Teachers vs Parents - A sad trend

@miamilady (4924)
United States
September 7, 2007 11:12am CST
I won't be quoting and statistics, facts or surveys here. This is simply an observation from my experiences, but I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing this. I have two children. One just started 9th grade (highschool) and one just started 6th grade (middle school). I am "an involved parent". I'm a stay at home mom, a member of the PTSA. I volunteer regularly and I try to make sure my children do their homework every night. I've met a lot of teachers over the years. I've met many parents as well. From what I've seen, you would think we weren't on the same side. You would think someone isn't concerned about the best interest of the child. If you were observing these conversations from the sideline, you would think that we (teachers and parents) are spending more time blaming eachother, than trying to actually help the children. I've done my share of badmouthing teachers. I've had my reasons. I know for a fact, that teachers have had things to say about me. I have no solution to this problem. I wish I did. The sad fact is, there are some lousy teachers out there and there are some lousy parents. There are also some extraordinary teachers out there and some wonderful parents. It's a shame that many of the people that need to improve themselves don't take the time to learn from eachother. To listen to eachother. People get so caught up in defending their position that they don't bother to take the time to see how they can improve themselves as a parent or as a teacher.
7 people like this
19 responses
• United States
7 Sep 07
There are many problems facing the American school system. One of the primaries is one size fits all for parents, students, teachers, and class size. That does not fit even remotely. More often than not, it causes big problems. With this 'no child left behind' scheme of George Bush's, the problem has only gotten worse.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
7 Sep 07
Yep. I won't say I'm for or against George Bush but, two phrases that I can't stand to hear any more are "No child left behind" and "School Choice". Those are the two biggest lies I've ever heard.
1 person likes this
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
14 Oct 07
I'll agree with the first, but you should know that other countries have freer school choices or at least more efficient educational systems. By the way, education has been pretty worthless stateside for at least the past three decades. Its getting even worse not just because of federal government but also because of crybaby parents and teachers and making a "sensitive" curriculum (cause we don't want to hurt any feelings nor reject anyone -_-)
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Oct 07
Yet at the same time, elementary school kids are getting hours of homework. This isn't whining. This is from education minded parents worn to a frazzle and at their wits end. Teachers are teaching to specific tests, not to life skills.
• United States
22 Oct 07
I completely agree with you. I am a substitute teacher and am currently going to college to get my teachers degree. I work at the high school in my area and am shocked at most of the teachers there. It's as if they don't care if the students get the knowledge they need to better themselves. And many of the parents don't care one way or another about whether or not their child passes or fails. I love it when parents are involved with their children's learning. It makes my job easier. I have parents that will call me up and ask me how their child is doing or why their child got the grade they did and I will tell them everything. On a normal, they tell me not to worry about it that they will handle the issue and that if I have any problems to let them know. The students that don't give me any problems, I let their parents know how well they are doing and how proud I am of them. I do have students that just plain don't care and their parents don't either. Like you, I wish there was a way to open the eyes of these parents and the teachers. Make them see that they aren't helping the matter, but hurting the children. Maybe one day we will figure it all out. Until then, I will continue to be the best teacher I can be and appreciate parents like you who are very involved with their child's education! Thank you so much!
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Oct 07
Good luck with your teaching career. I'm sure you will be a positive influence on many children.
