Dear parents who just sent your kids off to school. Please consider customizing this, signing it, and sending it to your child’s teacher.
- If you give me parenting advice, or tell me something about my innocent angels that I’m not happy to hear, I will believe you. Then I will restate it in my own words to make sure I heard you. If I still feel the need to argue, I will wait at least 24 hours. That way, there’s a chance I’ll be using with my whole brain, and not just the defensive daddy part.
- If I hear or see something that worries me, I will always begin by assuming you are a trustworthy, well-trained professional. If I’m still concerned, I’ll make an appointment to ask for your side of the story directly. I will not speak to your principal about it unless we are at a stand-still on a serious concern.
- I will not gossip about you with other parents, or compare you to other teachers. I will stand up for you if others do.
- If I volunteer to do something, I’ll do it. Unless someone is bleeding, and then I’ll call. Unless I absolutely blow it, and then I’ll buy you a gift certificate to a local restaurant to thank you for still teaching my kids even though their dad is selectively intelligent.
- I will help the kids if they ask, but I won’t do the work for them. I’ll remind them of deadlines, but I won’t nag them incessantly. If their work earns them consequences, I will not argue grades with you. I’ll hug them and say, “That must be really frustrating. What are you going to do?”
- If I cannot deliver them to you well fed, well clothed, well rested, and in generally good condition, I’ll warn you first.
- Please consider this email an IOU, good for one school-related to-do item. If you get stuck, (doesn’t matter if it’s time-sensitive, embarrassing, or difficult) call [insert your mobile #] and say, “I’m calling in that IOU.”
P.S. – Thank you. You do a tough job, for less pay and less respect than you deserve. Since getting a teaching certificate requires intelligence, I can only assume that’s because you’re a pretty cool human being.