What a Parent Who Used To Be a Teacher Really Want to Say to Parents And Teachers.

I had a request from ********* to post the comments I had written on a fb comments thread on a CNN article What Teachers Really Want To Tell Parents.

In between the time it took for me to post this another article responding to it appeared here

The original responses I made on my fb comments thread on Sept 10 to the CNN article : What Teachers Really Want To Tell Parents  (as is) is in blue.  My expanded comments (for context) if necessary will be in Italics. 

I like the first line :

“I just cant deal with parents anymore; they’re killing us.”  

– Send the kids back to the parents. 😀  

Why don’t they? A parent is almost as qualified if not better qualified to teach their own children than a school teacher is – for many, many reasons outside the context of this article. Don’t believe me? Think about it logically : Both teachers and parents went through the same K-12 education. All things being equal they studied the same content. Unless you’re trying to tell me for 12 years of their education their teachers had pre-selected an elite bunch of students to teach better to knowing one day this elite bunch will become the next generation of teachers. – I doubt it!

You don’t need a college degree to teach K-12! Technically, the government asks for it –  as part and parcel of bureaucratic incest – but it’s just academic inflation –  the same way you find degree holders working in Starbucks. Why would anyone need a college degree to teach something they themselves have already gone through and presumably mastered ? Look at university professors. They have PhDs in just about anything except teaching and they’re doing – erm, fine. 

You don’t need a degree in teaching to teach. And if you don’t believe me just take a look at university professors. 

So why is it exactly that these teachers aren’t sending the kids back? Simply because they would be out of a job. Taa daa!

Read between the lines. It’s not about teachers having a hard time in school. It’s about teachers who are too lame to leave the system aka too lame to do the job they were paid to do in the first place – babysit students, make them potentially useful for future labor markets while governments cream their parents in real time for what these parents are worth by saturating them with propaganda in order for parents to help these teachers keep those kids in school. 

‎”And if you really want to help your children be successful, stop making excuses for them. I was talking with a parent and her son about his summer reading assignments. He told me he hadn’t started, and I let him know I was extremely disappointed because school starts in two weeks.”

Totally. Can we see the forest for the trees? People shouldn’t be assigned reading. Reading should be pleasurable and self-driven to read. 

Hey, I have a class of teens who can’t even read ONE chapter ahead but u know what – I just decided I’m not going to conduct the class by chapters, I’m going to conduct the class by what needs to be learned, “today”. So it took about 2 months more than chapter-by-chapter but the learning outcomes was worth the extra extended 2-months.

Apart from parents not making excuses for kids we also have to make kids accountable for what they do or not do. Forest from the trees, again.

“Some parents will make excuses regardless of the situation, and they are raising children who will grow into adults who turn toward excuses and do not create a strong work ethic.”

Wait – you mean, Industrial Slaves? Hey teacher, the #1 reason why people stop having the drive to do something is because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing it for.

” If you don’t want your child to end up 25 and jobless, sitting on your couch eating potato chips, then stop making excuses for why they aren’t succeeding. Instead, focus on finding solutions.” 

This is starting to get ridiculous. A person not having a job has nothing to do with the person. It’s got everything to do with their sense of loss of purpose and role and of shifting dynamics in the economy – i.e. they were dumbed down and schooled for jobs that existed 20 years ago.

‎”And parents, you know, it’s OK for your child to get in trouble sometimes.” 

I know. But when they do and I don’t want to come to school to hear you complain you say I’m not responsible. I don’t care if she got herself into trouble. What I care is how you reacted to it : you judged her, judged her worth and her value as a person by the systems you created to punish her. You set her up to fail in the first place. Why mark an assignment? Why not treat it as a collaborative process where no marks are given….just working through the process until everyone learns how to create something super?

‎”The truth is, a lot of times it’s the bad teachers who give the easiest grades, because they know by giving good grades everyone will leave them alone. In all honesty, it’s usually the best teachers who are giving the lowest grades, because they are raising expectations.”

How about we completely do away with grading altogether and concentrate on learning and other more abstract, dynamic processes that lead to great self-esteem, self-directedness, creativity, problem-solving, humor, kindness, collaboration, maturity, etc?

‎”Before you challenge those low grades you feel the teacher has “given” your child, you might need to realize your child “earned” those grades and that the teacher you are complaining about is actually the one that is providing the best education.” 

Total bullshit. You’re there to teach not judge my child. I have every right to say this because I never judge my students. There are assessments and some kids do score low. And these kids get special treatment. They’re not made to focus on what they didn’t get right; they focus on the thought processes that made them pick one answer over another. HELLO!

‎” I had a child cheat on a test, and his parents threatened to call a lawyer because I was labeling him a criminal.”

Again, missing the forest. The cheating is symptomatic. What intertwined factors, in and outside the classroom, would create a child with such insecurities that they would see something as insignificant as a test to be worthy of sacrificing personal integrity?

Teachers, if you want to be happy doing what you do, stop judging the people you teach.

 I’m done…someone else please take over the rest of the article.

I’d also like to share some comments that came after my comment-diarrhea 🙂

He Who Knows – Anonymous
 He Who Knows Not, And Knows Not, That He Knows Not,
Is A Fool – Ignore Him.
He Who Knows Not, And Knows That, He Knows Not,
Is Igonrant – Teach Him.
He Who Knows, But Knows Not, That He Knows,
Is Asleep – Awake Him,
He Who Knows, And Knows That, He Knows,
Is Wise – Follow Him.

I’ll tell you one thing : A lot of people who read the posts and comments I make on fb and my blog secretly believe that what I’m doing is career suicide. All it takes is a google search on me and no school, public or private, will ever hire me and a majority of parents out there will feel remissed about sending their children to me.

Fortunately for me I am not in the business of “majority” but in the business of a niche within a niche.
There are personal, career and business sacrifices to be made. But that’s what our young people need the most – to see adults who are willing to make sacrifices, who are willing to take The Road Less Travelled.  Based on the number of landings I get on my page on certain key words it gives you an indication how desperate so many young people are. They need our permission, our leadership, to tell them that what they’re intuiting is not wrong.

Evil Happens When Good People Do Nothing
. We are good people. We have to do something.  We cannot allow so many young people to suffer in isolation and to suffer low self-esteem, contradictions and confusion like this.  They need to see us – parents, teachers, business owners, make sacrifices for them. They need to know there are a few of us out there. 
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1 Comment

Filed under Context : the thoughts behind the blog., Danger School, On teachers, Rethinking Parenting & Teaching, schooling

One response to “What a Parent Who Used To Be a Teacher Really Want to Say to Parents And Teachers.

  1. “Evil happens when good people do nothing” ~ I like this Sloane!

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