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Preschool Confidential: What Teachers Want You to Know

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My job is quite entertaining: I get to spend my days with your children, and they never fail to make me laugh. Sure, there are stumbling blocks, but the hurdles with the kids are usually surmountable. It's often you -- the parent -- who presents the biggest challenge. I know it's hard navigating the demands of school (I'm a mom, too), but here are a few things I'd love to tell you. You may find some hard to believe, but I guarantee you: I have made nothing up. Who could make up a frazzled working mom juggling so much that she put the entire jar of peanut butter in the lunch box?

Empty your child's backpack. Yes, it contains a lot of glue and glitter and unidentifiable objects, but your child worked hard on those projects and is proud of them. Even if you're going to toss it all in the trash as soon as you tuck him into bed (yep, I do this, too), at least pretend to be interested enough to look at it with your child.

Now that your child is verbal, it might be a good time to get a lock for your bedroom door and use it. Your son told his friends quite a story about his nighttime wanderings -- illustrated with our career dolls -- and it's really very awkward to have those images of Ms. Banker and Mr. Plumber flashing before my eyes every time I talk to you.

Don't ask me about any other children. If I tell you that your child is doing well on something, don't ask me if Julian is doing that, too. And don't ask me if your child is the smartest in the class. I won't tell you. Teachers prefer to compare a child's progress to himself, not others: Could he draw a face this well last fall? Could he sit still this long for a story two months ago?

I'm sure your child is gifted. My three children are all gifted, too. Shall I tell you all about them? In mind-numbing detail? Wait, I think I may have a video here on my phone that you can watch -- it's only 12 minutes long.

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