What Teachers Want Parents to Know- Part 1 (of 7)

Posted: August 19, 2014 in advice, Education, Teachers, Teaching, Technology

I’m going to post this in seven parts over the next two weeks!

 

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

Back to school is almost upon us! So, this blog post has to do with school. Now, I’m a teacher, not a parent, so this is why this post comes from the teacher perspective. I would love to hear what parents would like teachers to know!

One thing is clear, teachers and parents both play an integral part in shaping a child’s mind. Both serve as guides and examples of how to navigate this journey that is life. And, with the ultimate goal to create independent people by the time they graduate, it is imperative that both parent and teacher do everything they can to support, encourage and guide our future adults.

I’m going into my eighth full year of teaching this September and I think I’ve seen it all. I have met some wonderfully supportive parents and I have been raked over the coals by others. Here are seven things as a teacher I (and my teaching friends) wish parents knew and understood about teaching/the education system. Again, I’m sharing this to help facilitate a partnership between teachers and parents. Because ultimately we want what you want-for your child to be successful, both at school and at life.

1. Every teacher is different- Teachers, like people, are different. They have different personality types, they have varied interests and strengths, have had different experiences and communicate in different ways. That is what makes teaching so great- when you are dealing with a variety of children and a variety of subjects, you need more than a cookie-cutter definition of what a good teacher is. There are always a few funny and vivacious teachers on staff that all the kids love and clamour to get in that teacher’s class. That being said, there are some amazing teachers who are quieter and all around good at delivering solid teaching. They may not be one of the “cool” teachers, but your kids will learn so much from them.

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Teachers are like shoes…

Comparing teachers is like comparing shoes. You just can’t. Some are instantly comfortable, and others hurt your feet. But, each has their purpose and even those high heels that pinch will help you with your posture! Each teacher you have will teach you something if you are open to it. Sure, some teachers you will connect more with and you’ll enjoy their teaching style more. But, there are others that you shouldn’t just write off because you don’t like them as much as another teacher. Encouraging your child to see the good in whatever teacher they have will help them to be successful.

I remember teaching an academic English course where the kids were constantly complaining that I wasn’t as fun as their teacher from the year before, mainly because I made them do some serious reading and writing. It’s hard not to take comments like that personally, because as humans we all have a desire to be liked. I told my kids, “I don’t care if you like me. My goal is to make you better readers and writers and to have you rock the essay form. I care that when you are at college or university you have a moment where you think, thank you Ms. B.” And, it’s been cool to have kids come back and share how a skill or strategy we worked was useful to them in other courses and later on in life and post secondary studies. My job as a teacher is not to make friends.  My job is to teach your kids.

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

A word about technology and communication here. Every teacher’s experience with technology is different. Every classroom is equipped with different technology and every subject is different. I’ve taught English in a computer lab, but I’ve also taught it with limited computer access. Some teachers are able to do a weekly email update to parents. Some teachers have all their lessons online on a website. Others still break out the overhead projector. Some have classes where there are a lot of difficult students, so you may never get a phone call if your kid is one of the ok ones. All of these scenarios can allow for good teaching, if you have one thing: a good teacher. A teacher’s merit should not be placed on how many smart board lessons use, how many foldables they create, or how many lights and special effects they put into their lessons. Sure, when used effectively- they breed great results. But, I’ve seen some amazing teacher led pencil and paper activities. The worst thing you can do is say, “Last year, Mr. So-in-so did this,” or “Ms. So-in-so was so much more engaging.”

Embrace differences and encourage your children to so as well.

Don’t believe me?  Check out this post:  https://emstop7.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/405/

CLICK ON THE SPEECH BUBBLE AT THE TOP OF THIS POST AND LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS!

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