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What Teachers Wish They Could Tell Parents

October 5th is World Teachers’ Day.

Did you ever wonder what teachers talk about when they get together? My daughter and I, both schoolteachers, enjoy sharing occasional observations about children.

I called my daughter and asked if there is anything she wished she could tell parents. After some thought, she came up with a few suggestions.

Parents should know that children come to school with some pretty fantastic stories about their home life. One elementary child told his teacher his grandma wouldn’t live with them anymore because his brother punched her in the face. Truth told, his brother was autistic, had seizures, and Grandma felt inadequate to handle him any longer.

Teachers know that things sometimes get garbled when seen from a child’s point of view. Nonetheless, parents would be embarrassed if they knew what their kids said about them.

A second thought from my daughter: please don’t send expensive toys to school with your child. This places heavy responsibility on the teacher to make sure the toy doesn’t get broken.

Third, please see that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. Both my daughter and I have seen children come to school in winter weather wearing tank tops and flip flops. It’s pretty safe to assume those children got themselves ready for school while parents stayed in bed.

One second-grade boy came to school wearing his mother’s crocs with paper towels stuffed in the toes. Those children are in danger of falling while running on the playground, an accident waiting to happen.

And then there is the issue of what’s in the lunch box. Please send healthy foods in your child’s lunch. One little girl proudly announced, “I packed my own lunch today!” The contents? A pack of Skittles and candy-like fruit snacks.

If only parents knew the long hours dedicated teachers put in each day to bring out the best in their students. My daughter teaches children who recently emigrated to the U.S. and are struggling to learn English. She carries those students on her heart. Their burdens are hers. Sometimes she is the only one they can tell about serious problems in their lives.

As mentioned above, World Teachers’ Day is October 5th. Why not surprise a teacher today—past or present—by writing a note to thank them for their selfless dedication. If you can read this, you probably owe it to a teacher.

What about you? Any words of appreciation for a favorite teacher who made a difference in your life? Feel free to comment below.

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