Dear Parents: We Need You to Trust Us, We’re On the Same Team

Dear Parents: We Need You to Trust Us, We’re On the Same Team

Dear parents,

There are many ways we can help each other to provide the best learning environment for your child. Here are three important ones to start with.

First, understand. Understand that we are doing our best with the resources we have. We know your daughter is struggling. We want to provide more support. We do not get to make decisions about class sizes or special ed allotment, but we ARE going to bat for her every day and we’ll never quit trying. We need you to trust that we always have our students’ best interests at heart – all of our students‘.

Understand that we are bound to keep confidentiality… so there are things we WISH we could tell you, but we can’t. We figured that your son was traumatized by witnessing the violence from this other kid. We are glad you told us. We hate it too. But what you don’t know, because we can’t tell you is that kid got screamed at by his mom this morning, had no breakfast, had to walk a mile to take public transportation alone to school, and arrived on the yard to be met with taunts from his peers, all before 9 am. We can’t tell you that multiplication is really hard for him and no one is around to help him at home. We can’t tell you that the cafeteria makes an extra bag of food for him to take home at night to make sure he has supper. We can’t tell you his EA support got cut this year. We can’t tell you that he has very little self-regulation and we don’t yet know how to stop him from hitting and yelling f-bombs when he melts down. We can’t tell you we’ve met with a dozen professionals and we’re trying new strategies. We can’t tell you that after he tipped his desk over in class, he sobbed his little heart out in the office, he hugged us and whispered, “You probably hate me, I’m so sorry”, and that we wiped his tears and told him tomorrow will be a better day and that we could never hate him, no matter what. We can’t tell you we went back to class, smiled brightly, said a few words of comfort to the other 27 students, picked up the desk, and kept teaching multiplication even though our heart was broken inside. We CAN tell you that we’re really, really sorry that your child is hurting too, but we are very grateful you told us so we can help.

Second, tell. Please always tell us if your mama bear senses are tingling, but instead of attacking as mama bears tend to, ask us for help. We ARE on the same team, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. You SHOULD be a bear to protect your child… but remember mama bears ONLY step in when there is real danger; otherwise, they let their baby bears learn from mistakes. Please involve your child as much as possible in advocacy and edge them to ask questions and seek support. Doing it for them does not empower them. When your child complains, listen, and support them but also try to hear the whole narrative from the teacher’s perspective. Somewhere in the middle or off to the side is usually the truth.

Third, make your children go to bed on time! It seems simplistic, but many kids struggle with improving their overall mental health… better sleep would have a monumental impact on their well-being and therefore learning. When your child’s attitude towards school is negative, check if they could be chronically tired first.

Parents, your child’s teachers are playing on the same team as you. So let’s share the laughs, share the pain, share the ups and downs, and work together to provide your child with an environment they can thrive in.


Dear Parents: We Need You to Trust Us, We’re On the Same Team

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Anne Lefebvre

Senior Member

I grew up in the city but now call small-town Ontario, Canada home, along with my husband and two teenage boys. I’m a passionate elementary school educator, but when I’m not at school you can find me playing a sport, reading, or drinking a cup of tea.

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