A letter from a preschool teacher
It’s an amazing thing being a preschool teacher. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Not only do I get to have fun all the time (well, almost) but I also get to spend time with “little people” who are very cute and innocent. They tell me what they think and feel without any inhibitions. Don’t you think my job is fun? But then, it’s just too bad (just kidding) that my “little people” in class come with “big people” whom I would just call parents. My students are great but unfortunately their parents are not so great — sometimes. That is why I have decided to write them a letter to let them know what I think and feel.
It’s been a few months since you first brought your children to school. Since then, I’ve seen many changes in them. I am truly glad to have all your children in my class. It is such a great pleasure to be a part of their lives. I am really honored that you have allowed me to teach them and develop their character.
Throughout these past few months, I am confident that a bond has already been created between us. So I won’t hesitate to tell you a few things that I think might be helpful for all of you as you relate to me and to your children.
Don’t pressure your children to do more than they are capable of doing. I cannot stress the importance of this point as I’ve seen several of your children often frustrated with themselves. At first, I couldn’t pinpoint the cause of their frustration. But eventually I realized that most of them were saying, “But mommy said I have to…” or “Daddy said I have to do this well…” Please understand that all children develop at their own pace. So don’t pressure your children to do something that is beyond what they can do at their present age. Remember they still have several years ahead of them. They still have lots of time to learn all that they need to know! So don’t say, “You have to be better than…” because this only makes your children frustrated and unhappy. Just let your children be kids. Which brings me to my next point….
Don’t compare your child with other children. Every child is special and unique. Like I said, each child develops at a certain pace. It is totally unhealthy for you to compare your children with others because this can only cause them to be very frustrated, jealous and insecure. Just let your children learn whatever they can without being so conscious of what other children are already capable of doing. The most important thing is that they enjoy every activity that they do in school. It doesn’t matter whether they fail or succeed in an activity, what matters most is that they try to do their tasks.
Please don’t ask me how other children are doing because it’s really none of your business. I don’t want you to be stressed out knowing that other children are already capable of reading storybooks at this age. If your child still cannot recognize letters at this time, just relax. He or she will be able to do it in his or her own time.
Read stories with your children and try to discuss it with them. This is one way to help your children develop their academic skills. I know you’re busy but then everything that you’re doing is for your children’s future, right? Well, spending time with them also impacts their future. So I hope that you can spare a few moments of your time to just read with your children. It can also help you relax after a stressful time at work.
Censor everything that your children watch on television. Please! I know that turning on the television is the best way to keep your children from disturbing you. But please know that your children are at an age when their minds are like sponges so they can easily absorb anything that they hear and see. It’s very hard to undo any damage that has already been done to their impressionable minds. I hope that you could sit with your children when they’re watching television. Yes, I know you’re very busy but it pays to be careful when it comes to your children. But if you can’t spare a few minutes to watch television with them, then I suggest that you just let them read books or do some crafts to occupy their time.
Train your children at home. I need your help! Please! I hope that you will be kind enough to teach your children some simple words of respect and courtesy like “Please”, “Excuse me”, “Thank you”, and “I’m sorry”. Teaching and training them how and when to say these words will make my job so much easier.
Read my notes. The reason why I write you notes is not because I have nothing else to do. I write them because I want you to know about something significant that happened to your child that day. Usually, I need your response to these notes. But then, if you don’t read them, how can you respond?
Make sure your children sleep early. Establishing this habit in your children can prove to be very beneficial not just for your children but also for you and me. When they are sleeping, their bodies and minds develop twice as much as when they are awake. So when they get the right amount of sleep they grow healthy and strong, and are very alert and attentive in school. It is beneficial for you because you don’t have to be frustrated in the morning. You won’t need to put in so much effort when waking them up. It is beneficial for me because I won’t have to deal with cranky and sleepy students in my class.
Don’t be late in sending them to school and in picking them up. Children who come to school late often end up feeling cranky all day. It happens because they feel that their friends have already done many things without them, which is sometimes true. Those who come late for school miss some of the important parts of the lessons. So please send them to school on time.
And parents, I hope that you can be at the pick-up gate before the dismissal bell rings. It is very nice to see children’s faces light up when they see their parents already waiting for them at the gate. It would also be a big favour for me as I still have many things to prepare for the next school day. I won’t be able to work on them if I still have to look after your children.
Try to send something healthy for your children’s snacks. I am sure that you are aware that one of the things that they are taught in school is the importance of eating healthy foods. So it is somehow difficult to teach them this lesson if you keep on sending junk foods for their snack time. So please try to send snacks that are healthy and also delicious.
Trust me. You have to believe me when I say that I want only the best for your children. I have no reason whatsoever to want to hurt or embarrass them. So when I report things that are unpleasant about your children, please do not think that I am just making them up to make your children look bad. (Why would I want to do that?) When I tell you these things, it is for the simple reason that I want your help in dealing with these negative behaviors which you may not be aware of as a devoted parent. Remember, we are partners in your children’s education. I am not your enemy.
Whoa! I guess I got carried away. I still have so many things to tell you but I think I will just reserve them for my next letter. Just before I end my letter, I want to remind you to send your children to school wearing comfortable clothes and shoes — nothing fancy. And please when you drop them off at school, a simple hug and “good-bye” will do. Well, I guess that’s about it for now. See you in school.
Your Child’s Loving Teacher