How to Treat Teachers | Giftie Etcetera: How to Treat Teachers

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Treat Teachers

Back in the 1990s, I taught middle school for a few years.

After that, I went to law school and became a lawyer, but being a teacher taught me something profound. (Actually, it taught me two things. One is that teaching is way harder than lawyering. The other, though, is that...)

Teachers are people - with gifts and flaws and humanity.

off topic, teachers

It seems silly to type that, but I think we all need the reminder. 

After all, teachers take care of our kids all day.

And when they send home oodles of homework or a note, it's easy to assume they just don't get it. When our kid complains that Ms. Smith is mean, we assume our kid wouldn't lie. If our kid gets grounded from the field trip, we wonder if the teacher was really fair.

In my experience, there are a handful of teachers who should not be in the classroom. If that is the case, it's fair game to speak, calmly and with facts in hand, to the principal. It is always okay to advocate for your child. 

But those teachers are rare.

The more common scenario is a great teacher who has a bad moment or a bad day or makes a mistake.

Treat that teacher with love, compassion, and understanding.

We all have bad days. We all raise our voices or lose our tempers. We all make math errors or make a typo in a letter.

We don't all live under the pressures that teachers face, with thirty different personalities (not even counting administrators or parents) to deal with every day, all day long.

We don't all have the future of society as our personal and professional obligation.

We don't all have to skip lunch and bathroom breaks because a parent calls or a kid gets sick or needs extra tutoring.

This school year, treat the teacher as if they are human, with flaws and all, but also as if they are amazing, because by the simple virtue of what they are willing to do for your kid, they are!


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Jaime Barfield said...

I completely agree that teachers should be treated well. I always get the teacher's side of the story on anything my children tell me and I make my children face their teacher if the stories do not match so I can get to the bottom of the truth. Alot of times, the teacher or my kid will cave when they have to face each other. It's interesting. Most of the time, I'm ashamed to admit, my child is the one that caves because they stretch the truth to suit them. I have come across a few dishonest teachers before, but I was never the only parent having issues with them.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher I really appreciate this post! Many parents forget that we are real human beings with feelings and we are trying to do our best for their child. Thanks for linking to #TwinklyTuesday

Unknown said...

A just post. My son goes to a class where majority of the kids fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. I have tremendous respect for his teacher, who is exceptional at her work.

Mummascribbles said...

Love this :) completely agree. We are a couple of years off of school age but I'll make sure when the time does come, I remember back to this post. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

Unknown said...

I am a teacher and I thank you for your post. I wish that I could share it with every current, past and future family that I will encounter. Some families "get it" like you, but many do not. I am thanking on behalf of teachers everywhere!!!

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond said...

Teaching is such an important influence on our children however sometimes teachers are expected to be parents as well! Thanks for reminding us all that teaching is a vocation and teachers are people with feelings. Thanks for sharing at #AnythingGoes link up. See you next week

Unknown said...

I was a teacher for several years and I totally resonate with this post! I want to share this in my weekly series called "Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday" - I share bloggers' amazing posts that I've found during the week. I hope that' ok! Have a great day!