“What nerve! What do they think you do all day?”

Parents expect their teacher to write their child's party invitations
Source: TikTok | @ktlarson27

A teacher posted a TikTok about a mother who tried to get her to decide what invitations to send to her child’s birthday party.

Larson (@ktlarson27) detailed in her video that the mother in question had given one of her students a stack of envelopes to take to school.

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The ‘invitation’ that was sent to her to attend the party was almost like a barter exchange where she would individually write on all the invitation cards, place them in envelopes and then drop them into the appropriate mailboxes/boxes for each student.

The TikTokker explained that she wouldn’t do any of this for the parents. Countless people responded to her video, writing in the comments their own stories about abusive parents who think it’s okay to make such demands on teachers. They added that the image of the kind of work teachers do is largely inaccurate.

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Source: TikTok | @ktlarson27

Larson begins her video, which she records from her car, with the following statement:

“Okay, I’m having a good day today. Yesterday a parent asked me for a class list so they could invite all the kids to the birthday party, and I was invited to the birthday party too. Very nice. They said it was no problem. Today the stack of invitations arrived and I thought, I’ll just put them in the mailbox later,” she says.

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She continues: “So, no problem, we’re out all day. I wanted to spend the last 20 minutes of the day doing this. I wanted to put the invitations in the envelopes, fill them up because they weren’t filled up, and then put them in the mailbox. I opened them up, only the first invitation had text on it, the rest didn’t,” she says into the camera.

“And this parent sent me the information during the day and I thought it was for me because I was invited. No, I have to write all the invitations. No. I replied that I can’t write all the invitations and sent them home with the class list. No. I can’t,” the teacher says at the end of the video.

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Classroom invitations
Source: TikTok | @ktlarson27

Many people who commented on the video said they were shocked by the audacity of parents who thought they could essentially make the teacher their personal family secretary: “When I heard ‘the envelopes weren’t filled,’ I was out of it. How on earth did parents get the idea that this was okay?”

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Another said that this behavior from parents is a clear example of the fact that there are many people who are completely unaware of teachers’ working hours: “The fact that parents think teachers have time to address and wrap party invitations. We don’t have time to go to the bathroom, ma’am!!!”

Someone else said the teacher had enough work to do just helping plan the child’s birthday party: “Just putting them in the kids’ mailboxes was a nice gesture. Let the child do that too.”

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Classroom invitations
Source: TikTok | @ktlarson27

One user of the app said that the same thing often happens with Valentine’s cards: “This happens all the time with Valentine’s cards. They just send a sealed box of Valentine’s cards and expect teachers to write names on them and put them in envelopes.”

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One comment from someone indicated that there were so many problems with parents at their school that a rule was put in place prohibiting invitations of any kind. Presumably because parents still expected teachers to arrange the invitations for them: “Another reason why my school doesn’t allow invitations to be distributed at school.”

Other users of the app shared their own school party fails. For example, one parent decided to send their child to school with a birthday cake, but nothing to cut or serve it with: “One time a parent sent me a whole birthday cake, no plates, no napkins, no forks, no knives!”

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Classroom invitations
Source: TikTok | @ktlarson27

One TikTok user said the idea of ​​teachers pushing it all day prompted the mother to take this action: “Parents think you paint and babysit all day and that’s what you’re supposed to do!”

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According to a 2023 RAND Corporation study, teachers work about 53 hours per week. That’s seven hours more than the average working adult in the United States works week after week.

NEA today reported on these findings in an article that addresses perceptions of the nature of teachers’ work and the widespread underestimation of their work.

According to the Pew Research Center, one anonymous teacher said, “Teachers fulfill many roles that go beyond curriculum responsibility. We are counselors, behavioral experts, and parents of students who need us in these roles. We sacrifice much to devote ourselves fully to the role of teacher.”