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5 things parents should never do, according to a teacher

What's your teacher thinking when your kid messes up?
/ Source: TODAY

Being a teacher is like parenthood accelerated: you learn a lot about children — and yourself.

It's why Melissa Salguero, the music director at Wings Academy High School in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City, is sharing her acquired wisdom after 15 years in the classroom.

Here are five things Salguero would never do when it comes to poor grades, teacher gifts and yes, those never-ending school fundraiser emails.

Never punish a child for receiving 'bad' grades

If your child comes home with a less-than-impressive mark on an essay or homework assignment, try not to scold.

"Punishing a child for bad grades can have negative consequences on their motivation and love for learning," Salguero, a recipient of the 2018 Music Educator Award tells TODAY. She cites increased anxiety and lower motivation and self-esteem as possible effects for children who are penalized for poor grades.

Instead, says Salguero, "(Kids) need support not punishment."

Try to meet your child with understanding and remember that the teacher's door is always open.

Never miss a child's school performance (unless it can't be helped!)

"Going to your child’s school events like plays or games, is important because it shows them you care and value their hard work," says Salguero. She adds that being present for special events lets parents form relationships with each other and with teachers to build stronger communities.

Of course, parents cannot be everywhere all at once. If you can't make the school play or academic ceremony, tag-teaming with a partner or asking a family member or friend to attend and take photos is a fine substitute when work or other obligations arise.

Your child will appreciate a familiar face in the audience, and you'll have a tangible memory to treasure for years to come.

Never participate in a school fundraiser

How many parents have received emails and text messages about a school bake sale, restaurant night or auction they either can't attend or afford to support?

While the proceeds of school fundraisers can help purchase school supplies and fund field trips along with other extracurricular activities, they're not always affordable for the average parent. And contests in which students compete for how much money they can raise can exclude kids if they don't meet expectations.

Salguero says parents should take the pressure off themselves.

"I believe schools should be provided the tools and resources they need to provide our children with a high-quality education," she says. If parents always open their wallets, she says, it sets a precedent that when budgets are low, parents (even ones struggling financially) will pick up the tab.

"I would speak up and advocate for our schools to get more money so they have what they need to teach our kids," she offers.

Never discourage children from making mistakes

Making mistakes is not only an inevitable reality, but also a chance for kids to learn about themselves.

Through problem solving, says Salguero, children grow their confidence and become resilient. And when mistakes happen, parents can step in.

"By letting them make mistakes, I’m showing that I trust and believe in them and am there to support them," explains Salguero.

Salguero isn't suggesting that parents watch children make unsafe choices.

"Let them forget their permission slips or forget their lunch," she explains, "then teach them to think critically about creative ways to problem solve."

Never give teachers coffee mugs as gifts

While teachers appreciate any and all gifts (really, it's not necessary!), follow Salguero's rule of thumb.

"We have enough mugs and fruit baskets," she says.

If you really want to show a teacher that he or she made a difference in your child's life, think along these lines: A handmade card or drawing from your student or small tokens that are personally tailored to your teacher's favorite things.

“The most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received were from kids expressing their thanks and appreciation for me," says Salguero. "That’s all we need as teachers!”