It’s back to school time! And it’s not just the kids who are heading to the classroom.
You know how your kids feel about the end of holidays. They’ve probably told you plenty of times! But have you ever wondered what the teachers think and feel?
Mum Central chatted with a group of teachers and teaching assistants from both primary and secondary schools. They opened their hearts and shared with us the things they wish they could say to parents as we head into a new school year. And the results may surprise you.
What Kindy and Primary School teachers told us
It turns out that the most important thing teachers want you to know is that your kids really are their kids too. Even when they’re being brats. Don’t sweat NAPLAN, don’t expect teachers to toilet train your child. And send them to school clean and healthy, please. Here are some more gems straight from the mouths of teachers.
“Your child’s needs are my priority.”
“You’re right, some kids are treated differently; it’s called equity, not equality.”
“I couldn’t give a shit about NAPLAN. I value formative assessments, observations and self reflections. Basically, everything besides NAPLAN.”
“Yes, I do think about your children day and night.”
“Yes, I do work weekends and nights to ensure your child receives the most engaging and meaningful lessons possible.”
“We are not babysitters! We put a lot of time and effort into providing a stimulating and educational environment.”
“If your child is sick, please keep them at home, rather than spreading their germs.”
“Please cut your child’s nails, they are not werewolves!”
“Please teach your children life skills at home, so we can focus on moving them forward in school.”
“Education is a joint effort. You can help! Even if it’s just by reading with your child every night. We are so grateful to the many parents that do this and we hope you know how much it helps your kids.”
When secondary school hits, the stakes are even higher. You’re not dropping them at the school gate – or picking them up after – but that doesn’t mean parents should take a step back either. This is what teachers of kids in Years 7 to 12 want you to know.
“Your child’s grade does not dictate their future. Rewarded and encourage them at home for achieving their best, not just for ‘A’ grades.”
“Your child may sometimes change the truth in certain situations. Please investigate before acting. You are always more than welcome to chat with us about anything that concerns you.”
“Teaching is not a 9-5 job. We are always thinking about your child. Even on weekends.”
“Teachers and parents must work together to ensure the success of each child. Please work with us and talk to us.”
“ATARs are not the final result of education.”
“Kids who build resilience and develop a strong work ethic in middle school, supported by a structured home life, will succeed. Usually higher than their gifted peers.”
“Education is not only for the academic, but for your child’s success, whatever that may look like.”
“If you fight us on behaviour management or expectations, you devalue us as professionals in front of your child.”
“Following the last point, please don’t get your kids out of detention! This teaches them that they can do whatever they like without consequences and makes life in the classroom harder for everyone, including the other students.”
“Education is a dance. If the kid is not meeting us on the dance floor or getting up to ask, we don’t stand a chance. Neither does their education.”
“Know and understand what your kid is actually studying. Too often parents are using knowledge of their own education which is outdated, outmoded and incorrect.”
“Ask. Ask anyone! The teacher, the year level head, the sub-school coordinator. Please just ask. We will help you.”
Teachers need you
A note to the parents and carers out there who already do any or all of these things: your child’s teachers are beyond grateful to you. Your child will be a better, more rounded, empowered adult as a direct result of your support with their education and in their lives. Thank you for that.
The overwhelming theme in responses across all age groups and all teaching roles was communication. Teachers want you to talk to them. It doesn’t matter if it takes time out of their day. Give them a call, set up an appointment, ask your questions, involve your child. Just keep the lines open. Don’t wait until there is a problem, celebrate the good times too! They are just as delighted as you are when your child succeeds!
Is your little just starting school? Or do you need a hand knowing where to even begin? Check out this list of 7 questions to ask about your child’s first day.