November 18, 2015

A list of stuff teachers supposedly don't like

This article was on Facebook.  It's one of those "things teachers don't tell you" lists or something.  It barely makes sense to me.

This is supposedly a list of stuff that teachers don't like.

1.  Too many mugs for back to school gifts.  The article mentions that teachers are complaining about getting too many mugs as back-to-school gifts. Is that a thing?  I've only gotten a handful of mugs in the last 6 years anyway, and one I still use because it's from a favorite student my very first year. When I have a too-many-mugs-for-back-to-school-gifts problem, it's time to move to a less affluent school I suppose.
I don't think I've ever gotten a back-to-school gift and I also don't think I ever expected one.

2. Parents who ignore information from the school.  I don't think this is specific to parents and school.  A lot of us ignore stuff we're supposed to know about (how many times have I paid bills late?)  And this also implies that I have all day to update the class website or something.  I don't.  I use an app to update parents on stuff they immediately need to know and if they don't read it, they don't read it. I can't do anything about that. The motto I've been taught is that we do what we can with the 7 hours we have the students and the rest is out of our control.

3. Parents who refuse to put away their cell phone when picking up/dropping off.  Again, not specific to parents and students.  And maybe we could mention how it's unsafe to be holding your phone with one hand as you're navigating a complicated pick-up/drop-off line.  That's what bothers me, because there's kids running everywhere. The author doesn't even mention it.

4. Parents who send their child with supplies that aren't on the list.  Sure, this can be bothersome, but I just tell the kid to take them home or hold onto the supplies until whenever...there is no law that says the student must be allowed to use their individual electric pencil sharpener at their seat just because their parents decided they should have one.
Again, my problem is usually kids who don't have supplies, not kids with fancy, distracting ones.  #mustmovetoricherschools

5. Parents who blame other kids when their child does something wrong.  This is so dumb.  It's Teaching 101.  Of course kids and parents look to make it known that there were other kids involved in whatever incident it was, BUT I've never had a parent outright blame it on someone else.  Most things kids do go two ways anyway: there's always someone's other side of the story.

I feel like this author watched a movie about "how to teach" from the 1970s and then wrote an article...

6.  Parents who assume teachers don't like their child when they earn a failing grade.  See above.
I've had questions about how I arrive at grades, and a few times I was questioned over how my grading system works...but I've never been told I have it out for a particular child (eh, maybe once).  Plus, the parents who ask these questions *usually* have good kids and they just want to know how to make their child more successful.

7.  Parents who refuse to let their child take ownership of their actions.  Duh. Of course it bothers teachers, but it's such a broad topic.  And this is a generic list.

8.  Parents who ignore recommendations and push their child too hard.
I've never encountered this.  Again, #mustmovetorichschools.

9.  Parents who refuse to set aside their family differences for the benefit of their child.
First of all, family dynamics are none of my business.  I like to understand who/what/where/when will be taking care of your child and who I can contact, but I would never judge someone the way this author implies her sources are judging families.
Plus, I've often done more than one conference per student for different sets of parents because that's just how it works. Being accommodating will get you far.

Anyway.  This list is dumb.  It grazes the surface of what maybe the public perceives teachers' mindsets to be and I would be shocked to find out if it was written by an actual teacher.  I feel like it was compiled by a columnist who pulled generic information from other places.

I'd look into it right now but I have to go teach.


  1. This made me laugh! Thanks for that, haha!!

  2. I love your hashtag.

    I am not a teacher (you know this) but I do have common sense and even as not a teacher, I'm annoyed by this list. You know. Because of aforementioned common sense.

  3. The person who wrote this is obviously not a teacher. I haven't really encountered most of those, and none of those sound all that bad. In fact, I WISH those were my problems as a teacher....


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