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True Teacher Confessions: What Teachers Wish They Could Tell Parents

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We gave teachers the chance to speak their minds ... and they certainly did!

Check out how teachers responded to our True Teacher Confessions request. And may this be a lesson to all of us parents: We need to support our school systems and our teachers. We also need to read to our children. Teachers are putting in the time -- and so should we!

True Teacher Confessions

What do you wish you could REALLY tell parents?

"A lot of times, I wish I could tell parents their kid is a booger. A great big slimy one. They are not nice to have around, mean to other kids, annoying and I wish I could just shove them in the closet! This is with only a few kids; I am not a witch (lol)."-- Teacher for five years

What is the most annoying complaint you hear from parents?

"'I don't have time to read with my child. Teachers are overpaid, and they have their summers off.' My day at school starts at 7 AM, and I am there until 7 PM most nights. Once the students arrive at 8:20 AM, I am ON until they leave at 3:25 PM. Then, when I get home, I still have school-related work to do. My summers are spent taking classes for improvement and updating for new curriculum." -- Kindergarten teacher for 20 years

Do parents ever negatively impact a child's education? How so?

"By having unreasonable demands. Straight As does NOT mean your child is Einstein." -- Teacher for six years

What should parents NEVER say to you?

"'You aren't paying enough attention to MY student.' I am one person and doing the best I can with the resources available to me. If you want your kids to get special attention, bring them here before school or pick them up late after school. I'd be happy to give him the individual instruction."-- High-school teacher for 10 years

What's the biggest challenge facing teachers today?

"When I began teaching 40 years ago, I had 20 to 25 students per English class. (Five classes a day = 100 to 125 students daily.) Having students write at least two times each week was time-consuming; however, able to be accomplished. With 40 students in each class, writing longer papers is becoming a thing of the past." -- Teacher for 40 years

What do you wish you could REALLY tell parents?

"Your child is a spoiled little brat, and you need to get a clue." -- Teacher for 14 years

Do parents ever negatively impact a child's education? How so?

"Parents who pull their children from school for multiple family trips or long weekends say, 'It is only kindergarten.' Children who miss school miss out on learning. If they are sick, the teacher tries very hard to catch the child up, but if the parents keep taking them out for every little thing, the child loses in the long run." -- Kindergarten teacher for 20 years

What's the worst thing you have seen in the classroom?

"Two different students on two different occasions threatened to kill me in front of all the other students in the class. None of the principals would come for assistance. Thank goodness that the other students held him back until the police got there." -- Teacher for 24 years

What do you wish you could REALLY tell parents?

"'I only have a year with your child -- YOU are the one who has to deal with these behaviors for the long haul. I'm trying to improve their knowledge and skills, but these problem behaviors aren't going away if you ignore them. If I'm the fifth-grade teacher telling you these concerns, it's time to stop blaming the school or the teacher and start looking at what's going on at home.'" -- Teacher for 11 years

What's the biggest challenge facing teachers today?

"I believe the biggest challenge now is that parents just don't seem to care as much. They don't show to conferences, don't respond to notes, don't take an interest in what goes on in school and don't help with homework. How are we supposed to educate your child if you don't at least put in minimal effort at home? -- Teacher for five years

What do you wish you could REALLY tell parents?

"I don't come to your job and question every move YOU make, so don't come to mine and do that." -- Teacher for six years

What should parents NEVER say to you?

"'He or she is your problem. You deal with it. You get paid.'" -- Teacher for six years

What do you wish you could REALLY tell parents?

"I really wish I could tell parents that their children are in high school and need to start being responsible for themselves. Parents (and their kids) these days blame everyone else. Kid fails class? Teacher hates him. Kid beats up another student? That student had it coming. Kid kips class? Teacher didn't try hard enough to engage kid when he was in class. Kid always tardy? Teacher has too strict of a tardy policy." -- Teacher for four years

What's the worst thing you have seen in the classroom?

"I once found an opened condom on my (second-grade) classroom floor. I am pretty sure it was not there before class began, because I always inspect the floor for crayons, pencils and other things of that sort." -- Teacher for three years

What could parents do better to support their child's education?

"Follow through with nightly homework. If your kids say they don't have homework in middle school, they are LYING." -- Teacher for eight years

Is your social life impacted because you are a teacher?

"I think so. People expect so much from you. You can't be caught with a beer on your grocery cart or parents/students will start to see you differently. I myself do not drink, smoke or do drugs. But I am sure there are others that do and still teach. We are all human beings. We are not saints, but sometimes we must act like it in front of others, because we are teachers. We are role models." -- Second-grade teacher for three years


next: Alison Sweeney Gives Back
24 comments so far | Post a comment now
Renato Rotenberg February 11, 2011, 4:07 AM

Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

zespół na wesele February 19, 2011, 2:13 AM

I never knew there are so many international readers here…

Alveo March 21, 2011, 12:19 AM

Awesome Post. I add this Post to my bookmarks.

ślady kryminalistyczne April 9, 2011, 5:16 AM

I feel it is a really point of view. I meet people who rather say what they suppose others want to hear. Good and well written! I will come back to your site for sure!


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