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DISTRACTED TEACHER spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e for first-graders

By khulac
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 at 12:55 pm in Parenting Issues, Schools.

My daughter’s first-grade teacher seems to be having a difficult year. I really, really want to be sympathetic, but it is an uncomfortable situation. These kids only get to go through first-grade once. Toy school bus

I know teaching is tough. I’ve done a little of it. My mother has done it her whole life, as have my grandparents. Teachers are overworked and underpaid.

But now that I’m officially a PTA-card carrying member of the elementary school world of reading, writing, math, etc.,, I’m realizing how stressful it really is to have a role in building a child’s whole educational future, one addition problem at a time.


You want to help your kid learn, but you don’t really know how. And when a teacher tells you your kid is having trouble, you feel terrible and slightly lost about what to do.

We felt our teacher was pretty negative during our recent conference and were frankly so surprised we didn’t say anything at the moment. But after thinking about it, I sent the teacher a letter saying how discouraged we felt. She apologized, explaining that she wasn’t at her best after two weeks of conferences.

I did appreciate her honesty, and she also gave us some helpful suggestions for working with our daughter, but it was quite an awakening to the difficulties of the public school system. A stressed out teacher can’t be his best for parents or students. But negativity won’t help anyone.

I’m glad I did write the teacher with my concerns and am thankful that she was open to hearing them. Do other parents have similar stories? Do teachers have advice for parents?

We all need to work well together if we’re going to give our kids the good start they need in their education.
– Kari Hulac

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No Responses to “DISTRACTED TEACHER spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e for first-graders”

  1. Cathy Schaefer Says:

    When my son began 4th grade this year, the homework load seemed quite big to us. (1 1/2 to 2 hours everyday; sometimes more.) When we started talking to other parents from his class, they we also overwhelmed with the load. Then we found out that the other 4th grade teacher from the school felt that a 20-minute-a-day homework limit was plenty for his students. Yikes! Can you say unfair? It wasn’t until a friend and I approached our kids’ teacher (separately, of course) and explained the hardship that the load took on our families that she understood that her load was too much. It was only her second year of teaching and she didn’t know that she was assigning too much every day. What a relief when the workload lightened! It goes to show that a little communication goes a long way.

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