The celebration you had in September because your kids were finally going back to school has lost its luster. The honeymoon period is over. Now your kid’s teacher isn’t looked at as a savior for making your kid wake before noon and give the Xbox a rest. We have now moved into Blame the Teacher season.
It’s kind of ok. I hate all the paperwork that comes home and making lunches and keeping up with due dates too.
But before you send that nasty email or make that call to the office, there are a few things you should know.
1. We take your kids’ stories home with us, and carry them heavy in our hearts. Sometimes we are up all night with worry and burden our spouses with them.
2. We are always wondering how it is in the “real” world. With expense accounts. Flexible schedules. Time to chat with co-workers about last night’s game. There are days when the only adult interaction we have is co-cursing at the copy machine and trading quick greetings in the hallway.
3. We understand that our interaction with your kid may be the most positive thing in their day.
4. We might say we don’t, but we really are judging you and your parenting. Most of you do an awesome job. A few of you suck at it. Like “Here’s a free hysterectomy/ vasectomy card– use it” suck.
5. We also hate testing. It kills educational curiosity, classroom community, and intrinsic motivation.
6. We gobble food like Ethiopian orphans because we are used to lunches in 20 minutes or less.
7. Our bladders have to get re-skinned every year from the strain of holding it for hours.
8. We consider coffee and alcohol essential food groups. Looking for a gift idea? Last year I gave my son’s teacher a bottle of wine. Much more appreciated (and used) than a teacher mug/ ornament/desk plate/ apron… you get the idea. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ll take anything. No one brings stuff for high school teachers.
9. We get that you attack us in order to mask your disappointment in your kid or yourself, but it still hurts. A lot. And deeply. And even when we know we’re right, it makes us question everything.
10. Around mid-year and at the end of the year, we adopt a dark, ER/ combat zone sense of humor. It’s possible that we have discussed which kid we would offer as tribute. It’s also possible that the plot of Thunderdome has entered conversation.
11. We have all fantasized about taking a kid home with us because we know how much that kid would benefit from experiencing a normal home life.
12. We may not remember every single name or face, but it doesn’t mean we’ve completely forgotten. We’re just old.
13. When we hear, “At least you get summers off,” we may chuckle, but on the inside we are gouging your eyes out with an oyster fork.
14. We get that there are some really bad teachers out there. Make no mistake, we hate them too. Most are awesome. Some really suck at it. Like “Your license should be revoked and you should never work with children again” suck.
15. We are advocates for children first, educators second.
We’re just human, really. We have flaws. Good days and bad. Personal lives that are often as messy as yours or worse. We will sometimes say things we regret, just as you do. We will reflect on a strategy and make changes, just as you do.
And we care about your child, just as you do.