Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Have I Changed Since Quitting Teaching?

I thought it would be interesting to read this and see if my opinions have changed since writing this five years ago. I was very much child free and in the throes of teaching. Let's take a gander.

I Know I'm Not a Parent, But...

I have picked up a thing or two at school just today. If you are a parent, these are a few friendly suggestions from the teacher:

1. Don't, under any circumstances, shave your ten year old's hair into a mohawk and send them to school. This might seem funny while you're giving them the buzz cut at home, but there is really no logical reason to leave it that way. I still firmly agree here.

2. Don't act all confused and surprised when the assistant principal calls you during the day and tells you to come pick up your son and his mohawk and return him with a dress code appropriate hair cut. Seriously. Not rocket science. Still agree. People are stupid.

3.You have already passed fourth grade. I believe you. There is no need to show me how well you can do a book report. I am more interested in what your child can do. Thanks. Agree. Understand a little more why people do it with all of the competitive parenting out there, but still want my kid to do his own work. Even if it looks sad on the wall next to Anna's mommy's work.

4. Stop lying. I remember when you told me in the fall conference that you don't believe in medication and would never take your child to a specialist. Don't tell me today that you did take him last year and that the specialist said your child didn't have anything wrong with him. You're lying. I write things down. Hmm. I was tricky. Note to self.

5. It is okay for your child to have faults. They are not perfect. I spend more time with them than you do, and I know they're not perfect. Stop trying to tell me that they are misunderstood. It is you who misunderstands your child. Try spending some time with them. It works. Am sad thinking about the day when someone else spends more time with my kids than I do. How many hours are in a school day? Let's say 7. Hmm. I think I can still maintain the majority. But I was talking to those parents who avoided their children. They are still wrong.

6. Coming to school with your child every Monday and writing down their homework in your dayplanner is not helping them become independent. Your child is going to get to middle school and fry like an egg. You'll see. Apparently, the middle school coddled them too, so I'm not sure this one came true, but it was good in theory. But that was a real parent who came and copied homework off of my board into her dayplanner every Monday. Fah-reak!

7. NO. I will not teach you over the phone what I taught the kids in class. Your kid needs to listen. And you need to get a life. Yeah, same parent. Still agree. Hope to side with teacher and maintain tough love.

8. Calling the principal when you think your child has been wronged is not going to help you. She is just going to come tell me what you said and then I will resent your child. This suggestion also applies to last year's teacher. Don't do it. We all talk and we are on the same side. If you have a problem, come to me. True, true. Still true.

9. Please don't tell me that you aren't asking for special privileges and then in the same breath ask me to do something just for your child that I don't do for others. That falls under the category of special privileges. That's how that works. Ha ha! That's pretty funny. Agree! I do think kids should all have their needs met individually, but it's the "I'm not asking for special privileges" part that made me laugh.

10. Just because one of your children was diagnosed with ADHD doesn't mean the rest of them have it. We are not going to help you put all of your children on Ritalin just because you can't teach them to behave. Discipline: look into it. It's crazy stuff. Urgh. I still agree with this, and possibly more so since I've seen parents both in teaching and in parenting who want, want, want their kids on medication. What I don't get is that when the child needs it, it works. When they don't need it or are on too high of a dose, they're zombies. What I REALLY have issues with are the parents who want their kids to be zombies so they don't have to deal with them.

Thank you and have a pleasant evening.

Hee hee. I miss how saucy I used to be. I don't have the energy or the material to be nearly as saucy as I used to be. Glad to know I haven't changed tooooooo much, though.

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