I’m a tad biased but… teachers are underestimated, underpaid, and under-appreciated. I have no piles of money laying around so I can’t begin to touch the underpaid problem BUT I can teach others how to appreciate teachers!
Here are 10 phrases you need to, or should, say to teachers in your life (plus my snarky comments).
1. Thank you.
Seriously. I can’t believe I have to put this here. If a teacher does something that gives you a feeling of gratitude, gratefulness, happiness, or any strong positive emotion, let them know! We can’t read your mind! We are severely under-appreciated! Just say thank you once in a while!
Don’t assume we will do whatever you want (you know what you get when you assume right?).Use your flippin’ manners! When you don’t, all I think is, “I see where you student learned it from.”
3. I don’t know how to… Could you teach me so I can help my child at home?
Sometimes parents want to help their child on projects or homework but don’t know how! Instead of saying, “this isn’t how I learned!” ASK!!!!!!!!!! We. Will. Help. You!
4. Can I help you?
I’ve noticed a trend. As students get older, less parents get involved. Offer to help!!!!! You could chaperone, make copies, help struggling students, help run a school activity. The possibilities are almost endless! We have so much on our plates and we give so much of ourselves to our students. Giving us some help means we can give more, too.
5. I support you.
When I call you saying your child received a consequence, that’s all I’m trying to communicate! I don’t need your support or say so to enact an appropriate consequence but it goes a long way to show or say your support in those circumstances. It communicates that you trust the teacher and that you see them as someone your child should respect.
6. You are a professional.
Not a babysitter! We are there to educate your child, not just watch them. I would gladly accept a babysitter pay rate since it would be exponentially more than I am paid now.
When I call you and explain that your child refused to learn or made learning difficult for others, LISTEN!!!! It’s YOUR job to parent, not mine. I will discipline your child in an appropriate manner, when necessary, but if you do NOTHING at home to reinforce those lessons and teach your own, then you are failing your child.
7. I won’t call, email, or message you over the weekend, before 7am, or after 9pm.
Please don’t. We have lives outside of the classroom. Your child’s grade, issue, or whatever can wait until a decent hour.
Didn’t your mama ever teach you that it’s rude to call before 8am? My mom also told me that nothing good happens after 10pm. Some teachers have their emails connected to their phones for emergencies (like closings, delays, etc). Either it can wait or you need to wait. Don’t be THAT parent. Trust me, we complain about you to other teachers.
8. Here’s some coffee.
This is like saying, “I hope you have a good day but, just in case, here’s some go-juice.” This is such a cliche but a lot of us reallllllllllllllllly like coffee. Then there’s the strange people…. the teachers who can be perky without caffeine. I don’t understand how……………..
9. Here’s some wine.
Or beer. Or gift cards so we can buy our own. I think we all know why some of us like to occasionally drink after work.
10. I’m sorry.
Seriously, this means SO much! We all know that your child is special. Every child is special. But hearing, “oh no, not my baby!” is equivalent to, “liar, liar, pants on fire!” Stop undermining teachers! This is made even worse when you say it in FRONT OF YOUR CHILD! Seriously, you don’t call your partner a liar in front of your child do you? I hope not. So, if you make a mistake, be a big enough person to own up and apologize. This goes hand in hand with #5.
Now, go make a teacher smile! Especially the ones that haven’t started spring break yet (it’s April 15th). We are not okay.
Teaching In Public