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What teachers wish parents knew... A good read. - Page 2

post #21 of 84

I can take the entire article with a grain of salt and accept that maybe it is possible most parents are like that... but the part that bugs me about teachers in general are the ones that seem to have the most trouble with teaching are the inexperienced, childless recent university grads whose first instinct is to blame the parents, the socioeconomic status of the family or insist on medicating the child. I get that teachers are "highly educated" (if you consider 4 years of post-secondary "highly educated"), but with any vocation out there, one needs years of experience before they can start rolling their eyeballs and assuming other people are the problem. The best teachers are usually the ones that are interesting and who students can relate to or have so many years of experience and hundreds of kids under their belt that they know how to deal with all kinds of children. Parents can beg and plead with their children at home to sit still in class until they're blue in the face, but if the teacher has no control over any of the kids, there is not much a parent can do when they're not there.

post #22 of 84

My mom is a teacher. My grandmother is a teacher. I believed teachers. I trusted teachers. After years and years of listening to, supporting and following the advice of teachers (general and special ed) my special needs son is emotionally destroyed and uneducated. We got an attorney and an education advocate. DS is now in an appropriate program getting the services and education he needs, but the years lost and the emotional damage will take a long time heal. The problem was that the teachers didn't listen to me. My concerns were dismissed and I believed that the teachers were the professionals and that they knew best. So, obviously the article rubbed me the wrong way.
 

post #23 of 84
I think it's a mistake to generalize, both parents and teachers. Some parents are the biggest pain. The same is true of some teachers. I had an outstanding newly graduated teacher and a horrible nearly retired teacher. And lots of other combinations. And that's the main problem with the article. It generalizes parents in a bad way, and teachers in a good way. More could be accomplished by focusing on behaviors, not categories (parent/teacher).

Regarding summer reading : I hated most of the books I was required to read for school, and I am grateful I had summers away from that stuff.
post #24 of 84

Linda on the Move - I understand what you are saying and I know there are parents who are working against or doing nothing for their children's education.  I know because I have been volunteering in public school for 14 years.  My grandmother was a teacher, my father was a teacher, my brother and sil are teachers. Also, my professional background is that of a child welfare social worker so I have seen a range of parenting skill sets. (Which for the record makes me feel like professionals should be strength based with even the most challenging families)

 

That being said - of the 25 plus teachers my kids have had - several have been excellent and many have been fine, but a couple have been downright adversarial and detrimental to their well-being. Every year at the end of the year, I write the principal a letter complimenting my children's teachers and citing their specific strengths.  I also do this with bus drivers (talk aboout a thankless job!) and other staff members such as custodians and the school nurse.Still the couple of times I have had trouble (both times with teachers who were reputed not to be the best who I was ready to give the benefit of the doubt) the principal has been unresponsive and the response has been that I can't put any complaints on paper about any staff members.  What other job is like that? Where nobody is allowed to officially complain about you? I am currently a consultant - if 30% of my clients had a legitimate complaint about me - my boss would stop giving me customers.

 

I do think that parents are too quick to blame teachers and schools for problems. OTH society and schools are also often quick to blame parents.  If you don't like students or parents (even the challenging ones) - then working in a school is going to be a drag.    

post #25 of 84

BTW - Only the first paragraph of my response was to Linda on the Move.  The rest of it were just thoughts I have had on this topic for awhile. 

post #26 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I think it's a mistake to generalize, both parents and teachers. Some parents are the biggest pain. The same is true of some teachers. I had an outstanding newly graduated teacher and a horrible nearly retired teacher. And lots of other combinations. And that's the main problem with the article. It generalizes parents in a bad way, and teachers in a good way. More could be accomplished by focusing on behaviors, not categories (parent/teacher).
 

