Things Teachers Wished Parents Knew

  • Thursday, September 1st, 2016

It is often said that ‘if a child does not learn, a teacher did not teach’, and while some may take umbrage at this sentiment, there are many teachers who wished that parents would teach their children a thing or two before unleashing them on the wider society.

After the home, school is the second most important place where our precious young ones are socialised but some teachers fervently wish parents would get a clue as to what the role and responsibilities of a teacher are in order to make their lives smoother and less stressful. We caught up with a few educators and got their take on what every parents needs to know. See if you would get a ‘ticky’ or are lagging behind and your book is full of ‘wrong bangs’ because you are guilty of one or more of these faux pas.

  1. The teacher’s purse is not an informal financial institution! Yes from time immemorial they have helped students with bus fare and lunch money but it is unconscionable for parents to continuously ask them to do this considering how poorly our nation’s teachers are already being paid. When parents specifically tell the children to go to the teacher to get money for bus fare…daily, they have crossed the line as they are not Cash Plus, OLINT or Scotia Bank.
  2. Lice are not counted as students and are not listed on the register! Cleanliness is next to Godliness right? So the same way no one wants their child coming home with a headful of lice, no teacher wants the onerous task of combing through students’ hair and telling the infected culprits to go home for a dose of lice shampoo. Creepy crawlies should stay in labs on petri dishes, not in the classroom.
  3. Show a little appreciation on Teachers Day. Encouragement does sweeten labour so when their big day rolls around, show them that you appreciate how they are positively moulding the young lives they encounter, if it is even with a greeting card. The thought that someone is grateful for their yeoman service goes a far way.
  4. Manners and respect will get them a far way in life. Train them up the way they should grow so that they do not depart from it when they get around others, especially adults in positions of authority. You may think your little one is simply curious or precocious but children who are argumentative, talk back and who do not listen when someone else is speaking are really just rude and ill-mannered and there is nothing cute about that.
  5. Four letter words do not look good coming out of the mouths of children! Be aware of the movies and television shows they watch and monitor their activities online as not everything can pass the Broadcasting Commission’s child friendly ratings or is age appropriate for minors, Children are mini sponges who soak up everything so even what you say at home off the top of your head, can find its way to the classroom and obscene words have no place there!
  6. It is knowledge and not ‘namebrand’ that will make your child stand out. Though most schools prohibit the wearing of weave and hair extensions, many girls get away with it, incredibly with their parents’ permission. Then you have the children who have the latest Jansport bags, Clarkes suede shoes and the list of costly items keep racking up until they become a walking billboard for conspicuous consumption. It is utterly amazing how parents who complain that school fees are too high, are the same ones who find money for material stuff but not text books.
  7. It is best to give them a name that they can actually spell…and pronounce. So recently the Registrar General Department shocked many Jamaicans when they made a public appeal for parent to desist from giving their children ‘unusual” (some would simply say ‘stupid’ ) names such as ‘Syphilis’ and ‘Placenta’! While many have a chuckle or two, the anguish of many teachers is very real as they struggle daily to keep a straight face when faced with the challenge of going through the register and marking a child named ‘AIRWRECKA’ (ERICA) present!
  8. Do not give dumb children smart phones. Now before you get offended about the use of the word ‘dumb’ (like the Education Minister’s use of the term ‘leggo beast”) think about how the introduction of smart phones have become almost a weapon in the hands of children. It is bad enough that they no longer make an effort to use proper English because of abbreviated texting but now they have taken things much further and are using smart phones with camera and video capabilities to film themselves and others having intercourse in the classroom! Keep those devices out of their hands unless they prove themselves responsible and level-headed. Jamaica does not need any new porn stars!
  9. Homework should be done, preferably at home. Now some children are diligently and will do their homework at school while waiting for their parents. That is a good sign as it shows interest and initiative. Others view homework as a punishment which it is not. As parents it is your responsibility to check to ensure that you child has homework and sit and go through it with them to see if they understand the concept of what needs to be done. Do not do the work for them as that is not helping them and do not let them come to school saying the dog ate their homework either.
  10. You have one child to supervise, the teacher has dozens, help her out lickle nuh! Teachers are great role models but they are not the primary caregiver. That your job. Remember in some institutions, especially the primary school, one teacher has to supervise up to 60 students. He/she has to teach, mark books, be referee, dry tears, sing songs, give praise or punishment, watch them play at recess, give a listening ears and generally be a jack of all trades. Though rewarding, it is hard and at times thankless work that most take for granted.

So the next time you see a teacher, tell him or her thanks. If it was not for them, you would not even be able to read this article.