Before I came to ChoreMonster, I spent a few years teaching art. I have taught both elementary school and high school. Now that I’m no longer a teacher, I can share some of the things that were really on my mind.
1. I love to tell stories about your child. They are delightful and I can’t help but share. I will not, however, ever use their real name.
2. Your child loves to tell stories about you. Talking on the phone about how Becky at work got caught stealing post-its from the supply cabinet? Yeah, I now know all about that, too.
3. If you need to meet with me, do so early in the day. Imagine what you would feel like after spending eight hours with 30+ seven year olds. I am much more pleasant in the morning. I even get in early enough for you to stop by before work.
4. Listen to your kids. They crave attention and affirmation. Show them their opinions matter by spending time listening.
5. My favorite students are not the ones with the best grades, but the ones with the best personality. Students who are kind and respectful. Students who help their classmates. Students with a great sense of humor.
6. Those holiday canned food/toy drives at school typically go to students in the district. You aren’t donating to some nameless family in Appalachia. The kids receiving that off-brand spinach and mountain of ramen are probably the same ones watching your child drop it in the box on Monday morning.
7. I can tell when you’ve “helped” with their homework. I’ve graded a hundred similar projects. It isn’t hard to tell what was done by a ten-year-old and what was done by someone with an engineering degree.
8. On that same note, homework is really important. I know it keeps piling up and you may think your child doesn’t have time to be a kid. As state requirements and standardized testing are more defined, the amount of content we have to fit in one school year increases. Homework helps to review concepts so that we don’t have to spend as much class time reviewing. If your child is struggling with homework, please let us know.
9. Second graders find farting hilarious. They really do.
10. You actually don’t need to buy me a gift. I have plenty of photo frames and coffee mugs proclaiming how I’m the “World’s Greatest Teacher”. If you must get me something, how about candy, coffee, or something else edible. Or, better even, just a Thank-You note. Nothing makes me happier than feeling appreciated.
11. At the end of the day, I do love my job. Teachers are not the “leftovers” of college graduates. We all have a Master’s Degree, or are in the process of obtaining one. We wouldn’t go into thousands of dollars of debt and be happy with $30,000 a year (minus union dues, extra pencils, and birthday cupcakes) if we didn’t love teaching. Sometimes we have bad days, but that dandelion your seven-year-old brought us at recess really helps.