LOVE AND LOGIC
First of all, I’d like to apologize to the many teachers of my youth who put their heart and soul into trying to maintain order with me sitting in their classrooms. I wasn’t a downright malevolent child—I simply liked to keep things entertaining by continually testing the sense of humor of my instructors. My tenth-grade biology teacher passed the test with flying colors when he reacted to the frog cadaver that I managed to hang from the ceiling tile above my desk. “Mr. Fay,” he replied with a dry smile, “Life around here would be so dull without you.”
The teachers of my youth had plenty of such challenges, but they never had to endure the incredible education and health issues now facing our teachers. The pandemic has enormously exacerbated the difficulties they must overcome as they endeavor to educate our children. I know that many of us would like to show our appreciation and gratitude for what they do.
Our teachers are simply amazing!
Centuries ago, I presume, a tradition developed whereby parents felt compelled to provide a tangible expression of their gratitude toward teachers. The original motivations for this tradition are unclear. Some might have been prompted by genuine appreciation; others might have been spurred by guilt and attempts to atone for the unruly classroom conduct of their children; some might have had darker motivations, such as hoping that a small payoff would “grease the wheels” a bit toward a better grade for their child.
At Love and Logic, we believe that the best gift we can give our teachers stems from our own parenting. The most wonderful display of our appreciation is to send them students truly ready to be respectful, responsible, and eager to learn. No doubt this gift also benefits our children, who will rise to the top when equipped with such character attributes.
Listed below are just a few things you can do:
• Make sure that your kids overhear you saying positive things about their school and their teachers.
• Ensure that they are doing chores without reminders at home, so that they know how to do their school assignments without reminders.
• Allow very little time with technology, including video games, texting, surfing the web, watching videos, television, etc. These activities make it more difficult for our children to remain calm and content as they focus on their school activities.
• Have family meals together, where you enjoy each other and talk about all of the things you’ve learned during the day.
During this pandemic, it can be tough for both teachers and their students. Keeping things positive can go a long way toward helping your children learn while showing teachers that we appreciate their hard work and dedication.
Thanks for reading! And thanks for raising great kids who have what it takes to benefit from the privilege of schooling!
Dr. Charles Fay