I have taught long enough to know two absolutes:
1) Kids acts differently around their friends than they do around parents.
2) This different-acting person is the person we interact with in the school setting.
Now, a caveat before I say what I am going to say: some teachers are pettier than others. A behavior that bothers one teacher won’t bother someone else. There are levels to discipline and punishments. I personally am a lot less stressed out by most middle school behaviors than some of my colleagues. I mean, it’s middle school, the kids are crazy, and that is what I signed up for.
Having said that, understand this: the kids you drop off ain’t the ones we teach.
Kids use school to try things out. They know that (a) we cannot hit them like you might, (b) we have protocols we must follow, (c) they have friends to hype them up to do stuff they would never try alone, and (d) you are gullible.
Most parents I meet need a boat because they live on “DENIAL” (ba-dum tsk!). The little kid that you thought was so cute is NO MORE. I got the rusty, foul mouthed 12 year old girl who just told me in GREAT DETAIL what she was and was not going to do today. I have the no-deodorant wearing handsy 15 year old boy who keeps slapping girls’ asses then trying to fight these girls when they punch him for touching them inappropriately. I do not have the pleasure of spending time with the sweet little boy who ushers at church, or the pretty girl who praise dances every 4th Sunday. Nawl. I get the beasts. Capital B, capital S.
Parents, I promise you! As a teacher, I do NOT have time to lie on your child. If I am telling you your student did something, they DID THAT–and it was probably worse than what I am making it out to be. Because my goal is to get your child to act right so I can teach and the class can learn–NOT to take pleasure in the doom awaiting them when I snitch.
And one more thing: as a MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, I am trying to save you the heartbreak to surely come if you don’t intervene now. Kids get bolder as they get older–which means the high school years are going to kick YOUR pansy parental patootie if you don’t nip junior in the “bud” now. So take my calls as an opportunity to invest in a less stressful future: put Na-Na in her place now before she starts to tell YOU what she is and is not going to do.
I am on your side, moms and dads! Take note.