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
8 Sep 07
My son was one of those kids that was left behind..the teachers had all kinds of excuses, he is immature, he doesn't care .yada, yada. He spent 2 years in 4th grade...his exit the 1st time would have still been ona 1st grade reading level...I threatened everybody with lawyers and allkinds of things. He finally got extra help. He left 4th grade, the 2nd time with a 3rd grade reading level, high 3rd grade by the end of 5th grade. He had a mervelous teacher in 6th grade...and left 6th grade almost on grade level and actually made the honor roll that year. She reached him, she praised him she motivated him, she helped him learn to deal with is learning problems. That was the high point in his educational career. He continued to make progress through skills she helped him develop. He did graduate high school (barely). But one excellent teacher in 14 years in a school system does not say much. I tried tutors and I worked with him, I read to him, I tried my best to help him..I was a single Mom. I thought the teacher's job was to teach him and I should support them in that role. They blamed me for his problems...too much TV - I don't think so, he was 10 years old and did not know what power rangers were until there suddenly was a white ranger (for those of you that remember power rangers), I read to him every day, from the time he was 2 months old. By the time he was 3 or4, I;ll bet he knew over 100 books from memory. He learned crafts and learned how to cook, he played sports, he swam and skated. The one job I gave to the school system - result in an abysmal failure. The school must stop trying to fit all kids into a learning mold and learn how to reach each kid; the way the kid learns best.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
8 Sep 07
Thanks for your response Deb. I do think teachers do have a hugs impact on a person. And it is sad that he only came across one exeptional teacher. That is where my children's experiences have been so different. My daughter was fortunate, simply by the luck of the draw, to have had a number of exceptional teachers. My son, on the other hand, didn't get delt the same hand. He seemed to have the teachers that were already tired and resentful of their jobs and "they system" perhaps. I think this year, he finally has been assigned some exceptional teachers. I'm hoping this year will be a turning point for him. It sounds like you've done a great job as a mom and it sounds like your son is overal a good kid. Take care.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
7 Sep 07
I totally agree. I had a teacher last year that acted the same way. No matter what I did, it was wrong. She acted as if I was trying to get her fired. I was close the day that she started screaming at me in the hallway because I did not schedule a day to come and observe the class and just dropped in on her. She was furious! My son is nonverbal and cannot walk. She would not send anything home to communicate with me. If I scheduled a meeting with her, she would only have her defenses up and it was not even worth the time. I am sure alot was said about me and I sure lost any respect for her. Every answer from her was, I have a masters degree and I know what I am doing. I now have a new teacher, as I told the school board that he was not returning to her room, and she is wonderful. We have problem solved alot of things and my son is even trying to talk. He is 13, and is very comfortable with them.
• United States
18 Sep 07
I know how that is, it's really bad at the college I go to. They make it seem like the students don't belong there and they say things are so not called for and can get really rude. I don't know why this is becoming a trend but I wish it would end.
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
22 Oct 07
I know what you mean, and yes.. it's a sad trend. As a mother I know that once things are about our children we tend to immediately come into their defense , sometimes without even knowing for sure what happened. As a teacher I know that not everything is always the way we see it and unfortunately we don't always have the chance to see both sides. I think what matters the most in this situation is that people stop taking one side or another and work as a team. When we work together things are so much more balanced. For teachers I would like to remind all that kids are smarter and smarter each day. What we see and what really happened is not always the same. For parents I would really like to remind that dear little Johny that is such an angel at home doesn't necessarily continue to be an angel once in school and - I"m sorry but it's true - because he knows us so well, he often edits what happens at school in such a way that he still "is" the angel and everyone else is not:)
@fracktion (154)
• Philippines
22 Oct 07
I was a part time college instructor before and I myself suffered a lot of harrassment from family members of my students. Although I was teaching in college, being a private school the management is so concerned about not failing students (maybe because of profit) to the point that whenever a student is due to fail, their parents are asked to come over to talk to the teacher. Some parents cry, some parents would even try to bribe us and yet some parents think we are not doing our job. I agree that why not instead of cursing the teachers, parents should try to help. Their children could be failing because of other reasons such as, they are not really inclined to the course they are taking or some family problems. I just hope we can all work hand in hand together to make a good future to all... Take Care
@Sharon38 (1915)
• Jamaica
20 Oct 07
I understand fully what you say. I am not a part of the PTA here and I visit my duaghter's class unexpectedly sometimes. I ensure that she does her homework and even reads ahead of the class. You see the teacher alone cannot do the work and parents need to understand this. The teachers need to understand this too. When I was growing up my mother never attended one PTA and yet I turned out very well. She and the brothers would ensure that I do the homework and because I loved to read it was even more enjoyable for me. My daughter is the opposite and I have to work very hard with her to get inprovements. I cannot blame society, the teachers or the child but one thing I do know is that I have to be a better parent and an authoritative one too to see changes in my child's work. ITs indeed a pity that parents dont take time to learn from teachers and vice versa. It would have made such a great change but in the mean time I encourage you to continue to be as effective and as wonderful a parent as you can be to your children.