 

I agree with you.

post #27 of 84

I bristled a little bit at the "making excuses" because it reminded me of the teacher I had in 2nd & 3rd grade. Now, she actually was a really good teacher! A bit tough, strict, and high expectations but I think she had a good balance of providing tools to succeed and treating us with respect. She also threw in lots of unique activities and hands on learning experiences that were very enriching. So, this is one pet peeve not a complaint of a bad teacher ;) If I (or anyone) didn't turn in homework it was "Why?" and I would say "I forgot" and she would say "I don't want to hear excuses!" This was beyond my articulation as a 7-9 year old, and also beyond my willingness to talk back to a teacher, but I was annoyed because she *asked* why I didn't turn my homework in and the REASON is I forgot. I didn't expect it to be an "excuse" or not have a consequence.. I simply answered the question. I learned after awhile that the correct answer to that question to make the teacher happy was "no excuse". 

post #28 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post

I bristled a little bit at the "making excuses" because it reminded me of the teacher I had in 2nd & 3rd grade. Now, she actually was a really good teacher! A bit tough, strict, and high expectations but I think she had a good balance of providing tools to succeed and treating us with respect. She also threw in lots of unique activities and hands on learning experiences that were very enriching. So, this is one pet peeve not a complaint of a bad teacher ;) If I (or anyone) didn't turn in homework it was "Why?" and I would say "I forgot" and she would say "I don't want to hear excuses!" This was beyond my articulation as a 7-9 year old, and also beyond my willingness to talk back to a teacher, but I was annoyed because she *asked* why I didn't turn my homework in and the REASON is I forgot. I didn't expect it to be an "excuse" or not have a consequence.. I simply answered the question. I learned after awhile that the correct answer to that question to make the teacher happy was "no excuse". 

 

I COMPLETELY identify with this.  Wow, visceral reaction there to old memories. 

 

About summer reading, he asked "Can you feel my pain?"  My answer is an unequivocal 'No'.  Agreed with whomever here said maybe that was a bad example.  Because I think he's right, parents do their kids no favors shielding their children from taking responsibility for their own selves. For owning their own actions and accepting their roll in life's consequences.  About summer reading, I was never once assigned any, so maybe that has something to do with my attitude.  But summer break is decompression time for my kids and me, and I preserve and protect it.


Edited by journeymom - 3/12/13 at 1:38pm
post #29 of 84

A little off topic, but how do summer reading assignments work? Don't kids have a different teacher when they go back in September? and what if kids switch schools? Does it effect their grade if they show up to a new school and don't have the assignment done? I'm in Canada and have never heard of summer reading assignments. 

post #30 of 84

I'm Canadian too and have never heard of or experienced summer reading assignments here either. But my impression is that they're typically at the high school level, and set by the incoming teacher for the course: the info package is handed out in the spring before school ends by your next-year's English or History teacher. If you arrived in the fall not having signed up for the course during the spring selection process it would be just like signing up for any course late: you'd have to catch up.

 

Miranda

post #31 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys View PostEvery year at the end of the year, I write the principal a letter complimenting my children's teachers and citing their specific strengths.  I also do this with bus drivers (talk aboout a thankless job!) and other staff members such as custodians and the school nurse.

clap.gif

 

I've written the letters about teachers to the principal (and evidently I'm one of the few who does this), but this is the first year my daughter has a bus driver.  Thank you, I'll be writing more letters this year.

 

I've found that writing these letters has benefited my kids greatly.  I cite those things that have gone well, and what has worked for my child.  Being fully positive has gotten us better and better placements each year.  Either I'm giving the principal good information on what makes for a good placement, or he recognizes that I'm being positive and my kids are being rewarded for this.

 

Mass media parenting articles on places like CNN are discussing Parenting 101 issues.  If I'm beyond that, then I simply ignore it.  I understand the situation well enough to see the nuances.  A lot of people need to learn the basics first.

post #32 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

clap.gif

 

I've written the letters about teachers to the principal (and evidently I'm one of the few who does this), but this is the first year my daughter has a bus driver.  Thank you, I'll be writing more letters this year.

 

I've found that writing these letters has benefited my kids greatly.  I cite those things that have gone well, and what has worked for my child.  Being fully positive has gotten us better and better placements each year.  Either I'm giving the principal good information on what makes for a good placement, or he recognizes that I'm being positive and my kids are being rewarded for this.

