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Secret Teacher: Parents, We Are People Too

Secret Teacher: Parents, We Are People Too

When it comes to parents communicating with teachers, one teacher wants parents to give educators a break.

As part of its “Secret Teacher” series, The Guardian recently released a testimony from a teacher who has trouble with his or her students’ parents.

“It started as a perfectly ordinary day,” said Secret Teacher. “I got into school just after 7.30am, made a cup of tea, chatted to a couple of people in the staff room then pottered off to my classroom and logged onto my computer. I had just started working through the morning’s email deluge – delete that, file this, print that, forward this – when one particular message caught my eye. It was from Nightmare Parent and it had dropped in to my inbox at 10 minutes to midnight. It read: ‘What sort of teacher do you call yourself? I have just put Joe back to bed for the tenth time. He keeps waking up screaming because he can’t do question three on his math homework. I can’t do anything with him. I’m not getting any sleep. You really must do something about your poor teaching.’”

Secret Teacher said that “this sort of unreasonable behavior from parents is mercifully rare, and it does at least provide a source of amusement in the staff room.”

“I’m experienced enough to ignore the jibes about my competence and confident enough of my relationship with other parents not to be bothered by what he said about me in the playground,” Secret Teacher said. “He is a particularly aggressive parent [it isn’t unknown for him to have a go at other parents if he thinks their children are upsetting his son]. But it still left me feeling bullied and frustrated that while I was doing the best for his son, he was focusing on expectations that were wildly unrealistic.”

Secret Teacher met up with the student and “talked through the homework with him – as is often the case with math homework, he thought he’d understood something in class, but when he tried to replicate it at home, he found he couldn’t.”

“So, parents, please trust us to know what we’re doing,” Secret Teacher said. “Trust us to know the pace that your child learns at. Trust us to expect your child to achieve the best that they possibly can and to support them in it. Trust us to do all that we can to keep communication clear and open, because teaching and learning are related activities so that’s important. But please also remember that we are people too.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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