Posted by: L. E. Barnes | September 8, 2010

What Teachers Would Like To Tell Parents

Here are some things–compiled by Neena Samuel–that teachers won’t tell their students’ parents (though I don’t see why they shouldn’t):

A look inside a teacher’s mind could help you understand lesson plans and maybe even guide your child to perform better.

1. If we teach small children, don’t tell us that our jobs are “so cute” and that you wish you could glue and color all day long.

2. I’m not a marriage counselor. At parent-teacher conferences, let’s stick to Dakota’s progress, not how your husband won’t help you around the house.

3. We’re sick of standardized testing and having to “teach to the test.”

4. Kids used to go out and play after school and resolve problems on their own. Now, with computers and TV, they lack the skills to communicate. They don’t know how to get past hurt feelings without telling the teacher and having her fix it.

5. When I hear a loud belch, I remember that a student’s manners are a reflection of his parents’.

6. Your child may be the center of your universe, but I have to share mine with 25 others.

7. Please help us by turning off the texting feature on your child’s phone during school hours.

8. Guys who dribble a ball for a couple of hours a game can make up to $20 million a year. We educate future leaders and make about $51,000 a year.

9. We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, we’re watching for learning disabilities, issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.

10. Kids dish on your secrets all the time—money, religion, politics, even Dad’s vasectomy.

11. Please, no more mugs, frames, or stuffed animals. A gift card to Starbucks or Staples would be more than enough. A thank-you note: even better.

12. We love snow days and three-day weekends as much as your kid does.

13. The students we remember are happy, respectful, and good-hearted, not necessarily the ones with the highest grades.

Although I’ve never taught children, just working with college students (some of whom, alas, act like children) makes me believe every word of the above statements.

Neena Samuel compiled another such list, a few of which I’ll pass along as well:

My first year of teaching, a fifth-grader actually threw a chair at me. I saw him recently, and he told me he just graduated from college. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.

I have parents who are CEOs of their own companies come in and tell me how to run my classroom. I would never think to go to their office and tell them how to do their jobs.

The truth is simple: Your kid will lie to get out of trouble.

Teaching is not as joyful as it once was for many of us; we get jaded too. Disrespectful students and belligerent parents take a toll on us.

We wish parents would make their kids own up to their actions instead of pressuring us to bend the rules.

Please stop doing everything for your child and allow them to make mistakes. How else will they learn? Kids are not motivated to succeed because they feel their parents will bail them out every time.

And this is probably the most important of all:

Teaching is a calling. There’s not a teacher alive who will say she went into this for the money.

To all the teachers out there: THANK YOU!! 🙂



  1. […] What Teachers Would Like to Tell Parents […]

  2. Funny you posted this list. I saw this list on Yahoo early last week and almost posted it on mine!

    What Neena Samuel wrote about parents is so true. I worked with young children for several years and the worst part of it was dealing with the parents! (Well, most of the parents anyway.)

    • I can believe it!

  3. “We wish parents would make their kids own up to their actions instead of pressuring us to bend the rules.

    Please stop doing everything for your child and allow them to make mistakes….”

    Unbelievably, this is also true at the college level.

    • Don’t I know it! Too many young adults seem to have no idea how to act their age. And I don’t think it’s entirely their fault, as parents, popular culture, and others have failed to set the right models for them to follow.

  4. TV and movies sow bad habits in the young and lead to unrealistic expectations. Some teachers reflect these deplorable values and encourage them. Other teachers remain silent and go along with them. This is a double burden to good teachers who know better. This is why I believe in making whatever sacrifice is necessary to homeschool according to Catholic values. Kudos to the good teachers out there.

    • The media definitely have to shoulder some of the blame for declining manners in young people. Homeschooling is on good option, but unfortunately it’s not for everyone.

  5. My son is in his 3rd year as a teacher. He loves it so much. I pray he never loses his passion to teach. It was a good teacher who inspired him to go into teaching. Let’s pray for them all!

    • Amen to that!

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