Friday, September 30, 2011

Parents and Teachers, a stormy relationship

Good day, dear readers. 

I want to share this article I came across the other day written by Ron Clark, author of The Essential 55, The End of Molasses Classes, and The Excellent 11

Clark's article discussed the hazards teachers face daily when dealing with parents. It's a real eye-opening article and I very much encourage you to go read it. 

I'm a parent of two children. One that's recently graduated and one just entering jr high. I'm also a teacher. So I've been on both sides of the the conference table, so to speak. Which is why I found this article so intriguing. As a teacher, I was nodding my head in agreement. Yet, as a parent, I faltered a couple of times with a, "yeah, but..." 

So, I've decided to take Clark's key points, and discuss them from a parent/ teacher point of view. I would love to hear your own take on this article and what you struggle with when dealing with teachers/parents. 

I'm truly interested. 

Here's the article link: 

What teachers really want to tell parents

I know, as a teacher, that there is an underlying frustration when dealing with parents. Teachers see the children that come through their doors in a completely different perspective than a parent does. Where a parent sees this child as their baby, sees and knows their inner dreams and desires and sees them as simply a child. The teacher, on the other hand, see's this child as a student who has requirements that must be meant so they can move on to the next grade. They see this child as a person who will one day go out into the world and hopefully make a difference in society. They do not see this child as someone they are there to babysit. The teacher's goal is to educate and prepare the children in their classroom for this world.

In Clark's article, he made four points: 

Please quit with all the excuses

Parents, be a partner instead of a prosecutor

Teachers walk on eggshells dealing not only with angry parents, but district expectations and demands

Finally, deal with negative situations in a professional manner.

I wholeheartedly agree with Clark's claims. I've seen firsthand how parents get into the mindset that it's them against the establishment. Not all, but some. 

This is not the case. Parents, believe that in most cases, your child's teacher really does want what's best for your child. They are hired to teach a curriculum to a group of students and those students, including your child, must learn the curriculum. 

Not all children fit into that nice, neat box. Instead of getting mad, look for ways you can help. You're child's success in school depends on it. And no matter what, you are your child's best advocate. It's up to you to make sure your child gets what they need to succeed. 

Yes, there are some bad teachers out there. There are also some really rotten parents to. That's why it's of the utmost importance that you handle your self in a professional manner at all times. 

Read the article. Understand where teachers are coming from. When an issue arises with your child, handle it calmly and with open-mindedness. You will assure your child gets the best and most proper care possible when you do. 

The Queen

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