Teachers describe the perfect parent

PORTLAND -- As you made your way through this back-to-school week, you may have talked about whether you like your child s new teacher.

What happens when you ask teachers what they appreciate in parents?

Teachers from some of the area s largest districts weighed in on the question.

It turns out it s not about the volunteer hours or the tasty snacks.

It s about helping your child learn independence.

Some of the parents come in and unpack the backpack and write everything down and the child never learns to do it himself, said McKinley Elementary teacher Debbie Starr.

If there are helicopter parents hovering about, there are also the seldom seen stealth parents and those that fly somewhere in between.

In a classroom, you ll have the whole range, added Starr.

Oh the perfect parent? You want me to define that, laughed Alameda Elementary teacher Karla Hudson. Well it begins at the start of school. I like when they develop a relationship with me right away.

Other parental pluses from our teachers: Set a positive example. Your kids should see you complimenting staff members and their classmates. Promote a love of reading and show your child that what you learn in school matters in life.

If you re going to the grocery store have your kid compare prices . . . If you re building something have them measure. Show your child what they re learning is relevant to life, one teacher recommended.

The teachers understand life is busy but think that for some parents there needs to be more focus on family.

Just spend time with your kid eat with them, walk with them, take them outside. Get away from the screen and take the TV out of the bedroom, advised Wy East Middle School teacher Jennifer Bass.

With teachers class loads often numbering into hundreds of students. Teachers also appreciate the patient parent.

A parent that knows that their kids are going to make mistakes and teachers are going to make mistakes. That s the ideal parent, concluded Bass.


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