It’s not the Kids that are the problem… it’s us!
When it comes to school are you an annoying parent?
Perhaps you’ve never even thought about it. Or maybe you think that you are easy going, perhaps even an ideal parent.
I’m a teacher and have been for twenty years and often the most frustrating part of the job can be the mums and dads. You might assume that the majority of parents are reasonable people, people who are level headed, considerate and respectful of others, parents who want the best for their children and who would like to set a good example on how to be a polite and balanced person. Unfortunately this is not always the case and there are some parents who definitely need lessons in how not to be annoying!
So, let’s see how honest you are and find out where you fall on the ‘Annoying Scale’. How many of the following do you admit to doing? The more ‘Yes’ answers you give, the more annoying you are!
Ok, let’s begin. 9 Things Teachers Hate About Parents:
Do you or have you ever…
- …had an impromptu ‘out of hours’ parental meeting?
If you see your child’s teacher out in the ‘real world’, be it in the supermarket, in the street or anywhere out of school, YES, by all means say “Hello!”, “Fancy seeing you here!” and “How are you?” but DON’T say “How is _____ doing in school?” Your child’s teacher doesn’t want to talk about your child’s progress while they are out of school. They may be smiling on the outside but on the inside they’re planning how best they can make their getaway.
- …used the teacher as a free child-entertainment service?
Picture the scene – you are having an evening out at a restaurant or bar with your family when you notice your child’s teacher sat at a nearby table. What do you do? YES, by all means let your child go over to say hello, but NO, don’t let them spend the rest of the evening returning to their teacher’s table, interrupting her evening by repeatedly saying hello and chattering away. Yes, we love spending time with your child at school but no, they’re not the centre of our world. The last thing we want to do after a day at school, or if we are out with friends or family, is to put on our teacher’s hat again. Of course your teacher will be smiling and laughing along with your child, but inside they will be wishing they would just leave them alone.
- …been a smothering parent?
We all worry about our children, it comes with the job of being a parent, it would be a concern if we didn’t. However, there are some people who treat worrying as an extreme sport, pushing being caring and concerned to the very limits. Parents who wrap their child in cotton wool and fuss over the smallest things can be very annoying.
- …been a ‘lingerer’?
It’s really quite simple. Drop your child off at the classroom door, give them a kiss, wave, turn around and leave. Please, DON’T keep returning, even if your child was upset when you said goodbye. There really is no need to keep coming back. We can see you, peering around the corner through the window thinking you’ve gone unnoticed. You look ridiculous and you’re upsetting your child even more by not leaving. They will be fine! Go home!
- …been habitually late?
Do you continually arrive late to school? Yes, it might only be 10 minutes but to the teacher and to the children it’s very disruptive. Do you regularly turn up late to collect your child at the end of the day? This is also VERY annoying and inconsiderate. We are not a babysitting service and we have work to do and lives outside of school to return to at the end of the day. Serial lateness offenders are a teacher’s biggest annoyance.
- …neglected to read notifications from school?
In a class there will always be (at least) one child who isn’t dressed up for a special event, who isn’t in their PE kit for a sporting event or who doesn’t bring a requested item into school for a class project. Is that your child? Are you one of those parents who never reads the letters that are sent home? Do you then protest that nobody told you about it? That it really isn’t your fault? Please read letters, emails and signs outside the classroom door. If you don’t not only are you making your way up the annoying scale, you’re also making your child feel left out.
- …done your child’s homework?
Surprisingly common. Parents who think they can fill in their child’s homework and that the teacher won’t notice. We do. Always. Yes, that writing might be flawless, that illustration might be detailed and lifelike, but if your child didn’t do it it doesn’t mean a thing.
- …been a competitive parent?
This one can be depended on to raise its ugly head at certain times of the year, especially Easter. Events such as Easter bonnet and egg decorating competitions are notorious for bringing out the competitiveness that can be rife among parents. The intention is for the children to have fun designing and decorating an egg or bonnet at home. In reality the parents frequently take over and the increasingly huge and elaborate creations are so often and clearly the work of parents. A word to the wise, teachers will usually choose obviously child-created entries as competition winners, so while you might be satisfying your own competitive desires you’re cheating your child out of a fun experience and probably the chance of winning.
- …brought your child to school when they’re sick?
This one is equally unfair to the teacher and the child. The child just wants mummy, the teacher just wants mummy to come and collect their child. There’s nothing worse for a child than feeling awful and being stuck at school, and there’s nothing worse for a teacher than watching a child who is feeling awful and not being able to do anything about it. Would you like to be in a room full of light and noise if you were feeling unwell? Neither would your child. Please, if they’re not well leave them at home.
So, how did you do? Are you a dream parent or are you a teacher’s nightmare?
(Note from the editor: Many thanks to Marianne Hill for being a house-guest! To read more about Marianne click here or check out her blog here. If you are interested in becoming a Glass House house-guest and contribute articles to The Glass House Girls, click here)