Top 5 pre-school teacher peeves (we want parents to know)

As a pre-school teacher of many years there are often times when I would love to be brutally honest with parents and tell them exactly how I feel about certain issues. I spoke to 7 other teachers from different schools and asked them what they would like to tell parents if they could without repercussion and complete anonymity.

“Any person who thinks that Early Childhood teaching, is a babysitting job should volunteer for 8 hours a week. There is so much more that goes on in a pre-school classroom”

1.    Work with us

We are not the enemy; we care about your child’s future probably as much as you do.
We wake up at night thinking of ways we can help your child, we don’t “switch off” like people in other professions do (even during school holidays). If there are concerns about your child’s physical, intellectual or behavioural development, we will inform you. We expect you to then to do what you can do in order to help your child overcome these issues and not ignore our advice. We need to form a good, trusting relationship with you, but we can’t be your friend. We need to remain objective for your child’s best interests.

2. Teach your children

Teach your children with love and teach them compassion and respect. Stop “begging” your children to do things, be more assertive- be the parent. Teach them manners; “please” and “thank you” should become second nature to them. Your child is a special individual, but also one of many in my class- teach him patience and to wait his turn. Giving into his every whim is not helpful in teaching him to consider others, it only fuels selfish behaviour. Let your yes mean yes and no mean no. You have to follow through on discipline or it will never be effective and your child will never take what you say as definitive.

3.    Have fun

We all have busy lives and cannot give our children all of our time, but spending as much time with them as you can, is the best gift you can give your child. Play with your child, board games, hide and seek. Make up family games and let them use their imagination. These times you spend playing with them will be the memories they treasure when they are older. No one looks back on their life and recalls fond memories of video games, it’s the times you spent reading to them, taking them on hikes that will stay with them for a lifetime. Enjoy your children, be child-like in your approach to them, but not childish! There is a vast difference, learn this. Get active! Go outside more. Talk to your child, have an actual conversation with him. You will be surprised to discover how many parents only talk to their children when they need something or in answer to them.Be positive. Try to be encouraging and focus on positive behavior and reward that.
Compliment them when they do well and speak encouraging words when they don’t. Never belittle your child, their self esteem is fragile and needs to be nurtured.

5.    Overexposure

Age restrictions are there for a reason. This may seem obvious, but it is surprising how many children are watching movies or playing games for which they are not emotionally equipped. It affects them and as a teacher we see it every day. The violence and fantasy children are exposed to at a young age is not appropriate for them as they are not able to process these concepts yet. Your child may moan and throw a hissy fit that “all their friends have seen it” but be the parent and say no.

6.    Trust us

We are not paid to do whatever your child wants. We are trained and educated in our field and have experience. We don’t tell you how to do your job, so please don’t tell us how to do ours. If you have placed your child in or care, we expect you to trust us. Suggestions on how to better communicate with your child and help him to learn are very important, but at the end of the day, we do know what we are doing. Promise.

*Not her real name

Do you have a good relationship with your child’s pre-school teacher?
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