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Screw Teacher Appreciation Week

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Today is the first day of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Here's what I'd like to say to my fourth-grader's teacher: Thanks for nothing!

Mad looking woman

Traci: I am not a big fan of my daughter's teacher. Sometimes you click with a teacher and sometimes you don't. I'm basically just counting the days 'til she's out of Mrs. Johnson's class.

My daughter has ADHD, and the teacher has basically refused to work with us on this. She suggested we "transfer her to a more appropriate school." HELLO?!

Well, last week, I got the sheet from the room mother announcing Teacher Appreciation Week. It listed what the kids were expected to bring each day. My immediate thoughts are italicized.

- Monday: Bring a sweet treat for Mrs. Johnson (home-baked if possible).
Um, I don't have time to bake! I have two jobs, just trying to keep food on the table. But I'd be happy to slip her a Chips Ahoy if she'd like that.

- Tuesday: Bring in a flower from your garden for Mrs. Johnson.
I live in an apartment. I don't have a garden. Maybe a weed from the patch of grass next to the parking lot?

- Wednesday: Write a poem for Mrs. Johnson.
Roses are red, violets are blue, this week sucks, and so do you!

- Thursday: Bring a small gift for Mrs. Johnson ($10 limit).
In these tough times, ten dollars is tough to scrape together. 99 Cent Store okay instead?

- Friday: Please donate $20 for our class gift fund. We are going to get her a day at the spa!
Um, MOMMY could use a day at the spa ... what about me?!?!?!?!

Look, don't get me wrong ... I love teachers! I think it is the hardest job in the world. But this particular teacher is less than great, and I don't want to be forced to show how much my daughter "appreciates" her.

Plus, don't working moms have enough to keep track of? Now I have five more things to add to my to-do list this week. THANKS.

What do you think about Teacher Appreciation Week?

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41 comments so far | Post a comment now
AM  May 4, 2009, 6:57 PM

Just curious… Do you pay your taxes? Well as you state that you work 2 jobs I’m sure that you pay more than your fair share. That teacher’s salary is paid with the money you pay in taxes. She works for you! and it sounds like she is not working out so well… Its time for you to fire her and get your daughter out of her class. You have rights. Tell the principal what happened and they you want your kid out of that class and into a class where the teacher will work with your daughter. No child should have to suffer with a teacher that won’t be helpful to the child.

Anonymous May 4, 2009, 7:07 PM

What kid DOESN’T have ADHD these days? Wah.

kate May 4, 2009, 7:39 PM

Ya my sd is adhd in prek and her teacher is pretty much the worst teacher I have ever met. We are moving her out of the school because of her teacher and the principal knows how I feel about her and also knows if she somehow blocks her transfer im goin to the schoolboard about this moron…

~Annie Mous May 4, 2009, 7:39 PM

Then don’t thank your crappy teacher. But there are plenty of A+ teachers out there who deserve to get special attention once a year for helping raise our children. Or should I say babysit???

Kathleen McDade May 4, 2009, 7:50 PM

I think your room mother’s expectations are way out of whack, regardless of whether you like the teacher.

It is a bummer (and sometimes downright damaging) when things don’t work out with your child’s teacher. But I think most teachers work very hard to teach and help children and deserve the thanks.

Big Mama May 4, 2009, 7:50 PM

I love Teacher Appreciation Week! My boys are six and seven, and all of their teachers up to this point have been fantastic!

Their teachers have gone above and beyond the requirements of the curriculum, and have worked doubly hard to ensure that special holidays are celebrated with flair, for example, Dr. Seuss’ birthday consists of homemade felt hats and real green eggs and ham, they have done special activities like creating personalized year books and other memorabilia, and have worked overtime to help with any questions or concerns parents have.

Teaching is one of the most underpaid and under-appreciated fields, and also one of the first to get cut in an economic crisis.

More often than once, I’ve seen negative comments from parents who themselves don’t take the time to be active in their child’s classroom.

