An Open Letter to Parents

Today, I was peed on while I held back a girl’s hair so that she could puke into a sink. This was an hour or two after I already cleaned up said girl’s puke from a table and the floor. No, I am not in college.  Never RSVPed to those kinds of parties anyway…

No, no party. Just a typical day in the life of a Kindergarten teacher.

Due to this experience, as well as a few others of sick children coming to school I have decided to write an open letter to any and all parents who have thought about or followed through with sending their child to school ill.

Dear Parents,

Teachers are not baby-sitters. When your child pukes three times before school that is a good indication that she/he should STAY HOME.  If your child wants to go to school, of course you should still send them to a classroom where kids regularly forget to wash their hands (no matter how many reminders they get), kiss each other in fake weddings (Kindergarten is where it happens), and rub their booger loving fingers over every and any surface. Because the child obviously knows what’s best, and the smaller ones actually like school. A lot. So yeah, send them please, especially when they have a slight fever and say that are a-okay. The child knows what’s best.

Earlier this year my grade-teaching partner missed two days of school after being sick all weekend because a student in his class came to school the Monday and Tuesday of the week before while he was sick (the boy missed the rest of the week of school). The same two days my grade teaching partner was out 8-11 kids out of the 27 Kindergartners from both classes were home sick. This helped me out since I had to teach both classes, actually. Throughout the next two weeks different kids were dropping like flies, not being able to come to school because they kept getting each other sick. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS when you send a child to school with a virus. The sickness SPREADS.

This is a true story, a girl showed up to school and said, “I threw up twice this morning.” What? WHY ARE YOU HERE? This girl threw up again before lunch and was sent home. Sorry, that wasn’t really addressed to you, the parents, it was just an example.

Here’s another example. A parent actually told her daughter not to eat lunch at school because she knew she was sending her to school with a virus that the girl’s little brother was just getting over. After the girl puked twice, peed her pants, and was waiting in the nurse’s office to be picked up she told me through sniffles that her little brother had thrown up five times. She was implying that she was glad she had only thrown up twice. How do I know this? Because she said it and then smiled. This is before she told me her mom told her not to eat lunch.

I am not making this up.

Is there really anything I can write in this letter that you don’t already know, dear parents? Probably not. But maybe, just maybe…Could you think about the teachers who invest an obscene amount of time into trying to create the next generation of responsible, educated, adults? Teachers. Not baby-sitters (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with baby-sitters, I have done that job too.)

Teaching is so much more effective when we aren’t cleaning up puke and washing pee off of our pants.

Sincerely,

A teacher who really does love her job and will continue to clean up puke and poop (yes, that happens too).

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