8/14/11

Oh Mary Poppins, can't you do the teacher inservice???


Sniff. Sniff. Can you smell it? You know what I mean. That smell is here; the smell of new pencils, new books, new crayons and markers, the smell of new shoes, new clothes, and a new backpack and you know what that means. School is in the air! Perhaps the biggest sign that school is right around the corner is the buzz that is flying around the pool, in the supermarket and at your local fall sporting practices. Who will get the Best Teacher of All? Who will be the lucky kids to get in the Best Teacher of All’s class?

Remember on Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael wrote a letter and asked for the perfect nanny? The father was stunned when Mary Poppins handed him the list that he had thrown into the fire. It went something like this:

(Start humming…) “If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition; rosy cheeks, no warts; play games, all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet and very pretty; take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets.”


That’s what keeps going through my mind at this time of year. That super duper wish list. The wish list each parent and child has. Here’s what I think the wish list is for the perfect teacher. Wanted: teacher; must be sweet, even-tempered, hip, funny, pretty, smart, young, experienced and energetic. Must never yell, get mad, throw things or lose her temper. Must be very patient, wear stylish clothes, have a lovely laugh and smell like fresh baked cookies.


So, basically, that would count me out. (And, perhaps, everyone I know.)


While we teachers may not all be young or hip or very tall, there are some things we have in common. We are committed to our jobs and to your kids. These are some of the things we can promise you. We will get to know your child inside and out; we will learn about his pets, his siblings, his likes and dislikes and will always notice when he gets a hair cut. We will push him to be independent, self-sufficient, confident and responsible. We will help guide him when things don’t go his way and will laugh with him (and applaud) when they do. We will push him until he reaches the potential that we know he has, and we will be there when he falls, to pick him back up, dust him off and start him back up that hill. That’s our job, and that’s what we love to do.


Contrary to what my kindergarteners recommended to our student intern, we will not be teaching kickboxing, having cinema time every day; they cannot ride mechanical bulls in class, skateboard off the roof (with kneepads, of course) and we will not buy them happy meals for lunch once a week. (I gotta give them credit for trying, however.)


As a mom, I’ve learned that often the teachers who work with my child every day know more about what is a good match for him than I do. I have learned that it is important for me to keep my mouth shut on some occasions and it is equally important to voice my concerns at others. I have learned that a teacher that was not the best match for Mrs. Jones’ son (that darned Mrs. Jones—always so hard to keep up with), was the perfect teacher for my son.


Yeah, we teachers don’t all look alike.


Some of us are tall, short, skinny, chunky, old, young, and black and white. However, we all love kids and want what is best for these young souls. So please; trust us, respect us and join us in making this the Best Year Ever for your child.



One more thing - beware the buzz at the pool. Sometimes that bee will come right back and sting ya.



23 comments:

Brian Miller said...

totally think mechanical bulls would be a great teaching device..there is probably a reason i no longer teach...

Pastor Sharon said...

This is fantastical and wise council for parents to read as the beginning of school approaches.

You really brought this home and keep it real!

We love you Mrs. Smyth!

Rebecca Watson said...

great post! Love it :)

Elizabeth said...

I love it! I love all of your posts actually : )

formerlyonlyamovie said...

We have three weeks to go before I meet my new students... Slowly I am getting my brain ready. This great post is helping me with that endeavor...

xo

Scope said...

I'm sure the biggest buzz is to see who got Ms. Smithe lady. Those are the lucky one.

noexcuses said...

Here's to a fresh new start of the year, with hopefully, not to many fresh mouths!

You rock, Mrs. Smythe!!!!!

SkylersDad said...

You meet all of the requirements on that list, except you smell more of Vodka... ;^)

Lizzie said...

my best friend is a teacher and she has a sign in her room that says "I'll won't believe half of the things your child says about you if you don't believe half the things your child says about me." or something like that. I've always thought that was good advice :)

Expat mum said...