If you are truly that dissatisfied with her performance, perhaps you should contact the Principal, request a meeting with the teacher, or research the rules and regulations to see if she is meeting the requirements.

Instead of complaining, take action. Be proactive instead of reacting with negativity, and you will find that things aren’t as bad as you may have originally thought.

Nikki-Canada May 4, 2009, 7:50 PM

Excuse me ANONYMOUS the one who made the comment about ADHD we have been working with Dr’s for over a year and we just got her diagnosis I take offence to that because my daughter does have it and no WE ARE NOT MEDICATING HER we are working with her and some children do have ADHD it is not made up.Maybe do some research BEFORE JUDGING OTHERS or look at your self in the mirror before making a comment like that because people like you are just plain IGNORANT!!!! Thank god my daughters school is so GREAT as they are working with her and myself in any which way or form to see her succeed and I Love her Teacher she’s AWSOME!!!!

Me May 4, 2009, 7:52 PM

So it looks like the room mother is a bit out of control to suggest such a lengthy list with that much money for individuals to spend. That’s a little absurd. Whether you chose to do something or nothing at all, I agree it doesn’t have to be that over the top, but as far as I’m concerned anyone who is willing to take responsibility for the nurturing of 30 kids, 35 hours per week is a saint. Though some may be better at it than others, it’s one of the toughest jobs there is. I challenge you to run a classroom flawlessly five days a week.

4Teachers May 4, 2009, 7:58 PM

First of all, the ADHD label is just a code for “crack babies”. Stay away from uncontrolled substances. You should be made to educate you own child! Second, in response to AM- That teacher and all teachers pay taxes, so they also work for themselves. Lovely isn’t it? Teachers pay their own salaries!!!!! If you are not happy with the job teachers are doing, you do the job better yourself, by teaching them yourself.

Kristen May 4, 2009, 8:13 PM

Ok, funny stuff about the ADHD conversation going on. I think it’s funny because I can’t figure out what kid WOULDN’T have ADHD after being made to sit in a stupid classroom for 6 hours a day.

Anonymous May 4, 2009, 8:40 PM

Maybe you should have gone to Teacher’s College if you can do it better. Very judgemental.

AM  May 4, 2009, 8:52 PM

TO 4Teachers: Many children are wrongly diagnosed with ADHD & ADD but are also are just as many who are correctly diagnosed with it or who go undiagnosed. While some may indeed be crack babies many are not. Even if they are they still deserve to be taught in school setting that will best serve them. If the teacher is not running the class in a way that suits the child then the parent has the right to request a new teacher and, if necessary, special education can & should be provided. At one point I pulled my own kids completely out of school and home schooled them because of a bad environment in a school. Once I found school with teaching styles and environment that I wanted for kids and that worked for them I enrolled them in that charter school. We had to make some sacrifices as family but it was what was best for my kids. And yes it is crazy that teachers pay taxes with the money they earn from the taxes the rest of us pay.

Kellita May 4, 2009, 9:04 PM

I completely understand the writer’s point. I have three children, ages 6-18. While most of their teachers have been wonderful, there have been a few bad apples in the barrel over the years. Admittedly, teaching children is not an easy job, but the “bad” teachers have made those particular years excrutiating.
Regardless, I agree that the Room Mother’s list of expectations for Teacher Appreciation Week are a bit over-the-top. In my son’s school, each child is writing a note thanking their teacher in their own words. I think that is an appropriate, beautiful and manageable gift.

Roxanne May 4, 2009, 10:07 PM

the only part about this list that is demanding is the final one. the other ones are extremely easy and adaptable to any lifestyle (it says home-baked IF POSSIBLE, $10 LIMIT not minimum). if you’re not happy with how your kid’s teacher is treating them, then you need to be the adult/parent and figure out how to fix it, not complain later about teacher appreciation week. you come off sounding very ungrateful (and slightly offensive).

