Dear Teacher: A Parental Pledge for Partnership
Summer is almost over and back to school is nipping at our heals. I am both excited and nervous to send my babies back. If I am being totally honest…I’m excited because I’m exhausted. I am out of tricks. We have done all the things. We are even tired of the pool. I am GRATEFUL for this time home with my kiddos but being home 24/7 with four young kids requires a different type of energy that needs to come in a bottle (and it’s not in a wine bottle, believe me…I’ve looked).
The reason I’m writing you, Teacher, is because of the nervous part. Every year I get a little pit in my stomach of nervousness for my most precious gifts. I worry they won’t make friends. I worry they will make the wrong kind of friends. I worry they will have people be unkind to them. I worry they will be unkind to people. I worry I haven’t done enough to get them ready (summer reading was a little lacking at my house). I worry they won’t like school. I worry. I worry. I worry. So instead of all of this worrying, this school year I am going to be proactive and suggest you and I be partners. I have compiled a list of what I will do on my end and what I hope you will consider doing on yours.
As a parent I PROMISE….
I promise to support you and work WITH you, not against you. I will always assume you have the best interests of my kid in your heart.
I promise to send my child to school on time to the best of my ability.
I promise to talk about school at home and ask questions about their day.
I promise to work on teaching my child empathy and understanding.
I promise to occasionally kick my kid’s butt in Candy Land. Being a good loser is more important than always thinking you are entitled to win.
I promise to listen to you with open ears. I will assume that if you come to me with a concern about my child it is because you love my child and want what’s best for them.
I promise to help you in any small way I can (e.g. cutting out lamination, volunteering in the classroom, buying your room glue sticks).
I promise to love my child.
As a teacher could you consider promising the following…
Can you promise to remember your “why”? Think back to your first year. Why did you want to become a teacher? I highly doubt it was for the paycheck and more because you have a big heart and want to help kids.
Can you promise to have open communication with me? Remember, I already said I am promising to assume you always have the best intent. Please keep me informed of any concerns you have.
Can you promise to take care of yourself? Burnout is real, and I know from firsthand experience that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Please take care of YOU and allow yourself time to recharge your battery!
Can you promise to have enough strength to realize if you aren’t loving your job anymore that it’s time to make a change? I love you and want you to be happy, but if that’s not in the classroom please think about where that happy place could be and go there.
Can you promise to laugh, have fun, be silly, smile, and enjoy my child and their classmates? Rigor is important, but relationships are king! I’d much rather my child leave your classroom with a love of learning than a high score on the state test.
Can you love my child?
As a former teacher I fully understand the exact pressures you are under. Teaching is hard. Point blank. It is one of the hardest and most rewarding professions you could embark upon. Your work is important. I am writing you today as a parent making sure you understand I appreciate you!!!! I am here to work with you and through our collaboration we can love our children and change the world.
Nothing but love,
A mama who won’t worry so much anymore