What teachers really want to tell parents – A CNN story

As a parent, I felt a little defensive a couple of times while reading this.  At the same time, I have to agree with 99% of what it says.

We have loads of extremely competent teachers.  We have a great number of exceptional teachers. And we have some who could perhaps do better in another profession. In the context of the first two groups, I am 100% on board with the crux of this article. In the context of the few teachers who may be in the wrong profession? It really cannot apply.

Read the article here.




1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Education, Redistribution

One response to “What teachers really want to tell parents – A CNN story

  1. Kathy Taylor

    I am a parent who over the last 20 years has dealt with many principals and teachers. I’ve seen how the school system has changed. When i was a kid and we misbehaved, we had to write lines, sat in front of the principal’s office during a few lunch hours and we were guided to fix our mistakes (e.g. wash tables if we wrote on them).

    Twenty years ago, one principal would have students sit in her office for an hour listening to opera music. I remember the parent asking their child, how much time did they spend in the principal’s office when their son started singing opera songs in another language while playing with his lego (this technique actually did work and the child decided on his own that he would now rather play outside and stopped the unwanted behaviour).

    Now, for every unwanted behaviour at school, tickets go home. This new system makes parents feel that they have to resolve the problem which more often than not, can’t be effectively done from home. I believe that this system has involved parents more than they should be involved and has caused many of the problems we see today.

    If a child cheats on a test, let them finish. During the next lunch break, call them in to retake a surprise test. Let it be a learning experience when they see that they’ve failed and the only person that they are cheating is themselves. Labeling them “a criminal” by no means teaches them anything and isn’t teaching the reason we’re all there?

    Stop focusing on the problem and try focusing on the solution. My youngest became a behavioural problem when he started school. During the first meetings, they described some of the things he was doing but none of these behaviours were mirrored at home. It was hard for me to picture him doing the things that they were describing. I never said that I didn’t believe them but the teachers and principal banned together and got on the defensive. I agreed to back them up and followed their suggestions. It was a nightmare. Things only got worse. I later brought him in to see a psychologist to have him evaluated. It was discovered that he had a learning difficulty, his behaviour was a reflection of his frustrations and fears at school and by extending the pressures at home, he no longer had a safe place where he could get away from the pressure for awhile. Had his learning difficulty been addressed, his language disability (he had a hard time understanding everything that was going on around him which was frightening for him etc) understood/dealt with and had my reaction to the first meetings not been looked at as being the parents with blinders on, maybe we could have focused on the actual problem sooner,

    While I’m sure some parents can be very difficult, the school belongs to the teachers, staff and students. Get together to find solutions instead of always focusing on the problem. Use your imagination to find solutions to help teach children responsibility in productive ways. Calling a child a criminal, suspending/expelling (kids see is as a vacation, parents an inconvenience and I see it as labeling kids disposable or subhuman because many of the things we say to kids, we would never say to another adult) is counter productive and leaves room for lawyers. With all of the great minds within the system, I’m sure that you could come up with better than that. And listen to the parents. Admit when there is a weakness within the system because by misleading everyone that the system is perfect, no solution can be attained. In my own personal situation, only when some admitted to the problems, lack of services, lack of training, budget etc were we able to move forward with alternatives.

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