One Example of How to Form Healthy Parent-Teacher Relationships
In the spirit of continuing Teacher Appreciation Week’s sentiments every week, American Board wanted to share a wonderful example of how words of encouragement and support can make such a difference for educators.
Glennon Doyle Melton, a New York Times best-selling author, recently took to social media to share an interaction she had with her child’s teacher during a time when teachers normally have negative interactions with parents.
My kid got in trouble at school the other day. That evening I sent this email to said child’s teacher:
Dear Mrs. ______,
Said child and said child’s father and I have discussed today’s events at length. Said child understands that the following consequences are the result of today’s happenings: [All the things]. Said child knows that if behavior continues, said child will be removed from extra-curricular activities. Said child knows that character is more important to us than academics or sports, so our family plan is to concentrate on character until we get that right. Then we’ll add other things if we’re not too exhausted. We’re just gonna keep the main thing the main thing.
Please know that we are extremely sorry that said child made your incredibly important, already supremely difficult job more difficult today. You’ve been so good to said child and our family and we value your dedication, love, and skill so very much. Please continue to let us know what we can do to support you. Said child has an apology letter for you that said child will bring tomorrow.
In Gratitude & Solidarity,
The teacher wrote back later to express gratitude and to tell me that the support in our email was different from what she has come to expect from parents. I spoke to a teacher friend about this who said, “For the past 2 years, every time I contact a parent about a child’s behavior, I hear defensiveness, anger, denial, and sometimes dismissiveness or disrespect. It’s tough. We have bad days – but most of us are in this because we love kids. We want to see them succeed. If the parents don’t believe us and respect us, their kids won’t either.” OH, TEACHERS: Forgive us. We’re sorry that our fear for our kids gets in our own way. We’re sorry that our worry blinds us from seeing you and valuing you; for forgetting that we’re all on the same team; for having such a hard time trusting.
Teachers are essential cogs in the wheel of our communities as they continue to educate students not only with books, but also life lessons. This hefty task is not always remembered and not always honored, but we can change that! American Board suggests finding an opportunity this week to send a kind note to a teacher, whether they are a current teacher of your child or maybe one of your former teachers.
Share with us what you or your community can do to make teachers feel honored for their hard work!