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40 Things Your Child’s Teacher Wants You to Know

A look inside a teacher's mind could help you understand lesson plans and maybe even guide your child to perform better.

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Don’t hesitate to reach out

If you have a question, reach out to us. We want your child to succeed just as much as you do. Open communication between families and teachers builds bonds that help students do their absolute best.

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Beautiful young woman and child girl little helper are having fun and smiling while doing laundry at home.
Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

Create rules at home

Creating a system of incentives and consequences at home can help students behave in school. Rewarding them for having a good day at school can make those days more frequent.

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Children's hands are doing their homework.

Their homework isn’t going to look the same as yours

Teaching methods have changed a lot over the years, so don’t be shocked when your child’s homework looks unfamiliar to you. Don’t tell them not to use a certain math strategy just because you learned something different. Do research or reach out to your child’s teacher to familiarize yourself with newer methods so you can help when your child has a question.

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18 Shopping Secrets Teachers Use When Buying Back-to-School Supplies
pada smith/Shutterstock

Have your child keep a journal

It’s a good idea to have your child keep a journal from a young age. Have them draw pictures and jot down notes about their day. It’s a good way for students to reflect and set goals. It also serves as a safe place to process their emotions.

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Happy kids at elementary school

We have your child’s best interests in mind

If we make a call home or give your child a recommendation, it’s not to put them down, it’s to help them succeed. Most teachers have their students’ best interests in mind and will go out of their way to make sure they are helping them in any way they can.

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View from window airplane with blue sky and earth land.Bird eye view.
Komsan Loonprom/Shutterstock

Come back from vacations earlier

It’s never a good idea to send your kids back to school the day after a long flight. They’re wiped out and can’t function properly most of the time. Also, don’t schedule a vacation that runs into the first few days on the school year. It puts a lot of pressure on your child to play catch up once they get back and causes a lot of stress for both the student and teacher.

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School kids running in elementary school hallway, back view
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Play time is just as important as time in the classroom

Many parents don’t realize how much their kids are learning when they are playing with other kids. Play has many developmental benefits. Kids are learning social skills such as negotiation and communication, understanding their bodies, and learning through trial and error.

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Our jobs aren’t cute

If we teach small children, don’t tell us that our jobs are “so cute” and that you wish you could glue and color all day long. Children express a whole new side of themselves when they’re outside of their home.

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I’m not a marriage counselor

At parent-teacher conferences, let’s stick to your child’s progress, not how your husband doesn’t help you around the house. Your child’s principal also has a lot to say, these are the 22 things your child’s principal is secretly thinking.

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We hate testing too

We’re sick of standardized testing and having to “teach to the test.” Here are a few reasons why kids hate school.

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istock/Sasa Dinic

Technology has changed kids’ behavior (for the worse)

Kids used to go out and play after school and resolve problems on their own. Now, with computers and TV, they lack the skills to communicate. They don’t know how to get past hurt feelings without telling the teacher and having her fix it.

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Adorable one year old baby boy eating yoghurt with spoon. Dirty messy face of toddler child.

We notice your kid’s manners

When I hear a loud belch, I remember that a student’s manners are a reflection of his parents’.

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istock/Christopher Futcher

Every kid is special… But…

Your child may be the center of your universe, but I have to share mine with 25 others. Make sure your child knows the 11 secret habits of straight-A students.

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Cell phones can be a huge distraction

Please help us by turning off the texting feature on your child’s phone during school hours.

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Why aren’t we compensated more?

Guys who dribble a ball for a couple of hours a game can make up to $20 million a year. We educate future leaders and make about $51,000 a year.

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istock/Craig Dingle

We wear a lot of hats

We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, we’re watching for learning disabilities, issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.

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If you talk about it at home, we know about it

Kids dish on your secrets all the time: money, religion, politics, even Dad’s vasectomy.

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Want to get us a gift?

Please, no more mugs, frames, or stuffed animals. A gift card to Starbucks or Staples would be more than enough. A thank-you note: even better.

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Thank goodness for vacation days!

We love snow days and three-day weekends as much as your kid does.

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These are the best students

The students we remember are happy, respectful, and good-hearted, not necessarily the ones with the highest grades.

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My rule for hormonal middle-schoolers:

Keep your hands where I can see them.

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istock/Joshua Hodge

My first year of teaching, a fifth-grader actually threw a chair at me

I saw him recently, and he told me he just graduated from college. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.

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You do your job, I’ll do mine

I have parents who are CEOs of their own companies come in and tell me how to run my classroom. I would never think to go to their office and tell them how to do their jobs.

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We don’t arrive at school ten minutes before your child does

And we don’t leave the minute they get back on the bus. Many of us put in extra hours before and after school.

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We are not the enemy

Parents and teachers really are on the same side.

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Kids lie

The truth is simple: Your kid will lie to get out of trouble. Make yourself aware of the 12 things your school bus driver wish you knew.

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Encourage your child to keep reading

That’s key to success in the classroom at any age.

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Black-haired woman studying in the library
ESB Professional/Shutterstock

It’s their homework, not yours

We can tell the difference between a parent helping their child with homework and doing it for them (especially when they’re clueless in class the next day).

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istock/Susan Chiang

Teaching is a calling

There’s not a teacher alive who will say she went into this for the money.

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Check their homework

Just because your child says he did his homework doesn’t mean it’s true. You must check. Every night.

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We get jaded too

Teaching is not as joyful as it once was for many of us. Disrespectful students and belligerent parents take a toll on us.

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Talk to your kids

Parents give their kids the pricey gadgets and labels, but what kids really crave is for you to talk to them. Kids want to know you are interested in their lives.

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We spend money out of our own pockets

Teachers often buy things our students need, such as school supplies and even shoes.

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Don’t be a helicopter parent

Supportive, involved parents are crucial. But some are “helicopter parents”—they hover too much.

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istock/Deborah Cheramie

Summer isn’t always a picnic

Having the summer off is great, but many of us have to take on extra jobs—teaching summer school, tutoring—to make ends meet.

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Graduation Caps Thrown in the Air

Academics aren’t everything

Success is not achieved by just making kids memorize flashcards and prepping them for an Ivy League school. Sensible parents know there is a college for every kid and responsibility and good citizenship are what really drive success.

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These are today’s homework excuses

Nobody says “the dog ate my homework” anymore. But we hear a lot of “I left it on the kitchen table.” And then Mom will send in a note to back up the story.

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Don’t make us the bad guys

Don’t ask us to do your dirty work. We wish parents would make their kids own up to their actions instead of pressuring us to bend the rules.

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Let your kids make mistakes

We know you mean well, but please stop doing everything for your child and allow them to make mistakes. How else will they learn? Kids are not motivated to succeed because they feel their parents will bail them out every time.

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Good kids make all the difference

There are days when I just want to quit. But then that one smile from that one kid changes it all. If you need even more of a reason to love teachers, read these stories about amazing teachers that changed their student’s lives.