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Advice to Parents, From a Teacher

Advice to Parents, From a Teacher

Tom Brandon in front of school bus

I have been blessed to be an educator, coach and bus driver for over thirty years. The rewards in these occupations are not found in the monetary but in the relationships that you are able to develop with students who often share with you the wonder of the everyday world that we as adults have long taken for granted.

If I had the opportunity to share with parents some insight to the thoughts of those that their child interacts with each day, I would share these few.

On Success:

Your child’s teacher wants your child to succeed just as much as you want them to. Though your child may only be in our classroom for one year we will always refer to them as “One of my kids.” Because we take great pride in what they become and achieve in this life. We too have an investment in them through time, joy, worry, and some tears.

On Trust:

Give all that are in the education system the benefit of the doubt. The saying holds true, “We won’t believe everything your child says about you, if you don’t believe everything they say about us.” There are always two sides to each story. We are always willing to talk to you about your child because we care about them too, but wait to make up your mind, until you know the whole story.


The respect that you show and give to those who care for your child in the education system is the same type of respect that your child will also show them.

On Encouragement:

Make my day. Be as willing to praise as you are to criticize. If we have thirty parents that are happy with the job that is being done and have one that is unhappy, it will be the one that is unhappy that we will hear from and that is the one that will stay on our mind. Everyone needs a little pat on the back from time to time.

On Riding the Bus

    • Your child’s bus driver does not drive the bus because they couldn’t find anything else to do. They drive because they love their job and feel like they are providing a valuable service, carrying a cargo whose value cannot me measured. They are professionals that have gone through many hours of training and continue in that training every year. They have laughed with your child, cleaned up after your child when they were sick, and have wiped your child’s tears. Their foremost thought is that your child gets to school safely each and every school day and will do whatever they have to do to make sure that happens. They take their job seriously and they care about and for your child.
    • If possible have someone at the door, the school bus drops off at the same time each day, to give us a wave so we know that the little ones have gotten in and are not alone.
    • A potted cactus is never a good idea to let a student carry onto the bus even if it is show and tell day.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Brandon has been an educator for many years at a small rural school in north Alabama. He has worked with kids as a teacher, coach, and bus driver and has served on a number of education advisory councils. His awards include Teacher of the Year at his local school, the Coca-Cola Always Teaching Award, and the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Award. His latest job is Madison County Commissioner. His book, Mr. Brandon’s School Bus should be on every parent & teacher’s Must List.

    Photo credit: Emily Stephens of Salt of the Earth Photography

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