Dear Parents, Please Trust Me. I Got This.

trust me I got this cover image
trust me I got this cover image

As teachers, year after year we encounter parents who want to help their kids with every little thing. Any small thing that goes wrong, they immediately jump in to help. To those parents I want to say: Please trust me. I’ve got this. 

There are absolutely times when parents need to step in and be their child’s advocate. Parents should be involved and aware of what is going on with their child at school. That being said, not every single situation requires a parent’s intervention. When a parent gets involved every time their child has an issue, all that teaches the child is that someone will come to their rescue every time they make a mistake or have a problem. 

Many people think, “Oh they’re young! Eventually, they’ll be able to figure it out on their own but not now!” To those people, I would say: how? How do you expect a child to learn a skill they have never had to practice before? How do you expect that a child is going to become a successful, independent adult if they never built up that capacity.

Over the last few years, I have very often heard people write off almost all behaviors and situations as “They’re just kids.” That may be true! But one day those kids are going to grow up. It is our job to teach them life skills in order to ensure that when they become those grown-ups, they’re ready for it. Many parents don’t realize just how much teachers contribute to the development of these life skills in school. Sure, you are ultimately responsible for their upbringing, but many skills they will need in order to get a job one day are ones we have them practice in school; Active listening, following directions, meeting deadlines, to name a few.

Another important life skill we teach is responsibility. That child needs to be responsible for their own learning. They need to be responsible for their own work. And I work my butt off every day to ensure they leave my classroom with a greater level of responsibility than when they entered it. So you’ll see why I almost always have the same reaction when you as a parent ask me, “Please can’t he just have one more copy of that homework?! He’s so unorganized he lost it!” My answer will always be “Nope.” Because if I give your child that extra copy, what lesson did they learn? That next time they need to be more careful? No. What they learned is that if they let Mom and Dad know they were irresponsible with their work at school, it’s fine because Mom and Dad will fix it.

What I wish parents would understand about this is that I am absolutely not just being mean. I am absolutely not out to get your child. I am trying to help your child learn these important life skills while they are in my classroom. When you drop your baby off at school, you are entrusting me with the most important thing in your life. I do not take that responsibility lightly. While my students are with me they are my babies and I want to ensure my babies grow up to be successful, functional members of society. So the next time you want to yell at me that it isn’t fair your child doesn’t get to come on a field trip even though they lost their permission slip, please reconsider. Please try not to think of your sad child and think instead of how much more careful they are going to be with that permission slip for the next field trip. Please try to remember that I am here to help. I am on your side. I am working to help your child become a more responsible human being. I’ve got this.

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