I’ve been a teacher for what feels like forever but is probably nudging two decades.
It’s a tough gig and these days I stick to relief teaching because life is easier when mum isn’t bone weary and busy marking other children’s work each night. As much as I love spending time with children who are not my own, they can really be hard work.
So indulge me for a moment and allow me to let loose with a list of things your teacher will never tell you about your child:
1. Your child is pretty annoying
Perhaps your child is a non-stop talker, nose picker, incessant tapper of tables or Oscar-worthy whinger. Well, you’d best believe that their teacher is secretly wishing the year away. The apple of your eye is utterly exhausting in a classroom, so feel free to throw the teacher a bone and give your child a day or two off each term (cough, cough … do NOT mention this to the Department of Education – you didn’t hear it from me, okay?).
2. Your child is sometimes a crappy friend
“They have some social issues” might be the polite way of saying your child ruins every damn game he or she plays. They hit or kick, whinge and whine, crack it when they get out. Your sweet little ray of sunshine is a big old storm cloud over the playground. Maybe sign that storm cloud up for soccer on the weekends so you can help them build sportsmanship and social skills and bear witness to their poor sporting behaviour firsthand.
3. Your child is too smart
A university degree cannot compare to the knowledge in your six-year-old’s brain. Your next-level nerd is insanely smart and the teacher is left feeling like the class clown. Sure, it’s embarrassing that your child corrects the teacher’s spelling and math errors. The likelihood of teachers admitting that your six-year-old needs to skip ten grades and start their university degree a few decades early is slim to none. Accept that in the raffle of life, you drew the Doogie Howser MD. Invest in a library card and computer ASAP.
4. Your child has horrible hygiene
Your beautiful baby hasn’t seen a shower in a week and they have a suspiciously scratchy head. Your precious prince or princess may have a permanent pong, grotesque gurgly gas or perhaps a squelchy snot sucking habit. Whatever revolting level of grot your child brings to school, know that the teacher is armed with every sanitising product known to man. This defence is still unlikely to protect them from the gamut of germs your child will share so be forewarned, the teacher is going to have a LOT of sick days.
5. Your child needs to hear “no”
Your precious petal is an overindulged, lazy so and so. Your divine darling can never seem to find their pencil, their hat or their work. Each time “classroom cleanup” is called, your child races off to the toilet. Avoidance is their middle name. This child wants the world on a silver platter and it seems you are handing it to them. Please, for the love of our society, stop doing ALL THE THINGS for your child and tell them NO! Your teacher and child will thank you.
6. Your child is the bully
Oh, there will be many terms used to describe your child. They may be on a “behaviour contract” or “struggling to manage their emotions,” but each day when your beautiful baby arrives at school, 30 children and one teacher shudder. If your child seems to have zero real friends and an attitude that could rival a bikie gang president you might wanna look into some psychology sessions. Or, continue the way things are so your child will endure a lifetime of being feared but never accepted.
7. Your child is too perfect
Your beautiful darling is all kinds of blah. They go unnoticed in the classroom because they are so compliant. They do everything right and never complain. They are so perfect they are forgettable. Sprinkle some personality powder on their pillow at night and why not bust them out of school one day for ice cream. (Again, let’s not mention these utterly un-educational and yet hugely relationship-building suggestions to the education board.) Break the rules a bit, your child will be better for it.
8. Your child is a dibby dobber
Loyalty means nothing to your little one. The first whiff of authority and they sing like a canary in specific detail. Immediately take them out and buy them nappies because we all know that’s what dibber dobbers wear. Jokes, maybe just tell them to lay off the old dobbing for a week or two. Who are we kidding? Maybe just for half an hour is a good start. Dibber dobbers are unstoppable in their righteous dobbing fury. Implementing a daily dobbing quota may help ease your teacher’s pain.
Obviously, these categories relate to that brat down the street who you knew all along was a dibby dobbing, over-indulged, smelly bully from the first time you met them and none of them could possibly be your child!
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