringing it to them, they aren’t learning anything. Teachers
need parents’ help in teaching the kids responsibility and
4) Homework is not a test. It is practice. Let your
child make some mistakes! Teachers said they do want parents to
participate in homework and know what their child is doing, but don’t
help too much. If they don’t look over their work or write complete
sentences, let them learn through consequences.
5) Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency for the teachers.
Stay on top of things. Don’t wait until the end of the year, when it is
too late, to do anything to show concern over your child’s grades,
reading level, or social issues at school.
6) Communication is a two-way street. Teachers
really aren’t out to get your child. It is possible that they simply
have no idea your student is being bullied or sad during lunch. Go to
the teacher first with an open mind. Ask for suggestions and let them
know what is going on. Going over their head to the principal first will
only result in the principal asking if you have talked to the teacher.
7) Keep a routine (and an early bedtime). Kids
definitely have a harder time learning when they are tired, and their
grades will reflect this. Plus, they are less likely to
follow directions and get along with their peers.
8) Be involved. This was something all teachers
mentioned. Know what is happening in the classroom, in the school, with
homework and with your child. No one is saying that you need to serve as
PTO president, but talking with your child and coming to community
nights — or even just volunteering 20 minutes a month in the classroom —
can go a long way.
Are you a teacher? What do you want parents to know? Or if you are a parent, what would you like to say to teachers?
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