A new school year can be a great opportunity for a fresh start. And if you've always ended up on a teacher's bad side (with no idea how or why), then this can also be a chance to make amends for any past wrongs. Whether this is your child's first year in school or your an OG of the drop off circle, getting an inside take on what annoys teachers is helpful for any parent. As it turns out, there are quite a few habits that make your kid's teacher hate you. They may never say it to your face, but the unspoken tension can make things awkward.
As someone who has worked in education, I thought I had a solid understanding of parent-teacher etiquette. But after talking to current and retired teachers, I have an entirely new perspective on the situation. Although all of the educators I spoke with said they would never let parental issues negatively affect how they interact with students, why create bad blood when you can avoid it? So, if you're curious as to whether or not you've been unknowingly committing cardinal school sins, then check out these habits that can make your kid's teacher hate you.
1. You Don't Accept Responsibility
It's frustrating when parents, "make excuses for their child when their child should take responsibility for something," history teacher Elizabeth Rasmussen tells Romper. Make sure you have an open mind when discussing your child with a teacher. After all, they are around them enough to know best.
2. You Act Confused
Children look to adults to set examples. That's why educator Whitney Mead says, "when [parents] never pay attention or help their child work on skills and then wonder why they aren't doing well," that sends the wrong message. Your kid and their teacher will both appreciate your participation.
3. Prioritizing Marks
As unfortunate as it is, society tends to place a disproportionate amount of attention on testing. If parents, "care more about the grade than what their child actually learns,"this goes against what the teacher is trying to accomplish, teacher Heather Thomas Morton tells Romper. Finding a balance between scores and comprehension is key to forming a beneficial relationship with your child's teacher.
4. Procrastinating On Performance
I'll be honest, time management is not my strong suit. But for my son's sake, I know that my propensity for procrastination could negatively affect his educational experience. "Waiting until the last minute of the quarter to care about their child's grades," elementary educator Cassie Reyes says, grinds teachers' gears. You and Post-It notes are about to become best friends.
5. Bypassing Them
If you're not a fan of confrontation, it would still behoove you not to circumvent teachers when an issue arises. Teacher Kate Hovorka tells Romper that nothing annoys a teacher more than when a parent, "has a problem with how you do things and emails the administrators instead of talking to you." Teachers might actually appreciate your direct approach in the end.
6. Playing Hookie
Sure, things can come up unexpectedly, but that's still not a great excuse for keeping your kid's teacher out of the loop. "Leaving town before a performance, game, or event and not telling you until the very last minute," is a bad idea, music teacher Whitney Hsu says.
7. Taking Sides
It's normal to see your child as a perfect angel, but that idea doesn't always match reality. Teachers hate it when parents, "believe their kids when they lie instead of the responsible adult and not hold their children accountable," paraprofressional educator Lauri Walker tells Romper. Rather than favoring your child over their educator, approach the situation as objectively as possible instead.
8. Missing The First Week
Vacations are fun, but not at the cost of your kid's education. Former teacher Kimmie Read Fink says that when parents, "take their kid to Disneyland the first week of school to 'miss the crowds,'" it disrupts everyone's routine. How you handle the beginning of school sets the tone for the rest of the year.
9. Disregarding Children
Regardless of how your child compares to other kids, it's never OK to throw in the towel. "I worked in a private school with children who had intellectual and emotional disabilities; most were very violent," former educator Brenay Brock says. "The thing that I absolutely hated was when the parents would basically write the kids off." Your kid's teacher isn't going to give up on them, and neither should you.
10. Undermining Them
Educational excursions can be a great opportunity for having fun, but it's still a school function at the end of the day. Former teacher Fiona Tapp tells Romper that when parents undermine the teacher, it puts a strain on the relationship. If you have an issue with how your kid's teacher is running the show, don't discuss it in front of the kids.