A Minute to Myself (101)
A Minute to Myself (102)

Note to Parents

Parents, please note:

  • your child’s teacher does not hate your child;

  • your child’s teacher does not have it in for your child;
  • your child’s teacher is not failing your child;
  • your child’s teacher does not purposely NOT tell the homework assignment to your child;
  • your child’s teacher does not purposely NOT pass handouts to your child.

Parents, if your child is telling you those things:

  • maybe it’s in your child’s mind;
  • maybe your child has done something to disturb the teacher;
  • perhaps your child talks during class;
  • perhaps your child sleeps during class (oh, sorry, rests his head on the desk and closes his eyes so that he can better concentrate);
  • perhaps your child does not pay attention (oh, sorry, focuses well but the way the teacher expresses herself is not understood by your child);
  • perhaps your child left the handout in class;
  • perhaps your child did not: do the homework, take the homework from home, take the homework out of the backpack, and/or pay attention when the teacher collected the homework.

Does your child clean up his/her room when you ask him/her?

Hmmm, maybe there’s a pattern here that is repeated in school.

But wait, how many children do you have and do you ever get upset with them?

As a high school teacher I have approximately 125 students. Guess what?

  • It bothers me when they don’t do their work.
  • It bothers me when they don’t pay attention.
  • It bothers me when they mock me.
  • It bothers me when they try to annoy me.

Yes, it’s true, I am a person.

So next time you want to accuse a teacher of sabotaging your child’s future, go find your kid in his room and speak to him—honestly—about what is really happening in school because it generally is not the teacher’s fault that he got an F, D, C, or B (if you are so grade-greedy).

A caring but annoyed teacher.



I can just about imagine how annoying this gets for you teachers. Since I work at a school I get to see this all of the time. It is crazy how many parents that come to our school or call to scream at the teachers for a bad grade or something really rediculous like that. There are a lot of parents that won't or don't put any blame or responsibility on their own children. They are constantly trying to get their children out of the consequences of their actions. I don't get it.

My daughter is a teacher and she is constantly telling me about the parents of her students and she gets tired of having to explain all these things you mentioned here to the parents. I will have to show my daughter this post and I am sure she will shout a loud "Amen" to what you have written.


Ah yes, the enabling parent. Lots of stories there...
I so hear you. Sometimes, I ask the parent to come in and spend a day at school with the child. I had a couple take me up on it over the years. They are always so surprised how organized I am and how big and in red I write the due dates on the dry erase board.


Teachers really do have it bad. I have worked as a substitute teacher before and have seen what you describe. It isn't pretty. And it isn't an accurate assessment (by the parent) of what is happening.

I don't know how you manage to bite your tongue and spell it out here instead of shouting at parents, "Your child is irresponsible!"


I have a mate of mine who is a high school teacher. I must show her your post.

My daughter is now 19. Through her school years there were a handful of times that I had to confront the type of issues you mentioned. Out of that handful of times only twice was the fault teacher related, and even then my daughter wasn't totally innocent.

Unfortunately things have changed since the good old days when I was at school. Mothers were more often stay at home moms, enforcing routines, discipline, manners, and generally being their for the kids. Now its common for both parents to be out working. The kids get home, sit on the X-box. The folks get home, discuss their day, prepare dinner, and want peace, brought about be the x-box, now attatched to the TV in each of the kids' rooms.

Education too has changed. Teachers seem to be overworked, so don't seem to have the time to incorporate some of the life skills, kids use to learn at home years ago. I remember at primary school, we had morning inspections. Our shoes had to be clean, our fingernails had to be clean and our hair had to be brushed. We pulled up for not saying please or thankyou, mispronouncing words, and at highschool having our uniform too short.
Try enforcing that now days.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Lori, I keep getting emails from a dad who wants me to explain why his son got a 0 on an assignment that he didn't do. If so many other kids didn't do it, he says, then you should give them all more time. Ah, no. How do you spell RESPONSIBLE? For goodness sakes, I gave them a month to read a book!

phhhst, Oh, the old "my teacher is disorganized and I am a symbol of organization" routine. How parents long to see only the good in their kids. I have in-boxes and out-boxes labeled for each period, but still they say I'm disorganized. Can you say BACKPACK?

Christine, we are told that we need to be absolutely objective in our correspondence with teachers. And you know, they will say that yes, their child really does study better with his head down, eyes closed and drooling.

Brigit, have no fear--the zipper-it-up/cover-it-up teacher is here. My goodness, what is with all of the cleavage? I must say, I call them out on their rudeness daily. My phrase of choice: "words are still coming out of my mouth, so you need to stop talking" always spoken in the sweetest of voices.

But still, as a teacher in the middle of my fourth-year, I must say that it is infinitely more interesting, challenging and rewarding than writing brochures about telephones (one of my previous jobs).

Stepping Thru

My husband taught for 29 years and retired as soon as he could. He also coached and he would tell the kids at the first of the year, "If your parents feel they need to come talk to me about your playing time, then be sure they bring your suit with them." Funny...he had very few parents come complain about playing time. He also taught Industrial Arts and when the kids started a building project and didn't finish it by the end of the term he would only let them come up after school or on weekends IF the parents came with them. Amazing how few had the time to come help so some of the kids never finished their projects. I admire teachers more that you can imagine. I COULD NEVER DO THAT! Give me sales any day.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Stepping Thru, you cannot imagine the number of parents of boys who think that sports is more important than studies. Everyone "plans" on getting a football scholarship so they figure they can forget about English. And the coaches, perhaps they were English drop-outs too, don't seem to dispel this misguided approach to education.

Good for you husband and his conditions. Parents are good at demanding more time from us, but not from themselves.


Great post, I like how you put it right on the line, showing us the side of teaching we really don't see. Kudos to you for teaching the children, and on the other hand, I hope it is a blessing to have the other students, the ones who you get through to. Thanks for visiting my blog, I enjoyed browsing here!

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Joanne, the first year I taught my mentor told me that I can't think that I can get to all of the kids everyday, and to focus on just a few. I try to do that, but it's so tempting to try to reach the kid who is so obviously resisting my attempts. Oftentimes I find out it's because they think they can't write, so they put up a wall. It then becomes my job to knock it down--or have them knock it down with yet some more writing warm-ups and essays.

outside voice

Hear, hear! Teaching is hard on so many levels...great post.

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