There is no better way to get to know someone than by spending time with them. And teachers spend a lot of time with your children. So, they probably know a lot more about your child than you think. But even if you have a great rapport with your child's teacher, he or she won't likely tell you these five things.
You may believe that your child has never uttered a dishonest word, but that's highly unlikely. Children lie, especially to avoid getting in trouble. It's normal and doesn't mean that he or she is a bad kid. So just because she says she did her homework or he says he didn't hit Timmy doesn't mean it's true. A teacher won't tell you your child is being dishonest. If your child's account of certain events doesn't jive with the teacher's account, be open to giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt.
Cell phones, computers, video games and flat-screen televisions aren't acceptable alternatives for good old-fashioned communication -- which is what your child craves more than any of those gadgets, even if he or she says otherwise. A teacher can tell when a child is spending too much time on the computer or playing video games. Stunted communication and social skills are among the clues. Kids need to know you're interested in their lives, but a teacher isn't going to tell you that.
You love your children and don't like to see them upset, but making mistakes and facing consequences are important childhood lessons that help them mature and eventually become functioning adults. If you do everything for them to keep them from making mistakes, or shield them from repercussions of mistakes they've made, you're not doing them any favors. Your instinct may be to ask the teacher to give your child a pass. The teacher would prefer that you hold your child accountable and teach him or her responsibility.
You keep getting reports that your child is smarting-off in class, chronically late or particularly aggressive with other students. You're having a hard time understanding where this behavior is coming from. Before jumping to conclusions about other kids' influence, take a look at what your child sees at home. You may be giving him or her cues without even realizing it. While they may think it, a teacher won't say, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
Before your child started speaking, you probably didn't worry too much about curbing your conversations around her. But school-age children pick up on things said within earshot - and repeat them elsewhere. Kids don't have filters, so you need to. Because you would hate for your child's teacher to know that "Mommy's a liberal and Daddy's a conservative and they have sex on Wednesday and Saturday nights but Daddy had a vasectomy so we won't be getting a sister or a brother."
Most teachers probably have cupboards full of "Best Teacher" coffee mugs, T-shirts and pens. Learn 10 great holiday gift ideas for teachers at TLC Family.
- "6 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You (But Wishes You Knew)." Shine.yahoo.com, 2010. http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/6-things-your-childs-teacher-wont-tell-you-but-wishes-you-knew-508200/
- "20 More Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You." Readers Digest, 2010. http://www.rd.com/home-garden/20-more-things-your-childs-teacher-wont-tell-you/article164878.html
- Guilbert, Juliette. "Why Kids Lie -- Age by Age Honest advice for dealing with your child's lies." Parenting.com, 2010. http://www.parenting.com/article/Toddler/Behavior/Why-Kids-Lie-Age-by-Age/4
- "Preschool Confidential: What Teachers Want You to Know." Parenting.com, 2010. http://www.parenting.com/article/Child/Daycare--Education/Preschool-Confidential-What-Teachers-Want-You-to-Know/3