 

Mass media parenting articles on places like CNN are discussing Parenting 101 issues.  If I'm beyond that, then I simply ignore it.  I understand the situation well enough to see the nuances.  A lot of people need to learn the basics first.

 

What do you mean by better placements? 

post #33 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post

I bristled a little bit at the "making excuses" because it reminded me of the teacher I had in 2nd & 3rd grade. Now, she actually was a really good teacher! A bit tough, strict, and high expectations but I think she had a good balance of providing tools to succeed and treating us with respect. She also threw in lots of unique activities and hands on learning experiences that were very enriching. So, this is one pet peeve not a complaint of a bad teacher ;) If I (or anyone) didn't turn in homework it was "Why?" and I would say "I forgot" and she would say "I don't want to hear excuses!" This was beyond my articulation as a 7-9 year old, and also beyond my willingness to talk back to a teacher, but I was annoyed because she *asked* why I didn't turn my homework in and the REASON is I forgot. I didn't expect it to be an "excuse" or not have a consequence.. I simply answered the question. I learned after awhile that the correct answer to that question to make the teacher happy was "no excuse". 

 

Well.... I will say that "I forgot" was not an acceptable excuse for me as a parent. Not when I saw the kiddo do the homework. "I forgot to and it in"? Once? Okay. A big fat I don't think so. And yes, the correct answer is "no excuse" unless there is a good excuse. In which case, I would expect the parent to contact the teacher to explain. 

post #34 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

A little off topic, but how do summer reading assignments work? Don't kids have a different teacher when they go back in September? and what if kids switch schools? Does it effect their grade if they show up to a new school and don't have the assignment done? I'm in Canada and have never heard of summer reading assignments. 

 

Generally speaking, summer reading assignments are across grade. Every child in the grade (or grouping) reads the same book, has the same assignment, etc. SO, each grade had a specified reading. In the older grades, each level had specified readings. So... basic level had one particular book. Honors had tha book and a second book. AP had a separate list. 

 

If the child moved schools? At the lower grades, I found that explaining the situation to the teacher took care of it. I didn't move the kids after Elementary, so I don't know how it works. 

post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

 

What do you mean by better placements? 

My kids are tough to place with teachers and classmates.  We've had bad years with "the best" teachers.   "The best" teacher, according to what other parents have experienced, is sometimes not the best for my kids.  I've joked that my DD needs the 55-year old school marm whose perm is too tight. By choosing to highlight what has worked for my kids, in the form of a "bravo" for the teacher, the principal has more information on what works for my kids.  By my being a positive parent to work with, he's motivated to do so. 

 

My letters are specific:  "Through Mrs. M's approach to create writing projects that integrate art and science, my daughter's writing skills have improved.  We've particularly noted that she is more willing to begin a writing assignment, and that her writing is more organized."  "Mrs. N established a positive environment with clear expectations in her classroom from the first day.  My daughter was supported in her social interactions with classmates, particularly as Mrs N was careful in pairing DD with other quiet children." 

 

These communicate the type of learner that my child is, what some of our priorities are for teacher skills, and information about what we see as areas that our child needs continued work. 

post #36 of 84

Geofizz, thanks so much for those examples! It's the time of year when we're allowed to write letters for next year w/o naming the names of the teachers we'd like to get. Dd2 has a particular teacher in mind, but I don't even know if he's teaching 4th grade next year or who the 4th grade teachers will be. He taught at 4/5th class this year, but I think there may be a 3/4 split next year. Your examples give me a great starting point!

post #37 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

 

Well.... I will say that "I forgot" was not an acceptable excuse for me as a parent. Not when I saw the kiddo do the homework. "I forgot to and it in"? Once? Okay. A big fat I don't think so. And yes, the correct answer is "no excuse" unless there is a good excuse. In which case, I would expect the parent to contact the teacher to explain. 

