Dear Teacher: Please Consider The Walk Of Shame

Dear Teacher,

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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  1. November 17, 2016 / 7:34 am

    Oh it’s awful isn’t it – I tried not to do it as a teacher and when it’s happened as a parent I generally sit in the car a cry afterwards 🙁

    On a practical note have you told the teacher? If it’s still happening talk to the senco/parent support person / whoever you have a decent relationship with. If it’s more than occasional playground chats are not appropriate. x

  2. November 17, 2016 / 11:40 am

    I think it’s terrible when they talk to you in front of other parents, they should really ask you to come into the classroom. I don’t think it’s appropriate that other parents hear. You don’t need to feel shame though you are doing a great job. #ablogginggoodtime

  3. November 17, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Brilliant. This needs to be read by teachers. I’m a qualified teacher and I now teach Taekwon-do as my own business. I sometimes have to talk to parents and always try to do it sensitively. This serves as a good reminder to us all. I’ll share it in a hope to spread the message. Alison x #ablogginggoodtime

  4. November 18, 2016 / 9:39 am

    oh no! It’s terrible and quite unprofessional in my opinion! This teacher probably had a bad day and didn’t mean to be so rude. I hope! It will be quickly forgotten! take care and forget about it ! #tribalchat

  5. November 18, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    What an excellent post, I’ve been that parent too. IN fact for about 3 years I was every day and we found some really good work arounds, like you say – email, weekly catch ups etc. All the best, Mich x

    • cherrynewby
      November 19, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I am hopeful we can find some work arounds too – it’s just all got a bit frustrating at the moment, but I’m sure we can work through it! x

  6. November 19, 2016 / 8:42 am

    I hear you – I’ve been that solider. I dread picking my son up from school #fortheloveofblog

    • cherrynewby
      November 19, 2016 / 4:47 pm

      It’s awful isn’t it!! Until being a parent I really didn’t understand how horrible it can be! I hope that we can make some teachers understand! x

  7. November 19, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Great well written letter. Hope it gets to the teachers and teaches them something about professionalism and being more sensitive.

    • cherrynewby
      November 19, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      I really hope so too!! x

  8. Claire
    November 19, 2016 / 5:09 pm

    I hope the teacher will listen and talk to you about these things another way, it really isn’t very considerate doing it that way! If this happens to me when my son starts school next year, I will think of this post and be sure to ask for an alternative way to discuss these things, it sounds like a difficult experience. xx #fortheloveofblog

  9. November 19, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    I’m a teacher too and I have started emailing parents. I find it’s better for both of us. I don’t have to make phone calls from home so that I can reach them and they don’t have to get calls at work. I teach high school though, so I have the issue of kids erasing messages. #brilliantblogposts

    • cherrynewby
      November 21, 2016 / 5:41 pm

      Emailing sounds so much better. I know as a teacher, it was hard to call parents during the day as they were at work, and I really didn’t want to make calls from home, so emailing works really well. I’m definitely going to have to suggest it to my son’s school!

  10. November 19, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    It sounds like the teacher is being inconsiderate. I hope you get it resolved. #ablogginggoodtime

    • cherrynewby
      November 21, 2016 / 5:40 pm

      I hope so too – I think I just need to be more proactive with talking to the teacher! x

  11. November 22, 2016 / 8:03 am

    Eek, my kid isn’t school age yet but I can totally sympathise with this. Hopefully your teachers have listened to you and are have changed their policies. It’s not nice feeling shame. Good luck
    Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofblog

    • cherrynewby
      November 22, 2016 / 3:58 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I hadn’t realised how hard it would be when you child isn’t perfect in school – it’s definitely been eye opening and I hope that schools really think more carefully in how to talk to parents! x

  12. November 23, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    Completely sympathise and its something I worry about for when my little starts school. Hopefully youve been listened to
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    • cherrynewby
      November 23, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment – I think it’s definitely something as parents we worry about a lot!

  13. January 7, 2017 / 11:13 pm

    I teach secondary school so this wouldn’t really happen there so I can never be that teacher. But yes – I know that beckon well. I usually start the conversation with ‘what has she done then?!’ More often than not, it’s actually another child has hurt her – but you know that the parents watching won’t know that?! This behaviour definitely needs to go!

    • cherrynewby
      January 12, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      Thankfully I’m not finding the same happening in his new school – I think that perhaps we were just in a setting which didn’t have great experience with children experience difficulties of any sort. Fingers crossed it continues this way 🙂 x

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