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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

The ten commandments for parents: According to teachers

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Coming from someone who has a not-so-perfect record, I am going to do my best this year – starting now.


1. Thou shall communicate positively.

So often, teachers only hear from parents if there is an issue or question. Just check in every so often – a friendly email or quick hello.

2. Thou shall not take responsibility for child’s homework.

It is not your homework, not your responsibility, not your backpack. There is no reason for you to delve into your child’s folders.

3. Thou shall not have a fit.

Seriously, don't go ape shit over a second hand story. Let the teacher know you're concerned and most will do their best to get to the bottom of things.

4. Thou shall offer help.

Ask me what you can do, as in plan a party, donate supplies on my wish list and/or volunteer to read or sit with your child's class at lunch.

5. Thou shall listen.

Just a couple minutes of no talking and an open mind from the person who spends 40 plus hours per week with your child.

6. Thou shall not rant and rave.

Teachers are too exhausted for adult tantrums. No calling or texting at night to cite every injustice that has occurred within a hundred miles of said school.

7. Thou shall contact teacher first.

Please, offer that courtesy. Don't call and berate someone to the big bad wolf (principal) before allowing your teacher to explain or listen to your concerns.

8. Thou shall make sure child has a snack.

Everyone needs brain fuel and watching hungry children watch everyone else have a snack is too much. Teachers buy Goldfish, but it would be awfully expensive to feed nearly two dozen kids snack every day.

9. Thou shall sign permission slips.

This is not difficult, just sign the flipping paper. If your child goes to school and reports that you were asleep or couldn't find a writing utensil, the teacher will be forced to muffle evil thoughts.

10. Thou shall be appreciative.

Say thank you, I appreciate it, my child is having the best year, I know you work hard – no compliment is too small to warm a teacher's hard-working heart.

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