Annoying things parents do that teachers hate.

Parents. Listen up. We need to talk.

From one person who cares about your child to another, we appreciate you, we truly do. But there are some things you do that drive us teachers absolutely batty.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that there are things you don’t like about us either, but in the interest of maintaining a healthy relationship, I’m giving you the heads up.

These are the things we really hate and wish you’d stop doing:

1. Not reading notes that come home in the school bag, then complaining you don’t know what’s going on.

This one is pretty self explanatory. You know all of these crumbled up bits of coloured paper at the bottom of the school bag? No, they’re not there as a bag liner for rogue bits of fruit that fall out of the lunch box. They’re there for you to, you know, read.

Sometimes they involve a signature. Sometimes they involve some money.

Please don’t come to my classroom door insisting you had no idea about the school swimming carnival being on next week until you’ve searched the abyss that is your child’s backpack.

You know all of these crumbled up bits of coloured paper at the bottom of the school bag? They're there for you to, you know. Read. Image via iStock.

2. Pack food in the lunchbox that you know your child won't eat.

We are not the food police. We are not here to enforce your eating rules. If your child doesn't like Vegemite, please don't pack it every other day. You know why? It ends up in the bin. Often before we as teachers have enough time to try and save it.


Hungry kids equal grumpy and distracted kids. Please help us out here. I've been offered way too many fruit cups than I have hands to hold.

3. Think that a bad mark means we hate your child.

You and I, we have the same end game. We both want your child to be happy, to thrive and to learn. So when your child doesn't do so well at something, it doesn't mean we hate them. It also doesn't mean we hate you.

If you don't know there's an issue, we can't work together to resolve it. Yes, we'd all love to live in a blissful world where every child is at the top of the class, except life (and school) doesn't work like that. Let's both get real and do the best by your child.

4. Sending your child to school without a hat.

Look. We know you have a lot of things to do and you're a very busy person. But have you ever heard of No Hat No Play? If you don't send your child to school with a hat, they're pretty much forced to sit under a shaded area twiddling their thumbs. It's not that hard.

No Hat No Play is no fun. Image via iStock.

5. Not coming to parent teacher nights.

Reports (usually) go out twice a year. That's two nights out of 365 that you're expected to rock up to school and chat to your child's teacher about how they're going. TWO NIGHTS.


I don't care if you don't join the P&C. I don't care if you don't bring in nut-free cupcakes for your kid's birthday. I don't care if you don't offer to be a referee for Friday sport. What I do care about is you turning up to have a chat about how your child is going.

Let me remind you how long it actually takes for us to write reports. A lot of time goes into them and we'd love to discuss what they mean for your child's learning outcomes. But we can do that if you don't show up.

6. Saying you're coming to parent teacher night, then not showing up.

Now if there's one thing that ticks us teachers off more than parents who don't come to parent teacher nights, it's parents who say they will, then don't.

You know we have lives too? Our pastime activities don't involve sitting in a classroom at 6:00pm at night starring at an empty chair.

"You know we have lives too?"

7. Not taking care of personal hygiene issues.

Yes, we're going to have the nit talk. Nits and kids go together hand in hand like peanut butter and Nutella. It's very, very common. So if you're sending your child to school with critters crawling on their head, it's likely those little guys are going to hop from one head to another. It's not fun having to deal with an entire class of 30 kids who are all infested with nits.

You know what else isn't fun? Being judged by other parents. I guarantee there are parents who have side jobs as detectives. They don't need me to tell them where the nits first came from. They will make it their mission to know.

Keep your child at home and solve the problem.

8. Sending your kids to school when they're sick.

We know your life is frantic and you're doing a million and one things a day. We know school is a big part of keeping the wheels turning, not only for you, but your whole family. One parent having to stay at home to tend to a sick child can throw our your whole family's routine. The wheels can fall off, we get that.

But you know how irritating it is when you catch the cold from your kid? Imagine us teachers having to go through that every few weeks. I was never as sick as I was in my first year as a teacher. My doctor capped me from taking anymore antibiotics for the year. I had reached my quota.

Please, I beg of you. Don't send your sick child to school to infect us.

Do you do anything that you think your child's teacher would hate?