I know that you are only doing your job. And believe me, I know how stressful it can be. Day in day out, what you really want to be doing is to spend your time teaching, but instead a lot of your time is taken up dealing with social issues. It’s frustrating – I get that! Don’t forget, I’ve been in your shoes – I’ve spent my whole lunchtime trying to get to the bottom of incidents. Trying to figure out who said what and when and why.
But….please, please, please, can you put yourself in my shoes now? My children are lovely, sweet, kind, funny, adorable – I could go on. But they also have been through things children shouldn’t have to experience. They are holding onto a huge number of big feelings that come out in all sorts of ways. Sometimes they shout at their friends, or snatch a toy or hit. They know it’s wrong – believe me, my children are very aware of right and wrong. And of the shame cycle!
The thing is, I do want to know when these things happen. I will do everything I can to support you in school, and I will talk to my children at home about what has happened.. We talk about behaviour a lot in our house. We talk about feelings and shame and hitting and everything in between. There is no sweeping things under the carpet – it’s important, for all of us, to get these feelings out in as healthy a way as possible. So please do keep telling me, but please please please could you not do it in front of the other parents?
When I drop Little Sir off, I do it with a very heavy heart. I’m already beginning to dread pick up. The way you look at me, beckon me over for ‘a word’. The walk to the door feels like a walk of shame for me, and when you talk about his behaviour in front of him and the other children, he feels shame too. It doesn’t work for us. Please do tell me what’s going on, but could you do it another, more sensitive way? I’m always happy to come in earlier, or later, for a proper sit down and chat. I’m more than happy for you to phone me and update me. You can even email me if you want. There are loads of ways in this technological age for you to let me know what’s going on!
I want to be supportive, I truly do. The main thing for me is that my children are happy, and I’ll do everything in my power to help them work through their really big feelings and really difficult backgrounds. But I need some support too!
All I ask is that you think before you call me over. Think about the audience – would you want to be told about your child in front of a crowd of parents? No parent likes it. So please, please be a bit more sensitive. I know we can work together – I’m doing my part, please can you do yours?
A parent who is doing her best but is really done with the walk of shame.
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