Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Believe It Or Nots of School Conferences

Being a former educator, I thought that I would share a little light that many parents of school age children, as well as the general public, are just not aware of.  It is what I am going to call the 'Believe It Or Nots' of education.  This blog is going to focus on Parent/Teacher Conferences, which will be coming up soon.  There are many events that happen in a school, public or private, that could fit in this category.  Just understand that common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone's garden.

Luckily, there are more caring and thoughtful parents out there who understand how hard most teachers work.  It is not a job for the faint of heart.  Then add to the stress of school district mandates, common core, No Child Left Behind, testing and more testing, salaries based on test scores, constant add in unreasonable requests and comments from parents. Although many times it easily explains the behavior of their children.  Sad but true in most cases.  The apples do not fall far from the tree.

Let me give you some specific statements that have been made to me or a few teachers that I know well  -  well enough to tell you that there is no way anyone can make this stuff up!

  • He doesn't do this at home.
  • The only reason he misbehaves is because you don't like him.
  • Could a teacher come out to collect my child from the car each morning?
  • Please do not call me about my child's behavior.  She is with you.
  • Word to the wise, "He bites!"
  • Roald Dahl and Harry Potter books?  Those are all devil books and there is no way my child is reading them.
  • I don't believe in sending school supplies.  It looks as if you have plenty.
  • You clearly do not see just how gifted our child is, otherwise you would never have given him a C.
  • It is very important to our child that you acknowledge her imaginary friend by calling her name at roll time and giving her a seat.  
  • I know that my child has a fever.  It is just an allergy.
  • I am away on a business trip the night of the school play.  Can you please reschedule it?
  • My daughter needs an older teacher.
  • I don't think it is appropriate for you to dye your hair.
  • This history is from so long ago.  When do you think you will get to the history of now?
  • It is not very encouraging of her ideas for you to make her raise her hand before speaking.
These are things that just boggle your mind.  It leaves one speechless and then somehow a plan comes to mind about what you will say in some kind of a form of diplomacy.  Most teachers find a way.  Of course, then there are some who need to cultivate their common sense gardens, along with some of the parents.  These are the cases that go to the administrative staff and now we are on a different playing field of handling a problem that never should have been one in the first place.  

When I share some of the nonsense that teachers and schools are requested to do by parents, it really does seem to shock many.  So many educators say often that it is not the kids that are the problems, it is some of their parents.  

Just know that when you go in to meet with your child's teacher, think of something good that he or she did for your child and tell that teacher.  It is all about the little things that help a teacher hang on to the day to day work of teaching in a time and era where is seems that teachers are not paid or respected in a way that they should be.  What happened to the days of when a parent told their child that if they got in trouble at school, then they would be in double trouble at home?  We need to get back to respecting education and letting our teachers know that we are totally behind them. Children learn easily how to mimic their parents.  In the words of Graham Nash, "Teach your children well."   

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