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.
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