I know you.
You’re the parent every teacher dreads.
You drop your kid off at the beginning of the year, (we’ll just call them “Example”) with talks of “brilliance” and “A’s” and “amazingness.”
And then, in passing, you say that one tiny thing that makes the teacher tilt their head.
“Last year the teacher did not understand how Example worked.”
“Last year, Example wasn’t challenged enough.”
Or my personal favorite… you’ll turn to the kid and say,
“We’re going to have a great school year this year, right Example?”
And Example, who is already over your whole ‘good parenting’ charade, will unenthusiastically nod their head.
For as soon as you walk out of the building…literal hell breaks loose.
The year begins, and eventually, this underpaid teacher starts calling…
“Had some challenges with Example today,” they’ll say.
And you’ll say, “ Example! My Example? You’re clearly not challenging them enough!”
And you get on social media and chastise the education system as a whole.
You’ll spout off that the teacher is the problem.
Because it can’t be your Example
It’s always the system, it’s always the school, it’s always the teacher…
And you dismiss parent/teacher conferences. And when you do finally show up, you’re defensive, and blame, CC emails with purposely-false information to administrators.
And even in the presence of unwavering facts…you deny it.
“Not my Example,” you’ll think. “They aren’t like this at home!”
And it doesn’t matter that the teacher is brought to tears every day.
It doesn’t matter that they’ve tried every single possible thing and nothing has worked.
It doesn’t matter that they’ve begged you to put them to bed on time, or restrict screen and video game time, or make them do their homework…
It doesn’t matter that there are days when they rejoice because your kid is absent, or they pray days that they wish them to be.
It doesn’t matter that your kid’s fellow classmates are daunted every time the teacher has to stop the entire class to get your kid together…
Surely, they can’t be talking about your Example. Example is amazing….
Do you want the truth? Of course you do, that’s why you’re here.
But brace yourself, it’s ugly. Here it goes:
Teachers know our kids better than us. Nope, shush! Yes, they do. And do you know why? Because for five days a week, 8 hours a day, for 180 days, they look them in the face.
Teachers know when your kid is lying. They know when they’re sad. They know when they’re being defiant. They know if your kid is being spiteful, or vengeful, or lazy. They know when your kid needs extra guidance, or extra help, or extra counseling. Teachers know if your kid is above average, or below it. Sometimes, they even know your kid, better than they know their own.
“How dare you, Danita! I know my Example.”
You thought you did.
But now, you’re locked in the house with “Example.”
Now you see the attitude, the rudeness, and the laziness. Now you see the spitefulness, and the talking back, and the overall apathy toward academics. Now you see that there is too much screen time and bedtimes are too late. Now you see that they don’t sit down and that quiet time is never respected… and authority is constantly and unnecessarily challenged.
And now you’re frustrated
And you’re angry
And you’re yelling.
And you’re upset that they aren’t doing their work….
It’s not because “they’re going stir crazy,” oh no, no, no.
You see, Example is perfectly capable of being an exceptional student.
But you can’t reason with entitlement…
This, Mom and Dad, is who Example really is. And now, you have some things to address.
But first…. apologize to your child’s teacher.
You know I’m right.