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“My child hates school.”
Ouch. Have you ever had a parent say this to you before? If not, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s most likely coming at one point or another - and oh my goodness, it does not feel good.
Hearing "my child hates school" is one of those things that cuts deep and instantly messes with our mindset. We begin to doubt our competence as a teacher. It can be especially challenging when it happens if you’re a new teacher and already feeling so unsure about your abilities.
We’re all doing the best we can and putting in our best effort to make our classrooms as exciting and welcoming as possible. So when we hear something like this, it can make us wonder if it’s worth the time and effort that we put into teaching. That's why I'm diving into this topic in detail in today's episode, and giving you some important things to consider if you are ever faced with this comment.
The most important thing I want you to know is that if a parent says this to you, it typically has very little, if anything, to do with you. No matter how amazing you are as a human being, and as a teacher, there are always going to be kids who just don’t like school.
Today’s world of Netflix, TikTok, and Snapchat comes with a culture of instant gratification. If kids don’t like something, they can just click out of it. So it’s no wonder that they don’t like school! School is hard and kids don’t get to “choose your own adventure” all day long like they often do at home.
This is why school is so important. A big part of what school teaches is how to persist, and to not give up when things get hard. It teaches kids how to work first and play later. It teaches them how to be disciplined and to do things that they don’t always want to do. Of course, many of our students won't love these lessons, which makes the role of the teacher very challenging.
Getting students to learn these things takes time, and you can’t do it all by yourself. What we teach at school needs to be reinforced (and followed through with) at home. This is why consistent and clear communication with parents is so important.
If you have these students who don't "love school", keep doing what you’re doing in the classroom. Hold steady and continue to create a loving and safe environment for your students. What you put out into the world will always come back to you. Oh, and remember that kids use the term 'hate' very loosely!
PS: If you want to know your next 5 steps in becoming the teacher you've always dreamed of being, click the image below to take my quick quiz!
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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