1. I won’t tell you when your child blurts out loud to me and the entire class “This is boring! Why do we have to do this?” after I stayed up late with a sick infant the night before and spent over 6 hours the previous week coming up with a way to, in fact, make coordinating conjunctions engaging and entertaining.
2. I won’t tell you when your child asks to go to the bathroom as soon as the bell rings even though they were socializing at their locker during the entire passing period… and then gives an attitude when I tell them no.
3. I won’t tell you when your child asks “what are we doing?” (because they were talking) when I just finished explaining and modeling the exact thing they should be doing. Ask a friend.
4. I won’t tell you when your child is more concerned with talking to their friend instead of listening to “hints” for the upcoming test.
So now you’re thinking… Hey lady, do you even care about my child? Why would you let all of these behaviors slide?
5. You don’t know because I am doing everything I can to help them solve their problem. I am changing their seat, changing the lessons that have already been planned, going back over the rules, pulling them aside and having a private conversation, giving them warnings, getting to the bottom of the issue, helping them come up with a solution for next time, giving them fresh chances day after day, and believing in them that they can make a good choice.
…but when I have exhausted every avenue, that’s when you get the call.
Not to tell you how awful your child has been behaving. Not to tell you they caused me to have a bad day. Not to make you feel bad. Hey, it’s uncomfortable for me too.
I’m calling to ask you for help. Because you know your child best. We both want them to succeed. But it’s just not working, and I need to be backed up. I need you to believe me.
I need you to sit down and have a talk with your child about what’s going on. Why is it an issue? How is this affecting others? What are your actions doing to yourself? What can you do to be better? What else can the teacher do for you to help you be better?
I’m not out to get you, or your child. But remember no one is perfect. That includes your child. And if I call you, I’m taking time out of my day to say I care enough about your child that I want them to succeed. I want them to be better.
Sometimes we (parents) don’t ask (about our kids) because we’re afraid of the answer. I’ll be honest. I usually sugar coat some parent teacher conferences and enjoy the look on the kids’ face when I don’t tell their parents that they were indeed rude to me that one Tuesday when they wanted to look cool in front of their friends. But I pulled them aside. Had that conversation. Did not make it a big deal. And moved on.
Not every teacher is like me. There is no one right way to deal with every kid and every situation. I just do what I think is in the best interest of the student.
I do call when I’ve had enough. Or for ongoing behaviors.
If we can work it out at school, you may never know how many (social/life) lessons your child is learning in my class besides grammar.