B May 4, 2009, 10:08 PM

I believe there are some really wonderful teachers who deserve to be appreciated. However, I think this list is not considerate of people who could be struggling financially. As the parent, you have every right to not contribute.

AL May 5, 2009, 12:10 AM

I can’t believe someone would call a child with a disability a crack baby. Sick, sad and wrong. Just because add and adhd are diagnosed waaaay too often, who are you to decide why they have it and who actually has it? Regardless, even if a child is diagnosed with this and doesn’t have it, there is obviously something going on with that child. Learning disabilities are real. Obviously, right? YOU seem to have had a problem learning respect. By the way, I do not have add, adhd or have a child diagnosed, I have no real connection to anyone who has, I’m just simply offended by the comments written putting a child down that way. Gross.

4Teachers May 5, 2009, 5:33 AM

I am neither sick, sad, or wrong. But you are entitled to your opinion and so am I. Learning respect? You simply have a problem with me calling it what it is. Sorry I am not politically correct. The truth hurts some people, guess you are one of those people. I believe in disabilities. This is a society that loves putting labels on everyone. I am just not one of those people who believes or accepts everything that scientists or anyone else tells me, a sign of intelligence! Thank you for your input though.

Nikki-Cananda May 5, 2009, 9:46 AM


My children are not CRACKHEAD BABIES.We have worked with Dr’s for over a year to get her diagnosis and myself or my husband HAVE NEVER DONE DRUGS let alone have alcohol in the house WE ARE NOT MEDICATING OUR CHILD because we feel it is not nessary for her maybe you are the CRACK HEAD and need to be MEDICATED YOURSELF.My kids school is amazing and work with the kids not against them OUR TEACHERS ROCK and you are pathetic!!!!!
I would have no problem doing the list above for her teacher!!!!!

Andie May 5, 2009, 9:47 AM

You know it’s so easy to judge the teachers but I would like to see you in a classroom with 22 kids and see if you survive at the end of the day! I’m sure most wouldn’t survive…so quit your nagging and put on you big girl panties on and you do what you need to do for your child. If the teacher suggested you transfer her to another school that’s because SHE CARES ABOUT YOUR CHILD because if she didn’t then she would just corner her and not teach her anything because she can’t keep up. What parents don’t understand is that the teachers work with a bzillion learning levels and if the 21 kids are keeping up and moving forward she cant stop to teach your child and leave the 21 behind. You do the math, might as well work with the 21 that are moving forward and learning that with 1 that is struggling and maybe not even learn. Would you get the 21 good chocolate pieces that you know are good or would you risk getting only 1 that more than likely be bad? I thought so, your child is not the only one in the classroom, thank you very much!!

Hang in there Nikki May 5, 2009, 11:25 AM

My son has ADD, (Yes, a real disease, not imagined or due to my taking drugs. Never have, never will.) His teachers fluxuate between being extra helpful or being extra frustrated. depending on the season. I don’t blame them. It’s frustrating for anyone to deal with this when there’s no game plan. And if there were a special school for kids with ADD, also for pre-teens with depression, (again, a real disease,) I would sign up right now just to stop being a burden on all you parents and teachers of ‘normals.’ But there isn’t one in my area, or in most folks’ neighborhoods for that matter. But it’s a common misconception and belief of parents of ‘normals,’ that we parents of ‘differents’ are just making up excuses for why our kids aren’t performing at a majority level. But if you could just imagine for a moment that your child was truly unwell, like they had the flu every day and felt out of it most of the time and simply couldn’t concentrate. Then imagaine you had to send them to school every day regardless of how crap they feel because it’s the law, only to subject them to further torture in the form of judgmental cruel children, their parents who made them that way, and similarly behaving teachers, then maybe you could understand where Nikki and the Author are coming from. But if you can’t, then I wish you never have to, because I wouldn’t wish what my son and husband and I are going through on my own worst enemy.

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