Things You Need to be Told – August 2013 Edition

The web is rife with articles about things teachers wish parents knew and over 240 people echoed a kvetch about other people having the audacity to interfere with bedtime and naptime when Lisa-Jo Baker posted about it the other night.

Back in 2001, this gem Things You Need to be Told was a gift to the literary and etiquette world – I think the Etiquette Grrls had the right idea … so here’s mine 😉

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7 Things I Wish Teachers Knew

1) We’re not idiots – the vast majority of the parents whose children you’re teaching have the same quantity & quality of education that teachers do; please stop addressing us as though we’re technologically illiterate monkeys with a kindergarten education. The parents you’re trying to reach are the exception, not the rule. (and no, those “Exception” parents aren’t reading WSJ.com or its print counterpart … let’s be serious here, you’re condescending to an entire generation of parents in paper that we’re reading for business news not parenting advice LOL)

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1a) We’re not technologically illiterate – at least not all of us – and some of us are more technologically savvy than you are; so save your sermon on social media for your grandma. (meaning: The tech savvy parents saw your diatribe not only in the daily WSJ delivered to their inbox, but on Twitter and FB as well …)

2) When you tell us “we love kids” we don’t believe you – at least not wholesale. We know you love the idea of fostering a love of learning in healthy hale kids who come to school from solid homelives with a healthy nutritious breakfast ready and eager to learn. We know that your hearts get broken by the kids whose parents do not provide that. The parents whose education is on par with yours know at least 2 if not 6 or 10 former classmates who became teachers for reasons other than loving children.

2a) When you tell us you didn’t go into the profession for the money or the glory, we do believe you. We didn’t become parents for fortune & glory either 😉  teaching, as anything else, is a calling. But we also know plenty of people who teach because they need the same work schedule as their kids (because childcare is expensive) or people who went into teaching to help put their spouse through grad school or to pay off student loans from an undergrad major that didn’t manifest into a career.

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3) The things that we (as parents) teach our children are important, too – and a lot of those things aren’t things that you can teach our children nor should you. So when you overstep that line and try to impart morality in the classroom or try to brain wash our kids into following your lifestyle choice, we react. You raise your own children & let us raise ours; please.

4) We choose our battles and we do expect our children to learn from their mistakes, so stand by the consequences you attached to poor decision making at the beginning of the year. It’s part of the team that we’re all on.

5) If you work for an administrator who values children by the $$ attached to them from programs, no amount of classroom excellence will overcome that.

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6) If you believe that a child’s only need for math in the future will be for money, you need to get out of teaching and go work in any other field. Pick rice for all I care, but stop perpetuating the soft bigotry of low expectations. It might be ok at your house, but it’s not ok at mine and I will get my child out of your sexist bassackwards classroom asap.

7) When a parent asks you a question, they expect a professional well-thought-out response – in complete sentences. Otherwise you’re proving that your pedagogy is the nonsense that it sounds like when you preach it.

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7 Things I Wish my Fellow Moms Knew

1) We’re not mowing the lawn at your kids’ naptime intentionally – we’re mowing the lawn because it needs to get done. If you want to change our schedule, feel free to pony up for a landscaping company to come do it for us.

2) Motherhood is not a competition. Nobody wins. Being alive is being alive. Whatever happens after that is up for religious & philosophical debate – presumably it has nothing to do with whether a parent SAH or WOH.

3) It’s not about you – the things that WOHM do or say are NOT about SAHM – we’re not out to “get” you or out to “undermine” you by not adopting traditional gender roles.

4) It’s not about us either – the things that we all do are what’s best for OUR family; if you’re doing whatever you’re doing as a political or gender role “stance” you should probably enroll in a philosophy course at the local community college & explore your cave a little better.

5) If you’re peddling guilt – particularly if you’re dragging the Bible into it  – you might need a new hobby. No, taking it to Pinterest doesn’t count.

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6) If you homeschool and your social media is regularly afflicted with spelling, grammar, or usage errors you’re passing that on to your children – both in how you’re homeschooling them because you clearly can’t correct your own work, nevermind theirs – and in so far as you’re teaching them that adults can be sloppy & lazy about their writing and it doesn’t matter.  it DOES matter. resumes with misspellings go to file 13. colleagues with poor communication skills are ignored.

So true

7) Your friends will be there for you regardless of how many times you’ve had to eat crow or how many times they’ve passed you the ketchup to make your own crow more palatable – but it’s ok to have an “out” – a safe word or some other “cue” for your friends to give you or you to give your friends to indicate “ok, enough about little Johnny’s green snot” or that you can give your friends to say “excuse me, you’re starting to sound like Super Nanny not my bff, and I need you to let me kvetch, not try to fix it for me”

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