Every year I say the same prayer when school starts. “Dear God, help her to make new friends. Put the right people in her life to guide her. Let her know her worth even when a mean girl tries to steal her joy. Remind her to be kind and, God, bless her teachers.”

You can’t forget the teachers. For the next few months they will be spending more waking hours with my daughter than I will! My capacity to answer questions, argue a case, and negotiate work agreements ends mid-August. Now it’s the teachers who get the brunt of that workload. It’s a big job with little pay.

So I think the least we parents can do is make their jobs as easy as possible by sending our kids to school rested and not doing anything to drive that lovely teacher nuts.

I talked to 5 veteran elementary school teachers to see what parents do that make them crazy.

Complaining about a teacher on Facebook

“Pick up the phone and talk through the situation with the teacher. Any parent not willing to do that really doesn’t want the problem solved, they just want people to justify their anger. The teacher deserves to give their side of the story and I bet nine times out of 10 just hearing the teacher’s reason for something solves the problem entirely.”  – Sarah, teacher for 21 years

Sending your kid to school sick

“We’ve been in school for one week, and they have had to come through and disinfect our rooms already.” – Deb, teacher for 30 years

Bringing things to school your child forgot

“Doing everything for your child keeps them from growing and maturing on their own. Don’t stop what you are doing to rush something to school that they forgot. That teaches them no responsibility. No accountability.” – Jane, teacher for 18 years

Showing up late to parent-teacher conferences

“If you can’t make it on time, please call to see if there will be time to squeeze you in, or reschedule. I don’t think that parents are always thinking about how just five minutes can throw one big wrench into that whole schedule.” – Sarah, teacher

Complaining about things the teacher can’t control

“It doesn’t help to hear fussing about weather closings like ‘why can’t they split the county in half?’ ‘There’s nothing on the roads,’ etc.” – Elizabeth, teacher for 30 years

Sending in birthday treats that need to be cut up

“Nobody has time for that. We need individual packaged, evenly sized things that can be passed out quickly. I once had a parent send in one of those big round cookies. UGH! I had to track down a knife and it is absolutely impossible to divide those things up into 28 equal pieces. I talk a lot to my kids about how we all don’t always get the same things, but heck, even I agree equal is important when it comes to dessert.” – Sarah, teacher

Being defensive

“Whether it be hyperactivity, lack of focus, struggling in school, etc. It’s not that I take joy or want to tell the parent this news, but I am doing everything I can to help the parent and their child to be successful.” – Keri, teacher for 23 years

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.