Last week we published an article entitled: Parent Resource: A Template Letter to Teachers. The article centered around a parent letter to teachers in public school that would help open lines of communication regarding issues of gender, sexuality, procreation, etc. We’ve received a bunch of encouragement and are glad it’s been so well received. Along with the encouragement, there were a couple of great questions we thought it worth writing a short follow up this week. Here are those questions:
What do you expect the teacher to do when these issues come up organically in class (e.g., Tim has two dads or Tina wants to be called Brian)? We expect that teachers would let us know of pre-planned curriculum teaching through any teaching method. The things that come up in class aren’t planned and we don’t need an email every time something like that comes up. That would be a huge burden. We want to be proactive with our teachers but also give them grace as they manage 20-30 kids from 20-30 different families for 8 hours a day. If these items come up and our kids let us know, we’ll address it with them in age-appropriate ways.
Will you keep your kids out of the class the next day if the teacher informs you of the content to come? The short answer is “We might.” It will depend on our kid, their level of maturity, their sensitivity, the content, and frankly, the disposition of the teacher. We want to raise well-informed and resilient kids. At some points, our kids will live in the real world as adults, we don’t want to leave them ill-equipped for the gravity of that moment by avoiding these issues. We also don’t want to awaken things in our kiddos that they just aren’t equipped to understand or integrate. Each kid is different. Each topic is different. Each teacher is different.
One other thought to consider as you partner with your teacher: Don’t let this letter be the only time they hear from you this year. Write them encouraging notes. Give them a $5 Starbucks Card. Stop by just to say hi and see how they’re doing — they’ll want to talk about your kiddo but you should care about them. Volunteer if you can. Make gluten free, egg free, peanut free, fun free brownies if you can. Pray for your teacher. Love your teacher.
Hope this was helpful!