Being a Good TeacherbyPrincessErin©
As I wrote my "How To" on being a good parent, I realized that parents who read this article would take issue that I did not address the teacher's role in the development of their child. This article will hopefully address these issues. As a teacher, I have a very important job. I need to make sure that my students become mature responsible members of society. These are my suggestions.
The most important skill that humans should have is the ability to respect others. This doesn't mean that you have to like everyone you meet. Adults dislike certain people and some adults even hate others. The issue is that if someone is in a position of authority, you must respect him or her and his or her role. Respecting others is a life skill, not just something for the school or workplace. As a teacher, you need to show respect to teachers, administrators, and other members of the school community. Students learn from your actions much more than your words.
As a teacher, I need to be respectful to my students. Even if I am upset at their actions or words, I need to treat them as human beings. I still need to discipline them and make sure that they learn from their mistakes. I need to do that in a respectful manner.
Communicate with Parents
This is such an important element of being a teacher. A teacher needs to communicate with the student, the parent, and the school community. If one of these parts of the triangle is weak, or non-existent, there will be issues. It doesn't mean calling all parents every week just to chat. In an ideal situation, teachers would have the time to call their thirty to two hundred students' parents. Unfortunately, we do not have an ideal situation in the education system at the moment. It means calling parents when a concern occurs. The contact must be done in a timely fashion and done in an appropriate manner. Phone calls are the best way to contact a parent. As a teacher, you need to call before the problem spirals out of control.
I remember working with a new teacher who was teaching science. She taught a whole month, teaching her students all about biology. At the end of the month, she gave the students a test and one student failed. She had also failed all the assignments that were given during the month. The teacher was worried because this unit was worth one-fifth of the course mark. When she called the parent, she was told that she should have called ahead of time. The parent was extremely upset because if she had been contacted earlier, she would have made sure her daughter finished the assignments. I agree with the parent in this situation, a phone call should have been made earlier.
When you call home, you don't always get the response you want. I have made many phone calls where the response from the parent is something along the lines of "well at least he shows up for your class." This is definitely not the type of response you want when you are trying to gain support in helping a child succeed. Some teachers can get frustrated and give up. This is not the correct response. When a parent gives you a response such as that, you should realize that the parent is equally frustrated at the situation. The child needs more assistance and direction, knowing that they are not receiving this help at home.
Try Your Best
No matter where you teach, the education system is a demanding workplace. Every school board, state, province, and country, are continuing to make very high demands on the teacher. Teachers are required to teach large amounts of the curriculum. They also have to prepare students for government mandated tests. Some regions in Canada and United States have students write tests every year of their schooling that are the same across the province or state. Schools are ranked based on how the students perform on these tests and schools with poor results are looked upon unfavorably. Teachers have to contact parents and go to professional development training days. The list can go on and on. With that said, you need to try your best. You can't do everything. You can't give up either. You need to do what you can to make sure that your students are successful. They are your responsibility from the time school starts in the morning until they leave for the day. You see these students more than their parents do. You are their pseudo-parent Monday through Friday, September through June. You can only do your best.