Dear Parents, I am not that super teacher

Dear Parents,

I get it. You have either seen a dozen inspirational teacher movies or you simply want what is best for your child as far as education goes. You want that Super Teacher. You want the one of lore, the one who will move heaven and earth to make sure your child achieves academic greatness.

That’s not me.

You hear of those Teachers of the Year, the ones who work long into the night and sacrifice weekends to create only the best lesson plans and learning opportunities for your child. The ones who give up marriages and families because their students are their families. The ones who live in tiny apartments, giving every extra dime to the cause of furthering your child’s education. The ones who spend every drive and every shower weeping tears on behalf of your child.

Sorry, that’s not me.

It’s not that I couldn’t spend unlimited time on my students. It’s possible. But I’m married. With kids. Just as your kids and spouses are your priority, my kids and spouse are mine. It’s your job to sacrifice all that is necessary for your kids. I’m not going to do that.

I’m afraid I’m just not at a point of my life where my career of teaching can be my number one priority and everything to me. I know young, single teachers who can indeed give up evenings and weekends. I know older teachers past their family time who can do the same.

I can’t.

And I don’t want to.

I’m not going to spend my money on your kids. At least, not much. I’m a teacher, I can’t help buy a thing here or there. But it’s your job as the parent to provide your kids with food and clothing. If you’re struggling, I can perhaps direct you to help. But it’s not my job.

Do I think about your kid outside of school hours? Of course. I’m a teacher. I think of my job often. But I also think of lots of other things often. And I certainly don’t spend every spare moment crying over your child.

I’m not a replacement parent to your kid. I’m your child’s teacher. My job is to teach learning strategies and provide information and instruction. I was never trained as a social worker or as a guidance counselor. Do I see teaching as a calling? Sure. If I didn’t feel called to a profession, I wouldn’t be in it. But… I mostly see it as a job. A job I enjoy, am passionate about, but still just one part of my life.

I’m going to enjoy my evenings, weekends and summers. I promise I will do my very best anyway to teach your child.

But you are the parent. Step up to the plate.

 

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