Things I Hate About Teachers

Asking a young child to make something they evidently cannot.

We’ve made treasure chests from perfume boxes and houses from shoe boxes. We have even made the inside of the Tardis together. A slightly bigger shoe box for that one, from husband-sized feet. Lots of foil containers for that space-age effect. I was quite proud of that one.

When I say we made these things together, I mean I was there and said child was there. Child wants to make it but doesn’t know how so basically watches while I do most of it, occasionally helping out with bits of sellotape and essentially useless advice.

Our last effort was a lighthouse for a book study on ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.’

As guilty as I feel about doing these tasks I figure I’m helping, working with my child, showing them the ropes. Togetherness and all that. Then I see the other ‘children’s’ masterpieces and I realise that my pathetic little attempts are sadly wanting in the face of such gargantuan effort. Nobody said anything about developing a pulley system to showcase the lighthouse and ensure lunch was provided.

I’ve been had.

And does the teacher know that these wonderful efforts are not all the children’s own work? Darn tooting she does. What’s the point? The only person who gets real satisfaction from it is the parent who is keen to show off their expertise in construction and engineering.

My worst and positively worst attempt at making anything was a homemade Easter bonnet.

Due in for the following day.  So no pressure then.

With no imagination and even less equipment I attempted to create something Eastery from nothing for my son’s nursery Easter parade.

After some truly awful attempts, some glasses of red to keep myself and my visiting sister-in –law company, I settled on one of the least of my truly awful attempts.

Armed with only a pair of scissors and a stapler and some more red wine, I emptied the plastic corn flake filled insert from a box of Mr Kelloggs’s own making and set to work.

The enormous red chicken on the front of the packet was cut out and stapled to a cardboard headband, modelled for size by said sister-in-law as the one useful thing she could offer to the totally useless mess I was creating.

And voila.

One Easter bonnet.

Son was delighted. I was less so when I had to attend the parade. Usually I miss all these events because I’m busy holding the self-same event in my school.

When I saw the children appear in their finery I could have cried. Who thinks up these magnificent creations and who the hell has got the time to make them? And were all those fluffy chickens and cute little Easter eggs all just lying about in their houses? Or, thinking about it, did those parents raid their child’s schoolbag early enough in the week to have some notice of the event, thereby enabling them to buy the bloody stuff?

Every child strutted their yellow fluffy stuff around the hall and my boy was equally proud.

At least, I think it was pride that was causing the red flush on his face.

I slid as far down my plastic bucket seat as was humanly possible and cringed. Helpful sister-in-law was nowhere in sight.


6 thoughts on “Things I Hate About Teachers”

    1. I think if it’s patently obvious that the child can’t do the task then it must be equally obvious to the teacher that it was done by/with the parent. I don’t know many children who can create and operate a pulley system.
      As a teacher, I appreciate all help a parent can give their child but it becomes nonsense when the task is beyond the scope of the child.
      Most of us have got more to do with our lives than try to impress the teacher. If we didn’t manage it the first time round, why bother now?!x


  1. Ah yes, the children with the perfect art work and yes, the parents had an inside spy to tell them of such tasks 4 days ahead of you for sure! I think some teachers forget that parents ALL work and don`t realize the capabilities of their students…unrealistic demands on youths. Thank goodness you`re not like those teachers!:) My kids`best elementary teachers were mothers themselves.


    1. My favourite type of homework for giving as well as for my own children receiving is research.
      ‘Find out all you can about (eg) ‘The Circus’ and then tell what you know.’
      A bit of google, lots of chat with parents and a verbal recall. And no corrections to speak of!
      Even the shyest of kids can give one piece of information.
      ‘Jigsaw’ learning where everyone finds out something and contributes to the picture.
      I hate having to make things.
      It never dawned on me that people might have ‘insider’ knowledge. How naive am I?x


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