What Teachers Wish Parents Knew About Their Kids

As parents we never consider how hard it is to be a teacher. Now hear it in the teachers words. This is what teachers wish parents knew about their kids.

Recently I interviewed a couple of teachers. Both have a unique perspective on what a teacher is and how that roll can affect the children they teach. They also have a desire for parents to understand that teachers are not the only people involved in the education process. It is a partnership between the parent and teacher that needs to remain healthy in order for a child to succeed. This health begins with how involved a parent involvement is in their child’s education.

The Bell Has Rung

When you clock out at work, you go home and relax, watch TV, or maybe go out for the evening if you have the energy. A teacher? Once the last student leaves and the lights are turned out, they do go home, but what awaits them is usually more work. This is the time they use to grade papers and go over what they are teaching tomorrow. A teacher’s job is tireless and never-ending.

With this new school year beginning, I want to help us parents get a glimpse into the minds of teachers everywhere. What is it that goes through their mind as they are teaching our kids. Moreover, what is it that teachers desperately want parents to know about the job they do, and about the kids they teach.

I asked each teacher five questions about teaching and what they want us to know about the areas they need our help in.

Thank you to Mrs. Nixon and Mrs. Smith for taking the time out of your busy schedules to assist me in writing this blog. Thank you for dedication to teaching our kids. While it often seems unnoticed, know that you are loved and appreciated. God bless you, and God bless teachers everywhere.

What do you love about teaching children?

Mrs. Nixon

Mrs. Nixon believes the best part of teaching is when a child has that “ah-ha” moment. Their face lights up as they finally understand something they are being taught. “It is amazing,” she says. She also loves the sweet hugs that she still gets years later from former students, “Those are pretty awesome too.”

Mrs. Smith

Mrs. Smith echoes that sentiment. “Being around kids warms my heart. Serving them lifts my spirit,” she says recognizing that through teaching, the children aren’t the only ones who are being blessed. She adds that children need time and attention. She explained to me that, “Sometimes parents are too busy with life to address these needs in their children.” Teaching gives her the ability to fill some of that void.

What do you wish for each of your children to experience through your teaching?

Mrs. Nixon

Mrs. Nixon wishes that her kids would develop a love of learning through reading. Reading is an important part of growing up. Books are essential to that growth because the books children read today, will become part of who they will be when they get older. Stories they will remember and then, in turn, convey to their children. Also, in her classroom, Mrs. Nixon wants each child to know that someone loves them, even as she sets strict boundaries through class rules and expectations.

Mrs. Smith

Mrs. Smith is an Art teacher. So, for her, it’s about the creative process. “I want them to experience the joy of creating, the satisfaction of finishing a piece, and the confidence that builds in them when they have accomplished a new work.” She has a unique way to condone this creative atmosphere of her class. “I don’t give them a new paper when they make mistakes. They have to learn to continue working through the mistake and make art out of it.” For the first nine weeks of school, there is no such thing as erasers in her class. “They stress out at first, but eventually they relax and have fun with it.” Her goal is to teach perseverance and tenacity this way.

What are our expectations of each child you teach? (Please expand beyond the syllabus.)

Mrs. Nixon

Mrs. Nixon has a firm belief in practice makes perfect. She doesn’t like enacting rules that a child may not be used to. So, before any consequences are handed out, she likes her kids to get used to her expectations, “I expect the children to follow the clearly defined, and rehearsed, and rehearsed and rehearsed, rules that I have set.”

Mrs. Smith

Mrs. Smith desires her kids to be able to identify with the art they create. “Where did the idea come from; was it inspired by a famous artist? If so, what do you know about that artist?” Not only the what and why, she expects her students to experience the how thoroughly. This comes through what materials they use. ‘Why did they use that method versus another?’ And ‘How did it feel to use that method?’ are frequent questions she asks her kids.

What’s the most important thing a parent can do for their child to make the child’s life easier?

Mrs. Nixon

Mrs. Nixon emphasizes the importance of spending time with your kids. She is a big proponent of reading and says, “Read and explore everywhere with them. Not just bedtime stories, but the back of the cereal box, the signs on the road, the packages at the grocery store.” She goes on to encourage parents to help their children identify letters; to make games out of it. “The best thing about this type of fun is that it doesn’t cost money or take much time. So, it’s worth it,” she says.

Mrs. Smith

Mrs. Smith also stresses the importance of being there for kids when they get home from school, especially when it comes to homework. The time you spend with your kids, no matter how insignificant it may feel “goes a long way for bonding and making memories,” she explains. She wants parents to make sure their children know that they are loved. “Don’t assume your children know.” Love needs to be reinforced by telling them and showing kindness continually. “It’s all about the time. Get everyone off technology and get everyone into doing family things together.”

What is the most important thing parents can do for their child to make a teacher’s life easier?

Mrs. Nixon

Mrs. Nixon asks parents to remember two things when considering your child’s teacher or teachers. The first is to teach your child to respect authority. Respect is something to emulate. If you are showing and teaching human value in the home, your child will reflect that behavior in their interaction with their teacher. It should also be reflected in their interaction with others.

With that said, always remember when your child comes home with a story about another child in the class that there is always another perspective. “Don’t always assume what your child is saying is golden.” Always ask questions first. Don’t let them see you jumping to conclusions. Mrs. Nixon says, “I have always asked my own children when they would tattle, “What did you do first? Or “What happened right before that happened?” When the full story comes out, then you can better understand the teacher’s reaction. Then she encourages parents to reinforce consequences laid out by teachers, even at home.

Secondly, work with them. “Parents are the child’s first and most important teacher.” This goes hand in hand with reinforcing what is taught in the classroom. Try not to challenge what the teacher is trying to do. If your child’s teacher is teaching that the sky is blue, but the parent is teaching the sky is purple, then the child will believe the sky is purple. “So, teach them right” Also practice needed skills like holding a pencil; identifying letters, especially those found in the child’s name; and allow them to use scissors are a few of her examples.

Mrs. Smith

Mrs. Smith also encourages parents to teach respect of authority to their children. “Teach your child that their number one job is to be a good student.” Like Mrs. Nixon, she says this begins in the home. When a child learns respect, this will make the teacher’s job much easier.

Organization is one thing that not only helps the child; it helps the teacher. Missing assignments not only place your child behind, but it also sets the teacher behind. She asks parents to help teachers by remembering to check backpacks, take-home folders, and binders for homework assignments and important papers that may need to be read and signed. Check them when they get home AND, check them before they go to school. Teachers get way too many, “I forgot my homework at home.”

She also says sleep is important. “Have your child get a good night’s sleep. Create morning routines that help them arrive at school in a pleasant mood, ready for the day. I have parking lot duty when the children arrive in the mornings. You would be surprised at the number of children who get out of the car with a bad mood already set.” It is hard for a teacher to start the day dealing with the assortment of various bad moods.

Remember, Your Child is one of Many

One complication is that some parents believe their kid is the only one in the class and that teachers should know everything about their child from their middle name to the way they like their toast. Parents must realize that their kid is one of many. You may feel that your child is the most precious thing in the world and the teacher should treat them that way but remember sixty other parents feel the same way about their kid.

A Teacher’s Door is Always Open to Parents

I encourage you, when you have questions or concerns, talk to your child’s teacher. Each teacher in my child’s school has a conference time, their email address is up on the school’s website, and they are always open to discussing concerns I may have. I have confidence that your child’s school sets their contact information up the same way.

Final Thoughts

Jeff is a Freelance Writer specializing in helping writers excel in their craft as well as working with parents to develop a child’s hunger for reading.