We say that teachers need more respect.
Teachers need to be paid more.
Teachers need to be treated better… but then we do things like this to take it all away.
Don’t we want good teachers? Would you go into the teaching profession knowing that if you enforce the school rules, you will be plastered all over the internet? Your private notes to parents will become public for the whole world to see?
Do you know that these teachers love our kids? They do. I was one of them! I was a teacher. My brother is a principal. My sister in law is a teacher. Trust me when I say ‘WE HAVE YOUR CHILD’S INTEREST AT HEART!” No, not all teachers, sadly, but the majority of them.
I was a teacher, before my husband (high-school sweetheart turned college sweetheart turned husband) and I had these four children:
I always knew two things:
1- I wanted a family… √ check
2- That I wanted to be a teacher… √ check
Both of these things happened and I loved both roles- being a mother and being a teacher. However, I stopped teaching to be a stay-at-home-mother (it would be nearly impossible to earn a living while sending four kids to daycare, on a teacher’s salary). Things have changed in the school systems.
Notes, private notes, are being shared on Facebook. It is one thing to call your teacher or principal to have a discussion, but it is completely different to go home, take a picture of the note given to you by someone at the school, and share it on Facebook. Can you imagine if teachers shared our notes to them? Honestly.
When we see things, like this story (that I saw all over the internet) about how a school principal wouldn’t excuse a family trip, because it was a district-wide rule that vacations do not count as excused absences, and it was shared on the Dad’s Facebook page and then it was all over the internet about how the principal ‘shamed’ them, it is hard for me to understand. I completely understand wanting to take a vacation during the school year (we’ve done that) but I also understand the consequences that it entails.
Here is a screenshot taken from theblaze.com that summarizes the story (you can read the rest at theblaze.com):
The story talks about how This principal sent home a note telling parents that their kids were not excused from school to go on a trip, so the parents share it online and everyone says how awful the school is that they don’t give days off for things like this. It isn’t fair when we expect a school (or any business, for that matter) to work well and to be the best for our kids, but we also expect them to break the rules just for us. Sure, family vacations can provide great educational opportunities, but if the school rule is that it won’t be excused, don’t expect it to be excused. Case closed.
The school didn’t say “Oh… well Jack can go on that trip, but if Michael asks, lets tell them that it doesn’t count as an excused absence!” The simply stated the district-wide rules.
I want it to be known that I have been updated, after posting this post, that the principal of this school is now being harassed day and night, receiving terrible threats. This principal is being tormented and harassed in the school and at her home because of her note, stating the district rules.
Again- we have taken a vacation during the school year, so I am NOT judging the fact that they were or were not allowed to go on a trip (or even if schools should be given that choice), but I will also say that learning about things on vacation is not the same as learning multiplication at school. Yes, there are things that need to be learned outside of the classroom, of course, but I just don’t expect the school to turn a blind eye to our family. (If it bothered us… there is the option to home-school, although I love our school district – it was actually voted the #1 district in the US.)
It really boils down to – BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS. LETS NOT SHAME ANYONE ONLINE, PLEASE.
WE NEED TO STOP PUTTING THEIR NOTES ONLINE!
There are also many notes going around, right now, about teachers are asking parents to make better choices at lunch, like the story of the substitute that sent the note home about a child bringing only marshmallows and a few other little things in a child’s lunch box. This screenshot is taken from ABCnews.go.com
Yes, it was a misunderstanding by the substitute, but this could have been cleared up with a call to the teacher. Dad could have said “It was a misunderstanding. Here are the facts- she had 4 pieces of ham and string cheese. She must have eaten those first.” Easy enough. It would have been over with… I just feel like it didn’t have to be shared on Facebook for the world to see (and for the teacher and substitute’s name to be shared online, because her name was on the paper and people are saying awful things about her. People are now harassing her – online and in real life.
That’s the part that bothers me… that it had to be online and now the world is given a new target. It makes me sad.
Honestly, this teacher was just looking out for the child. She was just making sure that the parent knew what was happening (which is why they asked for a signature – because the signature lets them know that the parent has seen it). When I taught, I had some students eating veggies and sandwiches, but at the same time, I had other students packing their own lunches with just a handful of junk-food (literally), because their parents didn’t know or care, as sad as that is to write (and realize). These kids were bouncing off the walls after lunchtime and then falling asleep an hour later. These kids were sick more often than not. These kids were struggling in school… and it broke my heart.
They packed their own lunches because they knew that if they didn’t pack a lunch, no one was packing one for them. It was sad and heartbreaking and I wouldn’t have hesitated to send a note home saying:
“Hi, Mrs. So&So,
I just wanted to let you know that Sally brought in only Fruit Snacks and Oreos today. I just wanted to give you a heads-up, because I know that these things slip past us! haha!
Anyway, she is always welcome to eat the school’s lunch anytime (We have free and reduced lunch available. I would be happy to send home an application.)
I just LOVE having Sally in my class and I look forward to hearing from you.
We, as teachers, care about our students, but if we, as parents, start flaunting every mistake that people make or every rule that we don’t like all over the internet, with the teachers name on it (or Principal’s name), we are going to lose good teachers.
If we, as parents, honestly consider the reason for the note – it boils down to one thing: someone is concerned for our child and they are taking time out of their day to try to help, even if it doesn’t come across that way. (trust me, it is easier to look the other way, in any situation).
I just hope that a teacher would not hesitate to send a note home asking a parent or caregiver to please be sure that their child is studying their spelling words and math facts, because they could share it online with a quote like “Teacher calls student dumb.”
I just hope that a teacher would not hesitate to send a note home asking the parents to please have their child to school on time, because it could be posted online stating “Teacher calls parents lazy even though parents are both working and having trouble getting child to school on time.”
I just hope that a teacher would not hesitate to send a note home asking that the parents please be sure to give their child a bath (yes, teachers have to do this after a child goes weeks without one) or to please have their child do their homework, or to please have their child wear tennis shoes to school, because there would be a Facebook Share stating “Teacher doesn’t like creativity or individuality…” Instead of the truth- “Teacher cares so much about this child that they want them to be clean, prepared (so as to not fall behind in class), and not get hurt running around on the playground in flip flops.”
To the teachers out there~ keep caring. Work together with parents – maybe a call is better than a note (it is hard to read someone’s ‘tone’ from a note. ♥
To the parents out there~ keep expecting your child’s teacher to care. If you are unsure – just call the school.
To both ~ do what is best for your child… and work together ♥
It is not only teachers, but in general – the “public shaming” that has gone too far, in my opinion. It all boils down to respect. Respecting one another, no matter the profession, the person or the issue. GO STRAIGHT TO THE SOURCE IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR PROBLEM. A call is ALWAYS better than a note or e-mail, in my opinion. It is hard to read a “tone” when it is just online.♥
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