If someone didn’t already know, e-learning during the pandemic taught everyone how absolutely valuable teachers are—and just how hard their jobs are. Here are five other things teachers want you to know to help give everyone a little more empathy:
They care about your kid and want what’s best for him or her
Teachers do their jobs because they care about kids. It’s definitely not for the pay or the thanks. Teachers’ jobs are incredibly challenging. They are tasked with creating curriculum, individualizing the curriculum to meet the needs of 20+ kids, and maintaining classroom management— while fulfilling obligations from departments of education that require documentation, assessments, observations of their teaching, and on and on. The only reason teachers do all of this is because they want to help children learn and succeed. They are for your kid. They want to push and challenge and encourage them to help them be the best version of themselves.
Take Your kid’s account of the day with a grain of salt
Even if your kid is an absolute angel and would never lie to you, their account of the day isn’t always going to be a perfect snapshot of exactly what happened. They might tell you they spent the whole day on their tablet (maybe because that was their favorite part of the day), but they didn’t. If you have questions or concerns about something your kid is telling you, definitely contact your kid’s teacher, but open the conversation by asking questions with the goal of understanding the whole picture—not by riding in on a lightning bolt demanding answers.
They want to work with you
Teachers want to be on the same team as you. They don’t want to work against you or in place of you. They want to have open and honest communication with you. They want you involved in your child’s education and aware of what’s happening in the classroom. You might feel tempted to check out and let them handle things, especially when life gets busy, but stay connected.
They have lives and families outside of their job
Teachers aren’t endlessly available, and so you shouldn’t be shocked that they didn’t reply before school started on Monday to the email you sent at 11:59 pm on Sunday. They have families and priorities that rank higher than their jobs. They love their jobs. They love your kids. But they love their families more.
Teachers are always doing more than what’s required of them
Teachers go above and beyond for their students every day. They sacrifice a lot for them. Sometimes this looks like spending their own money for things for their classroom or their students. Sometimes it means giving up some of their planning and prep time to be with a student who really needs them. It means taking work home with them constantly. It means they invest emotionally in their students, worry about them, and think about them. They volunteer for extra jobs that have to get done. They stay late after school and come in early. None of those things are required. They are all extra.
Teachers are trusted to do an incredible job—caring for and educating our children. It’s a special calling. It’s essential work. Today, find a small way to thank your kids’ teachers.