As your kids head back to school soon, uncover what their teachers are really thinking - about students, their jobs and the work you do as a parent.
1. Times Sure Have Changed
Kids used to go out and play after school and resolve problems on their own. Now, with computers and TV, they lack the skills to communicate. They don't know how to get past hurt feelings without telling the teacher and having her fix it.
Open Comm, you apparently missed the last line which said that a thank you note was even better. I have been teaching ten years and some of my favourite gifts are: a drawing a child made of the entire class with everyone's names under it, a picture of one student in a frame decorated completely by him, a small change purse (because the student himself picked it out), a home-made scarf, and a note that thanked me for all the extra effort and the time I had spent with their child, and commented that their child had gone from not wanting to attend school to enjoying it.
I keep those notes for those days we all have - in every job - when I want to hide under my desk. Gift cards - which do come in $5 denominations you know - get used. I do donate most of my gifts to organizations. Those pictures and notes are something I can keep.
I also give my students - all of them - gifts twice a year. including books, pencils, notepads and erasers, and the parents get thank-you notes. The money for this comes out of my own pocket. In fact, I have spent almost $15,000 on my students. And no, it's not tax-deductible.
It's easy to pick at one thing and say, "Shame on you, that's horrible." Until you see the whole situation, I wouldn't judge. I winced when I read that, because it was worded wrong. But the fact that a student remembered that my favourite colour was green or that I am scent sensitive often means more than the gift itself. Some people spend a ridiculous amount of money on gifts for the teacher. Personally, I like something tangible, not a gift card - a note, or something (it doesn't have to be expensive) where I can say "J gave me this." I will remember the student who gave me that scarf, or the one who gave me the Post-it note holder. The one whose parents wrote me that great note. The one who was so excited about the book I gave her that she sat sat her desk hugging it.
We care immensely about all of our students in our classroom, but after 10 years I need something special to pick your child out of the 300 I have taught in the past.