9.) Throw us a bone once in awhile. Last year, a parent saw a staff birthday list and figured out I’d be celebrating a birthday on a workday. She organized a card for my students to sign and sent a cake. It was such a pleasant surprise and made my birthday so special. While you don’t have to be so extravagant (I have a special relationship with this child’s family), you can do little things to help, too. It’s Christmas? Send in a $5 Starbucks card. We came to your child’s soccer game? Thank us. We extended a deadline or stayed late to help your kid with a project? Say thank you. Send in a ream of paper. Bring Kleenex or hand sanitizer. Brag to our principal about something awesome you heard about or that your child enjoyed. Let us know that we’re making a difference for you and your student. That’s why we do what we do. (Oh, and don’t send in anything shaped like an apple or bearing a “#1 TEACHER!” inscription. Believe me: we’ve got a lot of it.)
10.) Really, really, REALLY hate us and think we’re ruining your child’s life? You have two choices here. First, if you have a good reason, most schools will honor a request for a change of class. If that’s what you choose to do, fine. It’s your right as a parent. But before you do, I’d encourage you to work with your child. As adults, we all work with people we don’t like from time to time. We’ve all had nasty bosses we wished we didn’t have to deal with. As grown-ups, unless you quit every job when there is resistance or someone you dislike, you’re gonna have to stick it out. Encourage your child to find things they do like about our class, even if they’re small things. Help your child learn to do homework our way, or to be more organized -- whatever it is that will make our year together more bearable for all involved.