Dear Parents of High School Students,
I am not your child’s friend. I do not care if they like me. This is not a popularity contest for me, it is your child’s education.
I am not going to pretend your child’s work is exemplary, when it is actually sub-standard. I demand, and expect, nothing but the very best effort from your child. Helping your child is not synonymous with giving them the answers, so please explain to them that they will be expected to do their own work in my class. I do not condone laziness or irresponsibility; make sure they have a good breakfast and pack their backpacks with all the necessary items needed to be productive at school.
I do not want to look at the top of your child’s head for 45 minutes each day, so please make sure they get a good night’s sleep. There is no reason to send your child to school unless they are fully invested in working, my time is far too valuable to be wasted on someone who is not interested in what I am presenting. If your child is not capable of being present, both physically and mentally, then perhaps a different learning environment should be explored; home schooling is an option for every child.
I will give your child complete and brutal honesty about their work, their behavior and their commitment to excellence, and I won’t feel bad if it hurts their feelings. I will not pretend their behavior is acceptable when it is grating on my last nerve. I will tell them to be quiet when I am speaking. When I address your child, I expect them to be accountable for their words and actions. If they ask me a question I expect them to listen to the answer the first time it is given. I do not want to hear your child telling me that my decisions are not fair; a fair is a place you take a pig to win a ribbon, it has nothing to do with my classroom.
It is not my job to feel sorry for your son or daughter. Every one of my students comes to me with a different plate of challenges, and your child is not more special than any other child in my class. Please understand that just doing the work is not enough, it has to be done correctly. You child must follow directions, or they will not succeed. I will teach them. I will motivate them. I will encourage them to be their very best self. I will be honest with them. I will not take responsibility for your child’s failures, and I will always give them full credit for their successes.
Although I am not your child’s parent, I am a parent. I understand that the teen mind is a difficult thing to decipher, however I would ask that get on board with the following truth: one day you will die, and if you don’t pry your kid’s head out of her ass now, they won’t have a hope in hell of making it on their own. Tell them no, motivate them, hold them accountable, demand excellence, instill a firm work ethic, and be honest. If you are not part of the solution to your own child’s problems in school, then you are actually part of the problem.
Your Child’s Teacher