Great post. You teachers are something else. (My mother and mother-in-law both taught for decades do I've heard every story there is.)
As a parent, we have to remember that we don't know everything. Step back and let the teachers do their jobs They care for your kids or they wouldn't be doing what they do. They also have a perspective that doesn't have the entire world/classroom revolving around your child.
I'll ever forget my despair with a Kindergarten teacher match for my headstrong child. Not that I didn't like her, but I thought they would butt heads all the time. Turns out he reminded her of herself and she was his biggest fan!

Sue said...

My little Riley, my oldest grandbaby will start kindergarden in a few more weeks! It's almost as gut wrenching as it was when my first went off to the big "K"! I know when she says, "see ya Gramma, I better have some Kleenex handy"!

Take care,
Sue

yogurt said...

my motto when it comes to my kids' teachers: stand back and let the relationship develop without me sticking my big self in the middle of it. intervene only when absolutely necessary.

LauraW said...

Another great post! As the mom of 3 and a very (VERY) active member of the PTO; I know alllllll the teachers at our school. I've never (NEVER!) requested a teacher - though I have requested that my child not be placed in the same class with a certain child (once!)

I'm glad I didn't have to pick one teacher over another. They may not have gotten the teacher I would have picked - and I'm grateful for it.

Ellie Mae said...

As a former teacher (not perfect by any means), grade parent ( room mother, as they called it when i was growing up) and mother of 3 boys, I have dealt with many, many teachers. Together we've had a few good teachers and many not so good teachers, unfortunately. But, they've all taught the boys something (I hope): school is fun and a place to be enjoyed and also, a place to adapt and put your head down, do the work, and just get through the year. :( I wish all my children's teachers were as upbeat and committed and encouraging as YOU! You great teachers make a difference, sometimes the ultimate difference, in a child's life. I wish there were more like you!!

Pseudo said...

Thanks for saying it. I love what I do and I love the kids. They are worth it.

However, I get tired (especially these days) of defending the profession to the judgemongers.

Sparkling said...

I'd like to get all of those bees in one hive and let them sting each other silly. Thank GOD we don't have a pool around here to generate even more rumors.

Wow, thank goodness I meet all of the criteria on your perfect teacher list. Bakin' cookies every mornin'... I never wanted a tall teacher though, I wanted teachers that were short enough that they could just talk to me, not bend way down to see me.

So, your kids get new clothes, backpacks and pencils? That would be an uplifting smell. My middle school kids sometimes walk in with the same nasty binder, rotten sneakers and filthy sweathshirts they were wearing as they walked out the door in June! And pencils? We actually need to bring our OWN pencils???? To school???? To each class?????????????

Ah the joys of the 11-14 year old monsters! Best years of your life, right?

Mel said...

No Mary Poppins here either, but I do have a passion for my kids and teaching. I think it's funny how people sweat getting those teacher letters with their child's class assignment. You are right though, that bee can come back and sting ya if you aren't careful!

MaryBeth said...

My question is, what teacher is going to win the lottery and get Frank for a student?
Great post and so true!

Gigi said...

I need to print this out and save it for a few moms I know that will be sending their little ones out to school for the first time in the next year or so....

I remember one teacher that my son had in elementary school - I could NOT stand her; to the point I made my husband go to the parent/teacher conferences alone. BUT, she was a good teacher/match (for the most part) for my son and he did very well with her, so for that reason I agree - those teachers YOU may not like may be the most PERFECT teacher for your child.

Can you believe this - I don't think I've ever seen Mary Poppins!

Anonymous said...

I live in the midwest, school started TODAY. Yes. Really. Rationale is first semester will be over before the holidays. I know it's insanely early but I think the kids are ready to be back in school

Cora said...

You had me at Mary Poppins. God, I love that movie! I don't know why I grew up to be a nanny....

Slow Panic said...

My kids started school last Thursday. Again, we have wonderful teachers. I am so thankful for all that you and all teachers do. so humbed by it. Thanks and good luck this year.

Working Mommy said...

I am honestly dreading the day (while simultaneously looking forward to it) that my kiddos go off to school. That means I will have to join the PTA and get involved in their education in the hopes that my involvement will help them succeed...because sometimes public schools can be dicey. Good luck with your journey!

WM