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8 Things Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents

Whether you’re in the middle of the school year, eagerly waiting for summer vacation or purchasing school supplies for a newly dawning school year; it’s always a good time to listen to what the teacher has to say! Pernille Ripp is a 5th grade teacher and has 8 key parent points all moms and dads need to hear. (And teachers would really love for you to understand!)

  1.       Give Your Kiddos a Break 
    It’s ok if your child didn’t study the upcoming curriculum all summer (or winter or spring break) because we get it; breaks are for relaxation and family time. So your child does not need to come in knowing everything, in fact, we prefer they don’t so that we may teach them instead. Have them read books during breaks and vacations but give them a true break from the homework if you can.

  2.       Teachers Welcome Your Visits (But Not All the Time)
    I love having parents in my classroom but sometimes they can be a massive distraction. Please don’t come in unscheduled. Consider working with the ‘room mom’ and use a free online sign up software like to organize parent volunteers.  Let the teacher know you would like to come in and first check if it’s a good time, sometimes it just isn’t, (and please don’t take it personally).

  3.       Let Your Child Do the Work
    While some parent assistance is nice, this is not your time to shine. If your child does not get something, we need to know and there is no way for us to find out if you help them too much with their homework or projects. Instead, let the teacher know a specific assignment was difficult, that way we can do our job and you don’t have to go back to school.

  4.       When Your Teacher has a Concern, Take it seriously!
    It is very difficult for teachers to bring up new concerns but sometimes it needs to be done, if your child’s teacher does bring up a new concern, please listen to them. Even if the behavior described is something you have never witnessed please keep in mind that there is a real reason for the teacher to bring it up. Together you can figure out whether there should be steps taken or if it just is an adjustment period.

  5.       Remember Teachers are Human Too
    We are not perfect nor do we pretend to be, so sometimes we mess up. Whatever your concern may be, discuss it with us, bring it up, but please be kind. There is never any reason to treat us terrible just because you are upset. Treat us the same way you would like to be treated.

  6.       Give Teachers Time to Respond
    Often your emails or messages are given prompt attention but sometimes the school day simply gets in the way. Give us a couple of days, or tell us if this is time sensitive so that we may respond appropriately. We would rather give your matter the attention it deserves than rush a response.

  7.       Trust Us
    We are professionals who have been hired because the district believes in us. This year will not work if you do not trust us at least in the beginning. Almost all teachers are in this job because they believe in making a difference for all students through teaching. If we get undermined at home your child learns to disrespect us as well and that makes for a tough relationship.

  8.       Encourage Your Child to be Responsible
    Sometimes your child will fail an assignment, forget their homework, or have a bad day. Let them navigate these issues and learn the deeper lessons. We all became responsible adults because our parents let us navigate life. Support your child in school but don’t help them make up excuses or come to their rescue every time they mess up, this is all part of growing up.

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