Maybe there’s a reason why parents can be so difficult sometimes.
There’s a CNN article making the rounds on Facebook this week, talking about what teachers would like to say to parents if they had the opportunity to be totally frank. They, apparently, are fed up with having to deal with us. The author, Ron Clark, lays out a step-by-step plan for how we, the parents, can make the teacher’s job easier.
On behalf of parents everywhere, I’d like to respond.
I have the utmost respect for the teaching profession. My mom is a teacher. So is my sister-in-law. So are several of my neighbors. My brother-in-law is a school administrator. My brother will be a teacher—and a fine one—some day.
I would entrust any of them with the education of my children—and would be very happy to do so. And I wish I felt the same way about all the teachers my kids have encountered in their school careers to this point.
But I don’t.
Now, I don’t discount the possibility that parents can be unreasonable. To be blunt… some people suck.
And so do some teachers.
We’ve been burned by lazy teachers who don’t want to deal with kids who might need extra help, or by short-timers counting the days until retirement, or by inexperienced newbies who don’t know how to handle difficult situations. And we’ve been burned by layoffs and hiring decisions that push good young teachers out the door in favor of the entrenched, the tenured, and the politically connected. And while we know that most of you are dedicated educators that go above and beyond the call of duty to help our kids learn, we’ve also seen your unions work just as hard to protect the jobs of the least-deserving among you.
So if we seem a bit eager for extra communication, or don’t necessarily take everything you say as gospel without looking for additional information, or aren’t willing to trust you right out of the gate, don’t assume we’re being unreasonable. There’s a better-than-average chance that our trust has been betrayed in the past by another member of your profession. Please take that into account if it seems like we’re being unreasonable.