Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dear parents of my ex-students,

Dear parents of my ex-students,

I apologize.

I apologize for any time that you came to me with a concern about your child, and even though I may have done what you asked, I also may have muttered under my breath. I may have thought to myself, "They need to let their child grow up." or "They shouldn't be so picky." or "They need to let me do my job with no interference or input from them." or "I know their child better than they do."

I apologize for these things because now that I'm a parent of a school age child, I understand some things better. I have had alot of "Aha!" moments as Oprah would call them. I understood it more fully tonight as Chris called Miss S to request that Gracie be moved to a different table. Part of me was embarrassed & laughing at him for doing it, but the other part swelled with love & pride that he was so committed to taking care of his little girl and making sure she was in a safe, happy environment. You see, we didn't like how often she was complaining of a certain little boy just plain messing with her. Complaining once or twice about someone is one thing, but consistently is another. Miss S called us back after seeing our number on caller id and enthusiastically (because everything she does is done enthusiastically) agreed to move her first thing tomorrow morning. As much as part of me was reluctant to have him do it because I don't want to be seen as a "problem parent," the desire to have my child in a better situation certainly won over!

I apologize for just not understanding your viewpoint as a parent. If I ever go back into the classroom, I think I will be much more compassionate towards the parents of my students. I'm not saying that I was a horrible teacher or that I never understood your view, but I know I could have done better. I do think that having been a teacher, I do have a desire to encourage & uplift Gracie's teachers often. I try to show my appreciation & support on a regular basis and hope my admiration for all they do shines through to them!

Love,
Mrs. Shanks

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Gracie and the teacher she has been blessed with this year. Please help us to teach Gracie to deal with situations that may arise which are uncomfortable. We talked tonight about showing the love of Jesus to everyone, even those who aren't sweet. She asked for clarification on how to do that, and I pray that we conveyed the message to her clearly. She has such a wonderful attitude about school, even in the face of dealing with a "not so nice kid." I'm sure it probably bothered us more than it did her. Please help us to guide her through the process of choosing friends and how she can be sweet to someone without choosing to condone the way they act. Thank you for her sweet spirit! Please help us to parent as You would see fit.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen

5 comments:

SG said...

And now you know! I had several of these moments when Kolby started to school!

SG said...
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Kristen said...

I could have written this myself! Now that Sam is in preschool it has opened my eyes to some faults I had when I taught school. And now that I am teaching preschool, I feel like it is helping me be more patient, more open to parents, etc. I realize that I am holding their most precious possession each day -- what a responsibility!

Kate said...

You should never worry that Miss S is bothered by you--most teachers are grateful to have loving, supportive parents look after their children and take responsibility for them. I have to say that being a parent has definitely changed my teaching style--I also think parents take me a bit more seriously now as well. Being a proactive parent is a great thing--you are a wonderful mom.

Malia said...

Thank you for this post, for the insight into the parent/teacher relationship. I hope that I have been a "good" school parent and I feel that I will be a better one in the future thanks to your revelations from both sides of the coin!