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Lockers in empty high school corridor

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Every parent wants to make a good impression on their children’s teachers, but ask any teacher what the hardest part of their job is, and there’s a good chance they will say: parents. (OK, they might also say bureaucracy or mandatory testing but we bet annoying parents are right up there.) So, how do you avoid being THAT parent? Here, teachers from preschool through high school tell us 9 things parents do that drive teachers crazy:

1. Give them yet another coffee mug as a back-to-school gift.

Liz Zahn teaches elementary school, and says teachers grow tired of adding mug after mug to their kitchen cabinets, when there are more useful things parents could gift them with at the start of the school year.

“I have about a hundred mugs – they’re the go-to teacher gift,” said Zahn.

Zahn suggests giving your child’s teacher a more helpful back-to-school gift, such as school supplies or a gift card they can use to treat themselves after a long day.


2. Ignore information from the school, and then complain that you don’t know what’s going on.

Melva, who asked that we not use her last name to avoid offending current parents, has been teaching elementary school for nearly 40 years. She says, in a world where parents spend all day checking Facebook, she finds it frustrating to hear them say they don’t have time to check the school website for information, read the school newsletter or check their child’s backpack for notes that are sent home.

“Many schools are going green, so less and less is coming home in hard copy – but if you request hard copies, they will send it,” she said. “Usually it is spelled out what online communication a school uses in the first few newsletters. But it’s also important to check that backpack!”

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