Seven Things I Wish Parents Knew


Note: This post is the fifth in our six-part “Back to School” series. Join us for the conclusion of this series on Thursday!

This year marks my eighteenth in the classroom. Eighteen years! I have now officially been a teacher longer than I have done almost anything else in my life. Being a teacher is at the very core of who I am; it is not my job, it is my calling. I truly love what I do – well … most days. 🙂

Back to school for teachers is no different than for anyone else. We are sad to see summer life come to an end. We are excited about the prospect of a fresh start and a new school year. We are nervous about meeting our new students. Ask any teacher, and most will admit to having “back-to-school” dreams (or nightmares). Over the years, mine have ranged from teaching in my pajamas to showing up at the wrong school on the first day.

While I can’t speak for every teacher on the planet, I feel certain I can speak for the vast majority of them. There are many things we teachers wish parents knew about us – about our choice to embark on this career … about what we give up in order to spend our days with your children. So, here we go – seven things I wish parents knew about teachers:

  1. We love kids. We didn’t get into this profession for the money, or the glory, or the mythical “summers off.” We do this because we love kids. All kids. Your kids. We want them to be successful, happy, confident, productive members of society, and we feel it’s our job to help them accomplish that. We pray for your children at night, in the same breath we pray for our own.
  2. We love to learn. Any teacher who’s worth his/her salt is constantly looking for ways to improve. New ideas, new lessons, new technology, new books. Most of us spend our “summers off” searching for these things so we can be better teachers when we return to the classroom in August.
  3. We are genuinely interested in partnering with parents to help all students succeed. As a parent, you are your child’s first and best teacher. Who knows your child better than you? So, when I ask you to fill out a survey, or write a letter about your student so that I can get to know him/her better … it isn’t because I think you aren’t busy. It’s because I truly want to know your child from your perspective. Who better to give me insider information about your beautiful child?
  4. We are human. We have feelings, and we sometimes have bad days. We make mistakes. We get angry, and frustrated, and we sometimes say or do things we don’t mean. But, we apologize and we learn from our mistakes.
  5. We have families, and interests, and a life outside of our classrooms. While we love your children, and we love hearing about our former students … we don’t necessarily appreciate being stopped in the dairy section at Hy-Vee or at the local football game to chat with you about a missing assignment or recent test score.
  6. Sometimes the child you know at home, is completely different than the child we know at school. Please believe what we tell you about your student. It does not benefit us to lie about your child. And finally,
  7. We love coming to work each day. Our job is our passion. We understand the magnitude of our influence and we do not take that responsibility lightly.

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3 Responses to Seven Things I Wish Parents Knew

  1. Julie August 20, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    As an ex-teacher I can so relate to this post! And now that I’m on the other side of this relationship as a parent of a student, I find it even more helpful. Thanks Cali!

  2. Bridget August 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Great post! I loved to see #1 We love kids:) and #3.. the importance for parents being involved with teachers to help the child do well in school. Thanks for the insight.

  3. Erin
    Erin August 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I love #3! It applies not only for school-aged children, but also applied for our infant when searching for daycare providers. We wanted to find someone to PARTNER with us on her care, not someone would would act or be treated like our “employee.”

    Great post!