Friday, May 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Teachers, Take my kids, please

“I'm not ready for school to start."

The parent of a teenager has never uttered those words.

Perhaps when they were younger, I may have missed the arts and crafts, play dates and day trips to local attractions.

Now? With teenagers? I started salivating about Aug. 20 on June 15.

Of course, there are people dreading the return of the education grind: the 6 a.m. alarm; dragging children out of bed by their toes; yellow buses clogging roads and extending commute times.

It's not pretty, folks — and sometimes it grows even more difficult for teachers.

Whether it's third grade or 11th, I don't know how they do it. There is no "easy" grade to teach. They all bring their own difficulties, just in different degrees.

I know there are some teachers who maybe should have chosen a different profession. But in reality, there are many who enjoy it and try to do their best.

As parents, we just don't like to hear what an outsider has to say. It's easier to believe that we've done everything correctly than accepting that some of our earlier parenting decisions have brought on unintended consequences.

None of us are perfect.

Instead of requesting a new teacher, we should listen. Leave room for the possibility that the teacher has valid points and that we have some reasonable adjustments to make at home.

I'm not sure that alerting your child you will move him/her to a new teacher at the first sign of friction is a good lesson. Children learn very early on how to manipulate adults. And we, as parents, are more susceptible to their maneuvers than we realize.

Go into this year with an open mind. Leave pride and ego at home and take what the teacher has to say as constructive criticism. They aren't implying you have done everything wrong. They love children, or they wouldn't be able to do this job. They see trends and want to help you make corrections before things get out of hand.

And like it or not, the child you get at home, certainly is not the child the teacher always gets at school. You don't have 23 other children in the living room daring him or her to take little Suzie's pencil. It's a whole different ball game inside those four walls.

Sometimes it's an improvement over what you get. Sometimes they feel one teacher can't possibly see everything going on in the classroom and discover their mischievous side.

I've had my fair share of calls from teachers and principals, in elementary, middle and high school. They know me by my first name. When I knew it was them calling, I would answer, "Who do I have to punish?" and I would chuckle. It lightened the mood. They dread those phone calls and I understand why.

I will tell you most of the time, my kids were at fault. On some occasions, I had to go to bat for my kids and disagree with the school. I won every time, likely because I was kind, patient and gave them the benefit of the doubt.

So I will feel compassion for the teachers answering the early alarms, as well as my kids who will cry at the 6 a.m. wakeup call.

But I am ready for Tuesday.

I'm so over going home for lunch and finding condensation on the windows because someone put the air on 72 degrees.

By the end of the day, it looks like 37 people moved in and dumped their personal belongings all over the floor in almost every room.

And my grocery bill? It triples over the summer. I always joke I'm going to feed them each a tapeworm to decrease their appetite. What used to be two weeks' worth of groceries suddenly only lasts five days.

I'm ready to welcome back a clean house, lower electric bill and food in the fridge.

Heather Tempesta is a Brandon mother of two sons, 17 and 10, and a daughter, 15.

Comments
An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

Recently I was asked to create a playlist for a summer beach party. An opportunity to procrastinate and mess around on Spotify for a few hours? Yeah, totally, when can I start?I like playlists that are diverse, not just in terms of genre (pop, hip-ho...
Published: 05/24/18
9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

Itís hard not to think of the Forrest Gump line: "One day it started raining, and it didnít quit for four months." If you are looking for something to do while the current deluge continues, we have some suggestions. There are obvious choices, like ma...
Published: 05/24/18

Tell Me About It: Busy mom wants to check her priorities

Q: As a mother of three young kids holding a full-time job and with a husband who frequently works late evenings and some weekends, I feel my priorities change according to what is in front of me at the time, then Iím reconsidering my choices later.H...
Published: 05/24/18
Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Our editors' picks for things to do this weekend.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival This year, there are twice the bartenders and a new RFID wristband system for less waiting at the two-day Tampa Bay Margarita Festival with a margarita flavor for every taste. Music headliners are the Wallflow...
Published: 05/23/18
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Published: 05/23/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

SHORTS: Art and Short Film Mini-Fest A fundraiser for the [email protected] brings an Art and Short Film Mini-Fest to the studio Thursday, May 24. There will be four short films, an exhibit of artwork by Corinne Leavengood and photography by Diana Lucas Le...
Published: 05/23/18
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNFís US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNFís US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last yearís Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampaís largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Published: 05/23/18
5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

1 Tibetan Monksí Mandala: As part of a Sacred Art Tour, eight Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks from India will be at the Florida CraftArt Galleries for a week to create a sand mandala of the Green Tara, a female representation of the Buddha of Compassion....
Published: 05/23/18

Tell Me About It: Mother-in-law is a habitual line stepper

Mother-in-law is a habitual line stepper"target="_blank">Mother-in-law is a habitual line stepperQ: My son and his family recently moved back to our area. I feel Iíve missed so many milestones, though I did make the effort to visit them every month ...
Published: 05/23/18