Thank our teachers

Hello, Parents!

I’m going to get all rose-colored-glasses now and ask you to thank your children’s teachers every chance you get.  There are thousands of teachers who got into the profession because they truly love children.  They didn’t know they would not be adequately trained to teach all their students.  They didn’t know the rules and procedures might prevent them from doing what sometimes needs to be done to help children with disabilities.  Nor did they know they might be “sentenced” to work under administrative staff who don’t understand disabilities and don’t care or might even feel they would rather not have these students in “their” schools at all.  These teachers work on an uphill road, doing whatever they can under whatever circumstances their job brings them.  If they are able to help our children, sometimes they have literally worked a miracle and they should hear our appreciation for it.  Often.  Regularly.

I’m not just saying you should thank just the good teachers.  I’m saying sometimes you should thank the not-so-good ones, too–as often as they have done something our children benefit from, these teachers should hear our thanks.  Especially these not-so-good teachers should be thanked, because we should reward every step in the right direction to help ensure the next step is also in the right direction!  We parents have the power to make a teacher feel that there is benefit to the teacher for doing the right things for our children.  The more often you catch a teacher being good and reward him or her with your thanks, the sooner your child will have a better opportunity for learning.

For good teachers, we say, “Thank you for recognizing Johnny’s efforts yesterday.  It meant a lot to him and to me.”

For that not-so-good teacher, we say, “I know you don’t always realize how hard Johnny works to learn, so when you recognized his efforts yesterday, it really made his day.  It made me happy, too.  Thank you!”

Here are some samples for you to try:

“Mrs. Teacher, I know Sally is slower than some of the other students and it’s hard for you to give her the time she needs.  Yesterday you gave her that time, and she was happy all day long that she was able to finish her work.  Thank you!”

“Mrs. Teacher, thank you for choosing Amy to lead the class to the Music Room yesterday.  I know you don’t understand her disability well and you must have felt you were taking a chance.  It was worth it.  She did it well and she loved the feeling that she had your trust.  Thank you!”

“Mr. Teacher, I know Jeremy can be a double handful sometimes, so I want to thank you for not sending him to the principal’s office yesterday when he mouthed off.  It was during the rebound period for the medication he takes for his ADHD, and he couldn’t help it.  He and I appreciate that you’ve begun to understand that and we want to continue working with you to help him learn to manage his behavior during that time of day.  Thank you so much!”

You get the idea.  Anything a teacher does that supports our children’s efforts to learn and make the needed changes, learn better social skills, etc. should be appreciated in a way that is obvious to the teacher if you want that teacher to continue to take risks, make difficult personal changes, etc. to benefit your child.  So go ahead.  Turn on the lights around your personal marquee and put your thanks out there where a teacher can see it.  It will make the day for both of you!



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