How to Avoid A School Teacher’s Pet Peeves

The back-to-school season is here. Parents have tackled shopping for school supplies and most classes around Arizona have already started. Public school teachers are quick to point out that dealing with the parents of their students is often the most difficult aspect of their job. Even though first impressions can be important, there are some common, albeit innocent, things that parents do which can annoy teachers. In attempt to help you not be “that” parent, here is a list from teachers of 9 things that parents do that drive teachers crazy:

1. Gifting another coffee mug as a back-to-school gift.

Indeed, it’s supposed to be the thought that matters. But, unless it’s a first year teacher, parents are encouraged to avoid giving teachers traditional go-to gifts like coffee mugs. Sure, most teachers love their java, but a majority if teachers have already amassed such a significant collection of those “World’s Best Teacher” cups over the years that they could fill the shelves of the local thrift store. Some recommended gifts that can be given in lieu of a mug include gift cards or school supplies.

2. Refuse to put your cell phone away during drop-off and pick-up.

Parents are increasingly distracted and adding a phone during a hectic school line has the potential to be very dangerous. You’ve been away from your child for most of the day, put your phone down parents and greet your child. They are eager to tell you about their day, engage with your child. Not to mention, focus on driving.

3. Ignore information from the school, and then complain that you don’t have a clue  what is going on.

Parents who spend a lot of time on social media, yet don’t have time check the school website or read the school newsletter or even go through their child’s backpack for notes that are sent home can be frustrating to teachers. Many schools have gone green, so less information is actually coming home with students. It is important that parents stay informed, but it takes the effort of the parents.

4. Blame other kids when your child does something wrong.

Teachers find it very frustrating when parents assume another child is responsible for their child’s behavior. If a teacher is reaching out with a concern and another child is involved, those parents have also been spoken to.

5. Send your child to school with supplies that were not on the list.

School supplies that are not on the list and not required become a distraction. Keep the personal pencil sharpeners, fancy markers or crayons and supplies that light up for a homework station at home.

6. Assume that we do not like your child based on a bad grade.

Teachers want for their students to succeed. Don’t just to conclusions that if your child receives a bad grade that they are not liked. It is proven that parents’ involvement helps children’s succeed in not only school, but life. If your child continues to receive poor grades, one simple solution is to make sure they are doing their homework. Show an interest in helping  to further your child’s education along, rather than blaming the teacher.

7. Ignore recommendations and not pushing your child too hard.

Listen to what the teachers are recommending. Some parents are eager to push their children into honor or AP classes. Often times, students will be more successful in an on-level class. No need to trying to impress college admissions or friends, don’t ignore that data. Students can become frustrated and end up hating a subject if they are not learning at a level they are ready for.

8. Refuse to let your child take ownership for their actions.

Parent should not shield their children from consequences. It is ok to let them fail. It is a good teaching opportunity to discuss cause and consequences of their behavior. The road to success is full of failure and children should know it takes hard work


9. Refuse to put aside your differences for the benefit of your child.

Life changes have an impact on children and family matters can cause students distress when circumstances such as divorced parents refuse to communicate with each other.  The child is aware and feels the tension and that absolutely impacts their learning environment. Parents need to put aside their own issues to support the growth of their child.



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