Well, yeah, it ISN'T an excuse. Thats the whole point.  "Why don't you have your homework?" "I forgot it" "I don't want to hear excuses!" It wasn't attempting to be an excuse. It was simply answering the question. I said in the post that I didn't expect to be "excused" or not have a consequence. It was irritating that she would say "I don't want to hear excuses" when in my opinion, I wasn't telling her an excuse. I told her the reason I didn't do my homework. Reason does not equal excuse. Basically, she shouldn't ask the why if she didn't expect an answer, ya know? 

 

Oh and in my case, I didn't just forget to bring/turn it in. I forgot to actually do it. 

post #38 of 84

Interesting article- I am a high school teacher and a parent. I freely admit I became a MUCH better, and empathetic, teacher once I became a parent. It is certainly not necessary for every great teacher to be a parent, but I know it really helped me. Any article like this does a disservice with too many generalizations. I have dealt with great parents and parents who didn't care; I have worked with amazing teachers and teachers I wouldn't want teaching my dog. Ironically, the worst teachers tend to think all public education is fabulous, that no staff development is necessary, and that any student failures are totally the fault of the student. The best teachers are always working to improve and if students aren't getting it, they do whatever it takes to make sure they do. I am very blessed to work with an amazing team of teachers. I have been teaching the longest, 17 years, and love the energy and creativity of the younger teachers. We all bring something special to the team, and our students benefit from that.


Edited by mar123 - 4/2/13 at 11:44am
post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

Interesting article- I am a high school teacher and a parent. I freely admit I became a MUCH better, and empathetic, teacher once I became a parent. It is certainly not necessary for every great teacher to be a parent, but I know it really helped me. Any article like this does a disservice with too many generalizations. I have dealt with great parents and parents who didn't care; I have worked with amazing teachers and teachers I wouldn't want teaching my dog. Ironically, the worst teachers tend to think all public education is fabulous, that no staff development is necessary, and that any student failures are totally the fault of the student. The best teachers are always working to improve and if students aren't getting it, they do whatever it takes to make sure they do. I am very blessed to work with an amazing teach of techers. I have been teaching the longest, 17 years, and love the energy and creativity of the younger teachers. We all bring something special to the team, and our students benefit from that.

I didn't even have to get to the end of your post before I started guessing you must have a lot of experience... you sound like a great teacher smile.gif Sometimes I feel like teaching should be an elected position (I know that would be impossible) but throughout school I used to look at certain teachers and think "who do you think you are?". It seemed like a frightening majority of my teachers just finished school and decided they would be a teacher despite the fact that they weren't good at anything (including teaching! lol). Teaching is SUCH an important and respectable position, to some kids it's like being another parent (or even the only parent). It's so disappointing to see those jaded, apathetic "can't wait for summer vacation" type teachers. 

post #40 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

 

Well.... I will say that "I forgot" was not an acceptable excuse for me as a parent. Not when I saw the kiddo do the homework. "I forgot to and it in"? Once? Okay. A big fat I don't think so. And yes, the correct answer is "no excuse" unless there is a good excuse. In which case, I would expect the parent to contact the teacher to explain. 

Well, yeah, it ISN'T an excuse. Thats the whole point.  "Why don't you have your homework?" "I forgot it" "I don't want to hear excuses!" It wasn't attempting to be an excuse. It was simply answering the question. I said in the post that I didn't expect to be "excused" or not have a consequence. It was irritating that she would say "I don't want to hear excuses" when in my opinion, I wasn't telling her an excuse. I told her the reason I didn't do my homework. Reason does not equal excuse. Basically, she shouldn't ask the why if she didn't expect an answer, ya know? 

 

Oh and in my case, I didn't just forget to bring/turn it in. I forgot to actually do it. 

I agree.  The question is semantically confusing.  I mean, what exactly is the difference between a "reason" and an "excuse"?  I might go now and look it up, but I don't think kids appreciate that there is a difference.  An "excuse" isn't acceptable and a "reason" is?  This is the kind of circular BS that irritated me growing up. 

 

ETA: the article was irritating to me.  I hear complaints from my sister (5th grade teacher) about parents as well, so I know there are some legitimate complaints, but like other posters have said, this article comes across as smug and righteous.  


Edited by SweetSilver - 3/20/13 at 11:59am
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