17 things teachers wish they could tell parents

There is no end to the number of blogs and experts with advice on how to start the school year off right. But what about the people that actually interact with your kids every day? We talked to elementary and high school teachers about the advice they would offer parents and some of the things they may not realize about their kids.

Here's what the teachers had to say:

  1. Encourage your child to raise their hand and participate during class.

    If a student is bordering between a B+ and an A-, I may remember how engaged they were in class and tip the grade in their favor.

  2. We've heard every excuse in the book about why your child was absent.

    Unless Disneyland is the name of a new strain of flu virus, I'm pretty sure they weren't "sick" last week.

  3. Your children talk about you while they're at school.

    They tell us how you helped them with homework and rewarded them for getting good grades, but they also talk about your gambling addictions and drinking problems. Be a good example to your children.

  4. Get your kids to school on time!

    It's embarrassing to be labeled the 'late' kid every day and often times, it's not their fault, it's yours! Most schools have a library, cafeteria, gym, something open before school, so it's OK to get them there early. And some schools have consequences for too many tardies like not being able to go to prom.

  5. It's not always just about your kid.

    In addition to your child, I have 150 other students I look after every day.

  6. If a parent is apathetic and unenthusiastic about education, that is exactly how their child will feel.

    If a parent has a disdain for teachers or school, so will the child.

  7. Kids can't learn if they're thinking about how hungry they are.

    Make sure your kids have a good lunch and a snack every day. But avoid sugary foods if you can. It's not the rush that's the problem, it's the crash that happens after.

  8. Your child may not be giving you the full story when it comes to their grades.

    Instead of sending a nasty email or phone call saying "Billy said you failed him because..." reach out and get my side of the story, too.

  9. It's not OK to swear in my classroom.

    Teach your children the difference between language they can use at home and with friends and language they should use at school.

  10. Don't be afraid to talk to me.

    If your student has questions about the curriculum but is shy or uncomfortable with speaking up during class, encourage them to come in and talk to their teacher privately before or after school or during lunch.

  11. Get to know the other parents and families in your child's class.

    Spending time together outside of school can be helpful in building relationships. Plus, if you ever need help with pick up/drop off or homework, you'll know who to call.

  12. School comes first.

    No, your child should not get to play football if they have an F in my class. Sports are an EXTRA curricular activity.

  13. Let us know about your child's personality traits and quirks.

    Knowing that your child is supposed to be wearing glasses in class or has a short attention span can help us approach your student's learning with a bit more insight into who they are and how they learn.

  14. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep

    Especially the younger ones.

  15. Encourage your child to join a club.

    Or a sports team or student government ... something social outside of the class. Love video games? Start a club; everyone who joins will love video games, too.

  16. We know that you are trying your best.

    Sometimes things don't work out the way you'd like. Homework doesn't get checked, lunches get forgotten. It's OK, keep pushing.

  17. We want your children to be happy and be successful just as much as you do.

Tips are based on actual responses from working teachers interviewed by ABC: A 2nd grade teacher with six years experience, a high school art instructor in her 5th year of teaching, and a 9th and 12th grade English teacher who has been teaching for 18 years. They have been loosely edited for length and clarity.
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