Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why parents infuriate me...

It's not all of my parents that frustrate me and get me angry.  It's not all of them that I want to shake.  It's the few.  The few that make you forget all the rest of the wonderful parents who are a pleasure to work with.  Since everyone seems a little list-happy recently, I have compiled my own list.  This is from my own experience, but you may see similarities to other lists, because these people are everywhere!

10.  You have 1 child here.  Sometimes 2.  We have 8-12.  Every day.

9.  We cannot remember everything you say, and we can't stand around and talk to you all day.  You are not the only person we have to deal with today, and not even the most important.  We are here for the children.  If you really need to talk to us, call us at the proper time (ie, when you know they're resting!) or email us.  Or even write a note!  It's not hard!  Don't be selfish with our attention to you.

8.  Don't dress your child in white and look at us funny when they come home brown.  They are children, they will play.  Please dress your child appropriately.  They can't tie their shoelaces, and you know they take their shoes off when they come inside.  Why are you going to do that to us?  And on the other end of the spectrum, don't send them in flip-flops either.  They're not proper support for the running/jumping they do all day.

7.  PLEASE check your child's communication box/folder daily!  There's important information there, and we aren't always there/available to talk to you when you pick your child.

6.  Please please PLEASE be on time!  This counts for drop-off as well as pick-up.  You distrupt the class when you waltz in late and go through your unnecessarily long, drawn-out separation process as if nobody is there.  And we don't get paid overtime to sit around and wait for you to come and pick up your child at the end of the day.  The child also begins to worry and become distressed.  If you have to pick up your child by 5:30, don't LEAVE at 5:30!  And don't complain when we charge you the late fee, either!

5.  LABEL EVERYTHING.  Again, we have multiple children we are taking care of.  Many items look similar to us, and most children cannot identify their own belongings.  If it looks nice to them, they will claim it whether it belongs to them or not.  If it's not labelled, don't blame us if it goes missing.  We don't have the time to play the elimination game to guess whose it is.  Anything that can detach from them physically should be labelled.  This includes socks and underwear!  Don't assume that your child will always keep these on.  They don't even do it at home, why would they do it at school?

4.  We are not a party venue!  We are a school.  If you would like to have an elaborate birthday party for your child, do it on the weekend.  Keep the birthday celebrations at school simple and quick, and work with our schedule, not yours.

3.  DISNEY IS THE ENEMY!!  Not literally, but it really doesn't belong at a school.  We do not promote images and some of the messages they give to children.  They often distract from learning when children are more focused on what they're wearing or what they have on their lunchbox/bottle/hat, etc.  Keep such images at school at a minimum, and downplay their importance as much as possible.  There are more important things to focus on.

2.  Let the children be children.  Let them develop on their own.  They grow up too fast anyway, so why speed up the process by flooding them with images and messages that are not age appropriate?  Little girls should not be obsessed with make-up, fashion and gossip.  Boys should not be obsessed with guns, fighting and monsters.  They can be aware of it, but when they're fed a steady diet of it so that's what is most important to them and that's all they focus on, something is very wrong.

1.  RESPECT.  Please respect the teachers and the classroom.  This is our workplace and our profession, so please treat it as such.  We take our jobs very seriously, and our first and most important goal is the safety and wellbeing of your child.  We are not your servants, we are not second-class workers.  We are professionals, just like you.  We work hard, and we work long.  We go home tired and drained at the end of the day, but we never stop thinking about your children.  They become like our own and we are devoted to them and to you.  When we say something, or suggest something, it's because we care.  Work with us, not against us.  At the end of the day, it's not the paycheck we're looking for, it's knowing that we're doing the best for a child.  Let us know that you appreciate us, you have no idea how it helps us when we're tired and stressed.

Teaching is not an easy profession.  Teachers don't get paid a lot of money, it's long hours and it's mentally and physically draining.  But we teach because it's our passion as well as our profession.  Just because we teach preschool, don't think we are less than a grade school or high school teacher.  Let's bring back the respect that the teaching profession deserves.

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