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"We are not the enemy." 14 teachers share what they want parents to know.

We all know that teachers have had a tough few years.

Having to pivot and adapt teaching at the flip of a coin can be physically and emotionally draining at the best of times. Let alone with the constantly ever-changing landscape of a pandemic.

So, we put a call-out to the Mamamia community to ask teachers: What would you like parents to know?

Watch: The things teachers do that we don't even know about. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

From trusting what they have to say to having realistic expectations, here's what they had to say.

Sarah*.

"I would love parents to understand that our role in guiding young people is not to solve or take away problems for them.

"We must give them tools and strategies so they can solve their own problems. And more often than not it is about communicating with friends, peers, and teachers and managing relationships (something they have to do for the rest of their life)."

Jess*.

"While I’m not a teacher, I do work in admin support in a K-12 school and I love our teachers.

"I want you to know that the last two years have been incredibly challenging in every way for teachers.

"The expectations on them have never been higher, and they continue to show up each and every day for your kids. 

"Please cut them some slack and show them respect in your communications with them. They deserve that and a lot more. Support staff are also on the front lines every day. Please be kind to us too!"

Elise*.

"Your kids are NOT angels or perfect.

"If we call, it’s for a genuine reason - whether it be behavioural or educational. We care and want to help you and are asking for your help too! It takes a village and without parents on board, it’s hard to get anywhere."

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Vanessa.

"If a teacher has recommended a parent to take a child to see a paediatrician or speech therapist, then please do!

"We have worked with hundreds if not thousands of kids so we are in a good position to gauge what are regular or irregular behaviours. We have these tricky conversations with you because we care and want the best life outcomes for your child."

Cathy.

"If we tell you something hard to hear about your kid, we aren’t trying to be mean. We want to help but sometimes we have to say and do hard things for them to get better."

Lauren.

"When we bring up things we have noticed about your child’s learning, it is because we care and want to support them the best way we can. We understand that it can be confronting, but we don’t mention these things to cause issues or to 'label' your child. We truly want the best for your child!"

Kate.

"Teachers think about the children in our class 24/7 (during evenings, sleep, holidays) about ways we can help them, activities to help them succeed, and why things went well/wrong that day.

"It really upsets teachers when parents get annoyed and say 'what are you doing for my child' because we are literally always thinking about ways to help your child."

Listen to This Glorious Mess, Mamamia's weekly look at parenting as it really is. Confusing, exhausting, inspiring, funny, and full of surprises. So many surprises. Post continues below.

Amie.

"Stop doing their work for them! Seriously! You are NOT helping them by enabling them to continue their dependency on others."

Emily.

"Reading to children from when they are in the womb is the best chance you will give them. 

"Talk about news, current affairs, encourage podcasts and learning about that world and thinking for themselves. They have information at their fingertips these days - use it for good!

"Kindness and manners are free and start at home. Teachers are people too with families and feelings. Respect can go a long way."

Sam.

"Trust us - we are not the enemy.

"Stop asking for extra homework for your child - no one needs that in primary school.

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"And don’t request certain teachers unless there is a really, really good reason to do so."

GK.

"We call the children in our class 'our kids' or 'our children' because we care so much!

"We don’t work 9-3. We work long hours and we do many, many extra-curricular activities in our own, unpaid time... because we love it! The education system would fall down if we withdrew our good will!

"If your child gets into trouble at school, listen to find out why. Certainly ask questions, but just listen to us first. Before we call you, we have conducted an investigation that the FBI would be proud of! We have asked witnesses and other teachers and spent hours ensuring we have the facts straight. We are a team and working together with our parents will always make us win!"

Ali.

"It is not the job of the teacher to teach your child to be kind and use manners - it is your job. A teacher can help them, but the responsibility does not rest on them. And if a teacher tells you something about your child, listen. They are not being vindictive, they are probably finding it hard to bring up a truth that needs to be addressed together."

EJ.

"When a parent emails us late at night, we do see it. And it will often then keep us awake. Whether it is a request for us to do something the next day or a complaint about another child or school policy, etc.

"Reading with your children is the best way you can help them and us.

"Your kids tell us EVERYTHING, so if you don’t want us to know, don’t say it in front of them.

"We love your kids like they are our own and are on your team. Back us when your child is telling you about an incident at school. Or at least back us in front of your kids and then speak to us privately. If you don’t show respect, then neither will they."

Catherine.

"I love my job! I feel passionate about what I do, and I put heart and soul in every day. When you ask me how I am doing, I appreciate it - it helps me feel human and appreciated.

"I might not always get things 'right', but if I stuff up or your child says something that worries you, please do talk to me - we can always work through things together.

"I want what is best for your child, and sometimes I may need to ask you for help too, in knowing how I can best support your child."

Feature Image: Getty.

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