Skip To Content

    19 Things Teachers Really Want Parents And Students To Stop Doing In The Coronavirus Pandemic

    Pass it on.

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the globe, trapping all of us inside our homes for the foreseeable future, it's time we acknowledged some absolute HEROES among us: teachers.

    Natalia Fedosenko / Natalia Fedosenko/TASS

    Quarantine went into effect with many months left in the school year, and teachers are now working harder than ever to make sure students can continue their educations at home. We all owe them a HUGE debt of gratitude.

    Boston Globe / Getty Images

    I wanted to know if there was anything that WE can do β€” either as students, or as parents of students β€” to make teachers' lives a little bit easier right now. So I asked some teachers to weigh in anonymously from the front lines.

    Paul Simcock / Getty Images

    Here's what they want students and parents to know:

    1. Don't expect teachers to have all the answers right now.

    NBC

    Teachers are just as blindsided by this pandemic as the rest of us, and the directives coming from their bosses and local officials are changing every day. They don't know how long this will last or how it will impact the next school year. Be patient and take things one day at a time.

    2. Don't complain about the amount of work being assigned.

    Grapeimages / Getty Images

    Some might think it's too much work, others might think it's not enough. But at the end of the day, the teacher is only doing what they think is best for their students. Trust their expertise.

    3. Don't forget that teachers have more on their plate right now than just, well, teaching.

    Debbismirnoff / Getty Images

    At many schools, teachers have been busy making sure that their students have food, supervision, laptops, and Wi-Fi so they can keep learning at home in this crisis. There's a lot more to a teacher's job than you might realize.

    4. Don't expect a 100% perfect education right now.

    Bravo

    Trust that teachers are doing everything they can to keep students engaged in their education β€” but the unfortunate reality of this pandemic is that it will limit what classes are able to achieve. It sucks, but there's not much anyone can do about it.

    5. On the other hand, don't give up.

    NBC

    There's still a lot of valuable learning that can be done from home. So try your best, keep going, and don't get discouraged by these new challenges.

    6. Don't call or text teachers outside of their dedicated hours.

    CBS

    Many teachers have given their phone numbers to students and parents so they can be on-call for questions throughout the day. But remember that your teacher has a life outside of their job, and make sure you only contact them during whatever hours they've established.

    7. Don't imply that teachers should give up their paychecks just because the schools are closed.

    Pinstock / Getty Images

    Let's be real clear about this: This is not some fun vacation for teachers. In fact, their jobs have only gotten more challenging in the era of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Of course they still deserve paychecks.

    8. And if you're a parent, don't imply that YOU should get a cut of the teacher's paycheck just because you're home with your kid.

    Damircudic / Getty Images

    You're not making lesson plans, you're not grading papers, you're not teaching classes over Zoom. Yes, distance learning requires a lot of work and cooperation on the part of parents β€” but you are not the teacher.

    9. And while we're on the money topic, don't assume your teacher has financial security right now.

    Hill Street Studios / Getty Images

    We don't pay teachers nearly enough, and many educators work second jobs in restaurants or retail to make ends meet β€” jobs that have effectively vanished due to COVID-19. So please remember that your teacher may be struggling financially right now. (And let's all resolve to get them better paychecks when this nightmare is over, please.)

    10. Don't ask the teacher to repeat instructions that have already been posted somewhere or emailed to you.

    Giphy

    Before contacting the teacher for help, ask yourself: Could you find the answers you're looking for on the classroom website or in your email? Teachers are getting inundated with questions right now β€” cut them a break whenever you can.

    11. Don't blame teachers for the hiccups in digital learning.

    CBC

    Slow internet? Forgotten passwords? Accidentally closed a tab and lost your work? Digital learning is full of nuisances like this, but they're not your teacher's fault.

    12. Parents, don't email the teacher on behalf of your kid if they're old enough to do it themselves.

    Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

    Now's a good time to teach your kid how to self-advocate. If they're struggling with an assignment, guide them through the steps of asking for help.

    13. And if your kid isn't following directions or listening to you during "school" time, don't take out your frustrations on their teacher.

    Jgi / Getty Images

    FYI, if this is how they're acting at home, it's probably how they've been acting at school, too. Maybe now's a good time to teach better classroom behavior.

    14. And don't forget that teachers have kids of their own, too.

    Peopleimages / Getty Images

    Many parents complain that they have to do their jobs remotely AND help their kids with school. Well, here's a friendly reminder that many teachers have families of their own, too β€” they're juggling jobs and children just like everyone else.

    15. Another tip for parents: don't "backseat teach."

    Bravo

    Lessons are happening via Zoom these days, which means parents are now able to witness their children's classrooms in action. But this is not an invitation to interject, interrupt, or give feedback on the teacher's methods. Let the teacher do their job in peace.

    16. Don't turn your camera off during Zoom lessons.

    Boston Globe / Getty Images

    Teachers need to know that you're paying attention when they're teaching a lesson. So if they've requested that you keep your camera on while they teach, keep it on.

    17. And don't goof off, misbehave, or do inappropriate things on Zoom calls.

    First day of Zoom and he’s ripping bongs 🀣 πŸ’¨

    There's only one thing harder than trying to rein in 25 students in one room β€” trying to rein in 25 students in 25 different rooms. Help your teacher out and behave.

    18. Don't reach out to your teacher *only* when you have a complaint.

    Phongthorn Hiranlikhit / Getty Images

    Did a lesson go over particularly well? Was an activity they assigned really useful? Let them know β€” it's nice to hear what IS working, not just what ISN'T working.

    19. And finally, don't forget that teachers are people, too!

    E!

    Teachers are just as frustrated, confused, and anxious as the rest of us right now. So check in on them! Find little ways to brighten their day. Share pictures of your dog, send over a recipe you love, or show off a drawing you made in your free time. We're all in this mess together. Let's get out of it together, too.

    TL;DR: Be patient, try your best, and show some love for your teachers right now β€” they deserve it.

    Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

    Okay, now it's YOUR turn. If you work in education, sound off in the comments with the things that you wish students and parents would stop doing. We'll be taking notes.