Welcome to the '09 school year

Mister Teacher reposts his classic welcome letter with friendly reminders to parents at Learn Me Good.

Remember that school starts promptly at 8:00, and your child should be in his/her seat, ready to work when the bell rings. Please do NOT set your alarm clock for 7:55 and expect to get here in time for your child to have breakfast.

Students are to come to school every day with at least one sharpened pencil. If you can afford a PS3 and WWE Pay-Per-Views every other weekend, I’m sure you can afford a couple of lousy pencils.

Homework is to be done the night it is assigned — BY THE CHILDREN! We know that you mean well, but you’re really not helping if you don’t know your long division from your lines of symmetry. (You know who you are)

Via Lightly Seasoned, who’s wondering how raccoons broke in to her second-floor classroom.

About Joanne


  1. Robert Wright says:

    Friendly reminders?

  2. Margo/Mom says:

    I’m with Robert, those aren’t friendly reminders they are outright hostile. I have in fact received communication from schools that is about that cold and accusatory. When challenged, the response is always, “well, you don’t know some of our parents.” Unless and until schools get serious about cleaning up these kinds of attitudes (and that would include any such snide remarks that occur in the teacher’s lounge as well as the ones that folks are silly enough to put in writing and actually publish), there is not much hope that they will ever be able to build the kinds of networks within and among parents and the communities that are needed for developmentally healthy environments.


  3. Margo, we went through all this last year, didn’t we? Joanne only posted an excerpt here on her site, but I went out of my way this year to preface this with an introductory statement:

    “This is a very tongue-in-cheek “Welcome” letter to be sent home with kids on the first day of school. Please take it as it is intended, that is, with a grain of salt. I am not passing judgement on parents, teachers, or students. I am just having a little fun. No offense is intended.”

    Neither I nor anyone else at my school has actually sent home this letter or anything like it. I’m very sorry if you are truly offended by this humor post, but the statements are hardly hostile. Now some of what I’ve read YOU post about teachers — there has been some hostility there for sure.

    Relax, and please stop taking everything so seriously. I will not be responding to any further comments from you, so please don’t wasted your cyber breath.

  4. Margo/Mom says:

    Wow, Mr. Teacher,

    It’s much more clear to me now that you don’t have any issues with parents. Sorry!

  5. Mr. Teacher: As an AP English teacher, let me assure you that satire is the most difficult writing to understand. Every year I have at least one student who swears up and down that they really do eat babies in Ireland.

  6. “…let me assure you that satire is the most difficult writing to understand.”

    In America, yes; don’t assume that’s the case for the rest of the world.

    Look at Lawrence Durrell’s “Esprit de corps” or “Sauve qui peut”. Wonderful humour, but I doubt they’d be appreciated in the US.

  7. I don’t always agree with Margo/Mom, but I do on this one. Ok…so the writing is satire…many a truth is spoken in jest….

    Maybe Mister Teacher and LS’s school treat their parents with respect, but…

    I have already recieved a letter from my kids’ school that echoes the welcome letter. It told me that I needed to feed my children before sending them to school and make sure they get a good night’s sleep.

    Of course, any questioning about these type of letters, which come home throughout the school year, lead to comments that include “of course, you have to understand the audience we serve”

  8. Jane, maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but are you saying that a teacher suggesting that your child get a good night’s sleep is offensive?

  9. LOL. Ragnarok doesn’t know the history of the allusion.

  10. Mister Teacher…

    Actually, I do find it offensive. My kids eat and sleep good enough, and they tend to behave in class. I don’t really need a teacher two decades younger than me who doesn’t have a clue how to dress (if someone can tell what kind of underwear you have on, it is not professional dress) or act professionally telling me how to raise my kids.

    I suspect that I have too often heard blanket condemnation of parents of the children in my kids’ elementary school. And the school using this blanket condemnation as an excuse as to why the school can’t teach any of the children.

    I have heard that the school can’t teach the low kids because…”well, you know what that population is like”

    I have also heard that the school can’t teach the high kids because they have to deal with the low kids.

    And most of all, I have heard what you wrote in your welcome letter only slightly prettied up.

  11. “LOL. Ragnarok doesn’t know the history of the allusion.”

    Which, the one about eating babies in Ireland?

  12. Jane, if someone told you to “Drive safe” on your way home from a party, would you be offended that they were implying that you don’t know how to drive? I just think you’re taking offense at things that arent meant in a sinister light at all. A teacher — or anyone! — suggesting that your kids get a good night’s sleep and/or eat a healthy breakfast every morning isn’t a condemnation of your parenting skills, it’s just a friendly reminder to show that they care as well as you do.

    And sorry to be critical, but it seems to me that while you are taking offense for thinking they are judging you, you are passing judgement on them with your comments about their attire. Just an observation.

  13. Rag: Swift’s audience — non-Americans, btw — thought he was being serious.

  14. And that proves – what?

  15. Mister Teacher,

    I AM passing judgment on them based on their appearance. They are in the workplace, not a night club. They should dress appropriately.

    Of course, my judgement is based on what I see. I don’t think I have given them any reason to believe I don’t feed my children or put them to bed at night.

  16. That some people not getting satire is, actually, the case in the rest of the world. Since I could cite many, many literary examples dating back to the 17th c., it’s not an idea I’m just pulling out of my butt.

  17. “That some people not getting satire is, actually, the case in the rest of the world.”

    That’s a truism, and almost a tautology.

    My point was that satire and related forms of humour – like irony – are more popular in other parts of the world. England comes to mind.

  18. Nonsense, I say! Actually, I don’t know if they’re *more* popular, but I’m sure you’d agree that satire and irony run rampant in American entertainment.