Our children spend so many hours each day with their teachers, it makes perfect sense that we, as parents, should get to know those teachers as best as we can.
However, it's important to remember that communicating with
teachers is a bit different than communicating with other adults.
Or at least it should be.
What must every parent know about talking with teachers?
Teachers are professionals, so they should be treated as
such. Addressing teachers as "Mr. Alverez" or
"Mrs. Pitsilos" is imperative. Teachers should not be
addressed by their first names, especially when children are
nearby. It sets an example of respect for students when
they hear parents address teachers by their surnames.
- Teachers follow schedules. It is
imperative that parents schedule a time to talk or meet with the
teacher rather than just showing up at the door expecting to
talk. Most likely, there are 20 or 30 students waiting for
that teacher at any time of the day; a teacher's schedule does not
allow the kind of flexibility that some other professions do.
- Teachers are busy. Teachers
are so busy. They attend school-wide meetings,
department meetings, and team meetings. They participate in IEP
meetings, parent conferences, and professional development
courses. They research, plan, and prepare each and every
unit, lesson, and activity. They assess every student and
evaluate that child's strengths, weaknesses, and needs and are
constantly doing what they can to see that each student meets
certain social and academic benchmarks. So if a teacher
doesn't respond immediately to your call or email, it's probably
for a good reason. Be patient.
That being said, even if you get ahold of a teacher on the
phone, most do not have the time to chat with you for two hours as
you wax on about your awesome child. The more specific, concise,
and quick your conversations can be, the better.
- Teachers care. If they didn't care
about children, they wouldn't be in the business. Keep this truth
at the front of your mind during all interactions and know that
most every teacher proceeds with the best of intentions. They
want your child to succeed, to exceed his or her potential, and to
enjoy school. His or her life would be a lot easier if this
- Teachers are human. Really. They
are. Most of them have a home and a life and a family away from
school, which is what every human being needs. Teachers
occasionally make mistakes, just like normal human beings do. So if
a paper comes back graded with a mistake on it or a handout has a
typo, or if he or she calls you by the wrong name at some point,
relax. And give the teacher the second chance he or she
Remember, too, that a little bit of kindness goes a long, long way,
especially in a profession that can be fairly thankless at
times. Be a great parental support-in and out of the
classroom-and throughout all of this teacher talk, be sure to be a
It's amazing what we can learn sometimes when we let someone else
do the talking.
Source: SCHOLASTIC PARENTS