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How much to tell teacher in a new school year?

For The Baltimore Sun

We've survived the first week of school and I'm not sure who had more homework, the kids or I. I had to write my contact information for every one of my middle school student’s six teachers. Really, can’t the school give the teachers this information so I only have to write it once? And if it was OK to give my son a cough drop last year, it’s still OK this year.

I also signed up to get grade reports for my kids, although I’m thinking it's time to stop nagging my high school junior about doing his homework. If he doesn't care about getting good grades and getting into college, why should I? Of course, when I consider the prospect of feeding him and paying his cell phone bills for the next several decades, I get a bit nervous.

But I think the hardest assignments the teachers give to parents the first week are those requests to "tell me a bit about your child."  Do you wonder how truthful you should be? Should you tell a teacher when your child hates that teacher's subject? Should you say your kid would happily spend all day playing video games if you let him? Or do you say¸ "My child loves to learn, especially your subject!" I’ve opted to tell the truth and still put a spin on it. (My son enjoys video games and math.)

I figure the teachers are going to find out soon enough what kind of kid he is.

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