Dear Parent,

Most of us have been counting down the days, at least since the end of July. Seems this 10-week summer would never end. Ever.

Camp. Cottage visits. Canoeing. And just how many campfires can one endure. How many s’mores can a person stuff down their face? Even the peaches and watermelon were getting boring.

And then, finally, that bell rang. The school bell. Loud and proud. Parents everywhere rejoiced as we sent our babes back to school.  As a veteran elementary school teacher with two kids under ten, I totally get it.

But instead of kissing your teacher’s feet, one baby toe at a time, tons of you bombarded that poor lady (or man).

You didn’t even wait for “back to school night”.

Before the first homework was assigned you started, and you were relentless.

It’s now week three, and I’m willing to bet custody of my two kids that you’ve already made some rookie mistakes.

Here are 8 tips for correcting the parental behaviours that make us crazy:

1) Please give us space. Do not follow your child into their classroom (unless they’re under 4).  We are professionals and your kids will be just fine. Promise.

2) Don’t bore us with the gory details of your highbrow summer.  We really don’t care about your boat, your farm, your pool or your problems.

3) Don’t over-program your children. Sure soccer is important. But school is important too. Try not to have your kids so over-involved that they lose the will to study.  Believe me, your son is likely not the next David Beckham. Sorry!

4) Please be sure your kids get enough rest. A tired kid is a cranky kid.  Why don’t you get some rest too?!  Did you know that back in the day sleep deprivation was used to torture people?

5) Please keep me in the loop about issues at home, but don’t interrupt class time to explain the situation. Please don’t come in just as the morning bell is ringing. You’ll throw my whole day out of whack.

6) Please pack relatively healthy lunches in sustainable wrapping. You’ll lose points for Lunchables and plastic baggies. Enough said.

7) Please volunteer when I ask you. Hearing about your holidays and traditions is awesome. We love your homemade food too. Join us for field trips. The more involved you are, the better our kids learn. Just mind your role, and we’ll be great.

8) And finally, I’m so grateful for your generosity.  Honestly your kind notes warm my heart.  Your class parent is a gem.  I love the gift cards and homemade cards, but please steer clear of the hand lotion and flowery note pads. I have a stash so big I could open an awful store.

So, I hope this list doesn’t rub you the wrong way; I’m only trying to help. Here’s to a wonderful school year!!


Your Child’s Teacher