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Posted on March 1, 2013 11:49 pm
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Adam Kopel
Adam Kopel
Reps: 26
10 Things Teachers Don’t Want To Hear From Parents
Here are the top 10 things teachers don’t want to hear—and how you can approach a problem in a better way instead.

1 - “My child is acting up because he’s bored. He’s so bright.”
“I’ve been teaching for 13 years, and I would say in that time I’ve had maybe one or two children who were truly bored and I immediately got different material for them,” says teacher Thea LaRocca, who has taught 3rd through 5th grades in Raleigh, N.C. “I didn’t need the parent to tell me.” LaRocca says she understands that parents naturally want to think the best of their child, but she suggests that they try to be honest with themselves and think about why their child is acting up, then ask the teacher for strategies to deal with it. “If you truly think your kid is bright, ask for more work,” she says.

2 - “I know it’s only open house, but let me tell you about my daughter’s reading skills.”
“I’ll often see parents who can’t wait to prove how good their kid is. Don’t worry,” LaRocca says gently. “I’ll find out very quickly.” Open house is a time for kids to get comfortable with a new grade and meet new friends and a new teacher. It’s stressful enough without the added pressure of performing, she says. “Don’t worry about it. You’ll have parent-teacher conferences in a month, anyway.”

3 - “I know I agreed to chaperone the trip, but something came up.”
If you agree to chaperone or volunteer in the classroom, the teacher is counting on you. But more important, someone else is too, says Sheila Lobel, who teaches 6th grade in a suburb of Albany, N.Y. “The child gets so profoundly disappointed if you say you’re going to come and you don’t,” says Lobel, who has taught for 28 years. “I understand that many parents simply can’t be there because of work, and that’s hard. Just be realistic.”

4 - “Jane is picking on my daughter. I want her punished!” Nikki Wilson says all teachers should take bullying seriously, but some parents approach classroom conflicts the wrong way. “A lot of times, both kids are to blame. Parents only hear one side of the story,” says Wilson, who has taught 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades in Long Beach, Miss., for eight years. “You can say ‘I know my child is not perfect, but are you aware of this thing that happened? How can we solve the problem?’ ” More important, Wilson says you can use the situation as a way to teach your child about conflict resolution. “Some parents jump all over the teacher rather than say ‘This is what we’re trying to do at home. Can you watch out for this at school?’ ” she notes.

5 - “You give too much homework!”
When parents say this, Wilson explains, their kid gets the message that school is not important. Homework is a time when parents can see what their kids are learning and take an active role in their education. “Instead of grumbling about it, maybe ask for suggestions on how to help manage the time it takes to complete the homework,” she says.

6 - “Billy’s homework is not done because...”
Obviously teachers want to know about missed homework as a result of a major problem, such as a death in the family or an injury. Dance class, sports teams, and forgotten backpacks don’t apply, explains teacher Stephen Kelley. “I just wish that parents would let the kid come in and face the consequences,” says Kelley, who teaches 3rd grade in Washington, Pa. “They think they’re doing the right thing, but kids learn a better life lesson: to take responsibility for yourself and your actions.”

7 - “This homework is too hard.”
Kelley recalls how many parents complained when his school adopted a new, more challenging math curriculum. “It was a hard adjustment,” says Kelley, who has taught for 13 years. “But instead of working with the kids, they just wanted to blame the new math series. They were complaining, ‘Why did the district pick this curriculum?’ instead of asking teachers, ‘How can we work on this? What are some strategies we can use at home?’ ”

8 - “Our old teacher didn’t make us do that,” or “Mrs. So-and-So doesn’t make her students do that.”
“Teachers usually have a good reason for what they’re doing,” says Anne Marie Sytnyk, a 2nd grade reading specialist in Jersey City, N.J., who has taught for 40 years. Instead of challenging the teacher on an assignment, ask for the reasons behind it. “Give them a chance. At least give them until the first marking period, and maybe you’ll see why the teacher does what she does,” Sytnyk says.

9 - “I tried that. It doesn’t work.”
Washington, D.C., kindergarten teacher Patricia C. Wilkins says she hears this one from parents most often when she tries to talk to them about discipline problems. “It tends to shut the door,” says Wilkins, who has taught for 10 years. “You prod them a little, and you find out that they really didn’t try what you’re suggesting.” Instead of throwing up your hands in defeat, Wilkins says a better response would be “I tried it and it turned out like this. What else can I do?”

10 - “I wrote a letter to the superintendent detailing all the issues I have with you, and I’m going to read it at the next school board meeting.”
Going over a teacher’s head as a first step is both disrespectful and unproductive. “It’s frustrating, but it really makes the parent look bad because the superintendent and the principal are just going to say ‘Well, did you talk to the teacher?’ ” says Debra Cupani, who teaches 5th grade in Long Beach, N.Y. Cupani, who has taught for 12 years, says she understands that parents who are concerned about something at school are emotional and passionate about their kids. It can be uncomfortable to bring up problems with a teacher directly. Email is often a good way to start if parents are nervous. “Teachers are always willing to listen,” she says. “We just want the best thing for the kids, just like you.”

