Monday Memorandum #1

28 Oct

(Sending this one out a bit early!)

One of my favorite presentations to give is called Parent-Teacher Partnership Skills. Typically, I give it as a workshop to both teachers at one of their in-services and then to parents at their PTO or similar organizations.

Every Monday for the next five weeks we’ll be posting one each of the five reminders from: parents, teachers, kids and me to the other groups.

“Education is a painful, continual and difficult work to be done in kindness, by watching, by warning; by praise, but above all, by example.”

                                                                                                                                                  John Ruskin

1st of 5 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew

  • We can’t undo what’s being done at home
    • If you’re sending your kid off to school without breakfast, if you’re fighting with  your spouse in front of your children, if there is any kind of abuse, if you’re using your kids as pawns in your divorce, if your kids has to compete for your attention with your cell phone, if you are depressed or unstable and refuse to get help, if your child is depressed or anxious and you refuse to get them help, if there is turmoil in any way that is being hidden from or not dealt with in your family….no amount of teacher dedication, compassion or merit pay can compete with those kinds of things. Teachers, silently beg us to get our own lives in order and be a proper role model and worthy parent to our kids so that when they see them at school, they can do their jobs.

1st of 5 Things Parents Wish Teachers Knew

  • We need your influence with the roots of society and civilization
    • I remember when Ben was in 5th grade and he came home and announced that his teacher (who I loved) announced to the class that it was time for all of her students to start wearing deodorant! He hasn’t missed a day since!! Along the way, teachers have taught our kids not only about hygiene, but about societal rules, fairness and cleaning up the table after lunch. What might be just as helpful, is if teachers could help us restore some simple courtesies and respect issues, like not playing the wrong versions of music in school, minimizing the use of words like suck, crap and gay , which some find offensive still and by staying off their cells during class so that our kids they can get through the day without them.

1st of 5 Things Kids Wish We All Knew

  • It’s hard being a kid
    • That’s all. It’s hard being a kid at any age (having to learn right from wrong, understanding limits, raging hormones and peer pressure, etc.). The best thing we can do for our children is try and put ourselves in their shoes and understand their struggles, conflicts, mood swings and desire for autonomy (unfortunately, sometimes all at the same time).

1st of 5 Things I Wish Parents and Teachers Knew

  • Kids are different at home and at school
    • I remember our first pre-school parent-teacher conference. Ben’s fantastic teacher started telling us how easy he was, how well he listened and how he was always the first to clean up. WHAT?!?!?! We explained that we were Ben’s parents and she must have him mixed up with some other kid in the class. She laughed, we didn’t. We learned that kids have to hold it together all day long and that the minute they get in the car or home from that structured day, they simply have to be released from their goodness and usually, that’s where the fun (a little sarcasm here) begins for parents! And….there’s really not much we can do about it until they go off to college.
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