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Teachers Tell Us What They Want (What They Really, Really Want)

Teachers Tell Us What They Want (What They Really, Really Want)

Parents, we know how much support and encouragement we need throughout the everydayness of parenting our kids. And that’s just with the few children who have been entrusted in our care. Now imagine you have been entrusted with 25-150 children for seven hours a day, five days a week. It is your job to teach them new concepts, evaluate their comprehension and progress, keep them on track, and maybe/hopefully inspire them along the way. Oh, and you also have to differentiate lessons for various needs and learning styles, attend numerous meetings, input endless data, communicate and meet with parents, manage technology, clean and organize, counsel, investigate, manage student behavior, document everything, etc., etc., etc. And do it all with enthusiasm. And not a lot of pay. Or thanks.

This isn’t even a comprehensive list of everything teachers have to do. But most of them got into the teaching profession because of a calling or a desire to influence the next generation. They didn’t get into it for the money. Teachers have an enormous responsibility, and they need the support of the parents of the children in whom they are investing so much of their lives. 

When asked how we parents can best support them, here is what they said.

Help Us

“Have your kids read daily for 20-30 minutes. Teach them organizational and time management skills (how to organize their binders/book bags, how to properly use their planner or another to-do list, etc).” – Megan Meyers, teacher in gifted program, 11 years experience in education

“Check your kids’ grades, planner, etc. It’s all available in real time; please help them stay on track.” – Julianne Cochran, instructor at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, 16 years experience in education

“Volunteer.” – Trey Butts, head boys/girls soccer coach, P.E. teacher, 15 years experience in education

“Read to or with your child daily, keep an open line of communication with the teacher, reinforce/support learning at home, make simple changes to help broaden your child’s understanding (Number sense and vocabulary can be drastically improved at home.), and help your child become a problem solver.” – Kristen Pearson, elementary school teacher, 10 years experience in education

“Let your children experience (age-appropriate) failure. Stop trying to rescue them from every disappointment/hurt. I’m not saying to never step in and help, but they must learn how to respond to failure or disappointment. Making a bad grade in grammar school is not the end of the world, and learning how to rebound from that will pay off in the coming years! I always say I would rather have a class full of hard workers who have a moral compass than a class full of straight A students. This is accomplished by letting them experience failure/disappointment. They develop perseverance and empathy, which makes them better students!” – Kristen Gibson, middle school teacher, 14 years experience in education

Trust Us

“Trust your teacher! I am blessed to be at a school where parent support is outstanding. It makes ALL the difference! Also, parents need to be mindful of how they talk about their child’s teacher. Children will pick up on those attitudes (positive or negative), and it will affect their behavior and performance in class.” – Missy Nettles, elementary school teacher, 15 years experience in education

“Trust us. Almost all educators I know give more and more time and love to their students than themselves. Parents need to trust us and be for us and with us, not against us.” – Melissa Davis, early grammar school coordinator, 22 years experience in education

Encourage Us

“Simply understanding that as teachers we are still human, and we make mistakes just like everyone else. Also, we have lives and families, too, and it’s unhealthy to dedicate 100% of our time to school. Sometimes I feel like I’m expected to be superhuman in so many ways.” – Hunter Bowman, elementary school teacher, 5 years experience in education

“Truly one of the best gifts you can give a teacher is an honest, sincere, and thoughtful note of appreciation.” – Nicole Morgan, school librarian and former elementary school teacher, 22 years experience in education

“Share with us the good things going on at school or that your child enjoys! We love hearing the positive!” – Dr. Emily Mulhollen, elementary school principal, 19 years experience in education

“Words of appreciation can help so much! It doesn’t take much to make our day! Did a teacher accept a late paper? Email them and thank them! Did your child come home talking about a cool activity that was done in class? Email them and thank them for creating engaging lessons! Did you notice your child talking about something they learned in school? Let them know! Don’t only let your kid’s teacher hear from you when it’s negative.” – Andrea Alexander, middle school teacher, 10 years experience in education

Teachers have immensely important jobs that affect each of our lives in some way. Let’s do all that we can to help and encourage them in this important work.

Carrie Bevell Partridge writes words of encouragement and support for marriage and family. She and her husband Kevin have five children and make their home in Ridgeland, MS. Read more from Carrie at carriebevellpartridge.com.

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