I am a teacher. I teach. I plan, organize, assess, evaluate, modify, reevaluate, reassess, research, deliver, monitor, manage, entertain, and enlighten. I also pass out band-aids, tease out smiles, determine whether restroom requests truly are “urgent,” manage materials, distribute papers, correct assignments, enter grades, create report cards, make phone calls home, arrange and conduct parent-teacher conferences, motivate reluctant learners, create bulletin boards, manage schedules, run an after school club, supervise the playground, gather lunch money, arrange book orders, update a classroom website, mediate disputes, supervise clean up, monitor supply levels, analyze data, create multimedia presentations, gather appropriate online resources, evaluate potential special needs, adapt curriculum, differentiate instruction, and about a thousand other things. I care about my students and I care about my school community. I am fully involved in the goings on of my students. But here’s the thing: there are 31 of them, and one of me.
Now on to the part that irritates me, and trust me, it’s not the kids. What pisses me off more than anything is people who have a strong sense of entitlement. There, I said it. That, in general, is enough to get my goat, but when it applies to the school setting, it makes me crazy. Parents, please be aware that I am just as fond of little Eustace as I am of any other child I have taught in my career. Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true, but odds are he’s not my least favorite student of all time, and really, it doesn’t matter anyway, because in my classroom he’s going to get a fair shake no matter what.
Please don’t ask me to make him extra homework packets because you threw his out. Please don’t ask me to tutor him after school because you’re too busy to sit with him and help him learn his math facts. Please don’t tell me about how you’re going to make sure he does his homework, then the following day make excuses for him. He needs you a lot more than he needs me. Parents, please, I am doing the best I can. A five minute phone call isn’t a big deal, but several of them each day becomes extremely time consuming.
I’m not unwilling to work with you. I WANT to work with you. But please, be willing to do your part too. Get little Eustace to school on time each day, check over his work each evening, and look through his backpack. Talk to him about school, and life, and be there for him. He needs you. He really really does.