Source: schoolfamily

Please submit your comments on the specific things that you "Don’t Want To Hear From Parents".
Votes: +20 / -0 Vote Up This Article Is Useful   Vote Down This Article Is Not Useful  

Comments posted for this article: 22

resabu
resabu
Reps: 101
I have seen this before where parents drop out of volunteering for a field trip. I would make sure to have backups in case this does happen. I would also try to work out a day where the parents could come in and volunteer in the classroom instead.
  Posted on: April 18, 2013 6:58 pm

MaByvu
MaByvu
Reps: 100
From my time volunteering in a classroom I have seen so many parents back-out on helping in the classroom to do something else. I have also heard from the teacher I was helping about some parents who would complain about children having to hard of homework and that she needed to make it easier. If it was easier then the student wouldn't learn anything from it or understand with past experience how to do the work.
  Posted on: October 14, 2014 3:22 pm

BuqeNu
BuqeNu
Reps: 100
It is my fault that my child does not have his project. The student has known about the project for two weeks and I have given class time to work on the project. Hold your student accountable for their actions.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 1:29 am

eQyVuj
eQyVuj
Reps: 200
This article is spot on. I am in classrooms all the and their will always be something the parents complain about.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 4:14 pm

eRuPeT
eRuPeT
Reps: 103
"Why did you give my child this grade?"

I find that comment so frustrating because I do not give out grades, your child earns them. I have to subtly remind parents of this from time to time. I find the rubrics are helping in grading because then the parent can also grade their student and see how I came to my conclusion.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 1:35 am

J SJ
J SJ
Reps: 101
I get the response that "my child is acting out because he is bored" all the time. Bored students generally do not act out in my classroom. Parents today just seem to have such a hard time hearing that their child may have made a mistake. I try to stay away from drama with parents but when I do get drama it is usually over something that the child said or did to another student and the parent wants action or does not believe that their child could have done something wrong.
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 3:10 am

aNuLyB
aNuLyB
Reps: 103
I love #1!
  Posted on: March 11, 2015 11:17 pm

atuTyL
atuTyL
Reps: 121
I want to post this on my social media page! This is everything a teacher doesn't want to hear!
  Posted on: March 16, 2015 12:45 am

Holly Ebbert
Holly Ebbert
Reps: 225
As a parent myself I have never used these line to a teacher. As a parent I have seen and heard parents use these comments. I have heard many of time parents comparing their students teacher to a different teacher. Each of our children and students are different therefore it is interesting how parents compare one to another whether students or teachers. Parents need to realize that all teachers are different and have different teaching styles and nee to be respected.
  Posted on: October 1, 2015 8:01 pm

eDuMez
eDuMez
Reps: 100
#8!!
  Posted on: October 4, 2015 5:51 pm

baQumy
baQumy
Reps: 100
This is so accurate!
  Posted on: October 23, 2015 4:20 pm

aryBaV
aryBaV
Reps: 125
This is a great article. As a soon to be teacher this was extremely insightful
  Posted on: March 1, 2016 4:08 am

apamat
apamat
Reps: 100
#8 is my favorite.
  Posted on: March 7, 2016 12:58 am

Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 202
This is a great article. It is very insightful and useful to my future!
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 4:38 pm

QaNese
QaNese
Reps: 102
This is a great article, and will be helpful when I am a teacher. Its nice to be warned of some of the most comment "non-helpful" things that parents may say, and to have learned how to handle these situations.
  Posted on: October 9, 2016 7:01 am

QaNese
QaNese
Reps: 102
This is a great article, and will be helpful when I am a teacher. Its nice to be warned of some of the most comment "non-helpful" things that parents may say, and to have learned how to handle these situations.
  Posted on: October 9, 2016 7:01 am

ZaBuBy
ZaBuBy
Reps: 200
Totally agree
  Posted on: October 10, 2016 6:34 pm

sazaXa
sazaXa
Reps: 200
These are all very real scenarios teachers face. It must be so hard to have parents, who aren't teachers, tell teachers how to do their jobs or question their methods. This was a very eye opening read and I hope to be able to handle this situations respectfully when I become a teacher
  Posted on: October 13, 2016 1:00 pm

Nicole McVey
Nicole McVey
Reps: 201
I can see what these things would not want to be heard and they seem extremely realistic.
  Posted on: October 16, 2016 9:44 pm

qunumy
qunumy
Reps: 201
I am still in school, but a couple of these sound familiar from just when I was in school and around other peoples parents. These are very accurate.
  Posted on: October 17, 2016 2:27 am

Travis Cannon
Travis Cannon
Reps: 211
Number one is very spot on. No parent in the world wants to admit their child's faults but being bored is still no excuse to misbehave.
  Posted on: March 2, 2017 9:43 pm

Andrea Howey
Andrea Howey
Reps: 201
Great read! This will help me one day in my classroom!
  Posted on: March 6, 2017 1:52 am

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