Each year we ponder what to get teachers, case managers and related service providers. We spend money on candles, lotions and gift cards in hopes that it brightens their day. Now of course tangible items will make any teacher happy, but there are a few things that mean even more. A few years ago a friend of mine put together this holiday wish list for educators and it still holds true now. Let me know what you think in the comments section below!
An Educator’s Holiday Wish List by Dr. Carlea Dries
Please tell us the truth. If we are in a meeting and ask you something that might seem sensitive or too personal, know that we are asking for a reason. We will not judge your answer. It is critical that you tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We can handle it! If there is a history of abuse (substance, physical, etc.), if you don’t get to work with your child as often as you’d like because of your own hectic schedule, we need to know. Our assessments, evaluations, recommendations and plans can only be as good as the information we receive. We can’t fully help your child without the actual facts.
Please be respectful. It is almost guaranteed there will come a time when you do not agree with something someone in your child’s educational sphere says or does. That’s okay. That’s normal. That’s somewhat expected. Feel free to express your opinion and clearly outline your rationale. Offer realistic suggestions for how you think the situation may have been addressed differently (even if the result can’t be changed). But please do not resort to the type of immature behavior for which you would likely reprimand your child for. In short, don’t sit across from me at a meeting and call me a “cotton headed ninny muggins.” It won’t help. It would probably just make me giggle.
Please live and let live. Contrary to popular belief, we do exist beyond the confines of the school walls. If you see me in the “real world,” feel free to wave or nod in my direction but please do not corner me in the grocery store. The school calendar provides many opportunities for us to discuss your child’s progress and performance so please don’t think we need to have a conference while my ice cream is melting.
Please support us. We are not in this line of work for the salary, benefits, or “9-3 with summers off” schedule. We are here because we want to your help child reach his/her potential and we know we can’t do that without you. Through everything, we need to believe that you trust us with your child’s academic, social and emotional growth and development, and you need to trust that we wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that. I promise to be one of your child’s cheerleaders as long as I know you will be rooting along with me. Together we can affect the most change and do the most good!
**This amazing article was written by my friend and fellow psychologist Carlea Alfieri Dries. She is a certified School Psychologist who also has her Master’s in Counseling. She also has a certification in Educational Leadership, is a Nationally Certified Counselor and has her PsyD. All her views and opinions are her own (but I do agree with her points!)
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