Yesterday, I spent the morning preparing my classroom for the 20+ students that will begin school after Labor Day. As I unpacked boxes and moved furniture, I thought about the tweet that I started sending out about six months ago:
What do you want your child’s teacher to understand about your child?
At first, I didn’t get many responses. It seemed that the “twittersphere” thought I was a ranting mother asking a rhetorical question. After I sent the same tweet a few times, I got answers that were honest and raw and needed to be shared with other parents and especially my colleagues.
I want my child’s teacher to see her gifts instead of only her struggles
I wished the teacher understood the impact of her body language
I hope that my child’s teacher understands sensory processing issues
Not every child is an extrovert and that’s ok
Ask if you have questions, that doesn’t make you weak
Please edit your classroom-it is too much for mine
Try and share the good news too
My child needs work that is different from others
Busy work is not well-received
Please understand that these issues aren’t from “bad parenting”
All of these tweets impacted me, especially the last one. Before I was a parent of a child like mine, I often explained a child’s quirky behavior to parenting. I made judgments about the fact that they must let the child run the house or that rules must be absent.
I’m not proud of it and I owe many parents apologies when I indicated that a bit of tough love and a sticker chart at home would change everything.
Anyone that thinks that teachers go into the classroom to have summers off must be crazy! This is a job that requires dedication, passion, and creative budgeting. Our profession is filled with bright and caring people who want to do our best and to make a positive impact on kids. The problem is, that unless you are a parent of a kid like mine…you just don’t understand the impact of the cluttered walls, the daily emails about his poor choices, or the weekly homework packet filled with tedious busy work.
As a teacher, I am saying to the parents out there…we are trying and we will keep working!
As a mother, I am saying to the teachers out there…keep trying to make school a safe, successful experience for all!