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
14 Oct 07
You are absolutely right. Teachers and parents seem to be at a constant struggle. Yes there are lousy teachers out there and yes there are lousy parents out there. I think what is most frustrating for the good teachers is that they will try to get a parent involved in order to help with their child's behavior or grades and the parent is all talk and all "I'll take care of that!" on the phone and at parent conferences, but nothing changes with the child in the classroom Behavior doesn't improve, homework still isn't turn in, etc. I think that that is the situation that causes teachers to feel angry with parents because they feel like there is no point getting the parents involved if they are all talk and never actually DO anything to help. As teachers, we don't get to know the wonderful parents, because we never have to call them...their children don't misbehave...their children turn in their homework. Teachers only come in contact with the lousy parents because they are the ones who are sending lazy, attitude-laden, disruptive students to school.
@dbhattji (2507)
• India
10 Sep 07
I think both have complimentary jobs in bringing up the children so if both realized their duty and did their best the children would be lot better than what they are now.
• United States
9 Sep 07
I agree. when I was in school , the parents with children that were doing good were the ones who came in for parents night.And the parents of the "problem" children never would show. I was lucky, I had wonderful parents and most of my teachers were wonderful too.what can you do when there is a parent who needs help to parent better or a teacher who needs help to teach better?
@HighReed1 (1126)
• United States
8 Sep 07
I have noticed this as well. My son was in middle school and ADD. He was on meds, but still needed some help with where he sat and with who...things like that. The teachers he had at that school only wanted quiet, perfect little angels in their classrooms. My son would get to school and be sent to the office before he had the chance to even set his bookbag down! Needless to say, this experience soured him so bad on school that he dropped out the day he turned 16. I had grown up thinking parents and teachers were on the same side. As a parent, I saw this was usually not the case.
• India
8 Sep 07
Let us analyze the facts : The Teachers' concern - 1. To get a pay packet at the end of the month. Teaching is their job after all. 2. Teachers are concerned about only one aspect of the child - The studies The parents' concern - 1. Overall well being and development of the child. 2. The child is at the top of the priority list of the parent. Conclusion - From the above facts, it can be deduced that in majority of the cases, the parents are on the right side, since they are more responsible and concerned about the children.
@musicman6 (2371)
• United States
7 Sep 07
You're right miamilady, I've noticed this for several years now! I don't think it's so much the teachers' fault, but I do know that the people in charge have no control, nor enforce any control of the students! And I know for sure that you have to have control of your students, for them to be able to learn! And especially nowadays, it is more important to be more in control, because this young generation is more active, in everything than our generation was!
@agnescav (566)
• United States
7 Sep 07
There are so many things that affect students, therefore parents and students. It's true that no child left behind made a bigger mess than there was before. But I think most of these problems can be neutralized with a strong principal! I was a stay at home mom, completely invested in my kids and volunteered at the elementary school for 9 years. (I have a lot of kids). Most of the complaining that got done was about her. She just ran a really tight ship and she would have no problem telling you that if you have a problem with a teacher, you don't need to discuss it with everyone. Set up a meeting with her and she will decide whether and how to proceed. And I never heard a teacher gossiping about a parent at all.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
7 Sep 07
Pfft I have nothing good to say about public schooling (or screwing). Its a broken system and its been broken for more than 20 years. The thing is the powers that be and the system that is don't want change. I mean compare US schools to some of the schools around the world. The US is getting whipped in several education subjects by a whole list of countries. And I can see it from your perspective too Miami, I've seen lots of teacher parent conflicts. Some of them due to one side being wrong on what's good for the child, but I've seen others where the disputes are completely unnecessary and its all just one big understanding. One thing to do is to have mediation perhaps or discussions through organizations (PTA or PTSA for example). At least with cooler heads and a more refined setup people have a better shot at getting good feedback, this includes parents, teachers and yes even the students.
• United States
7 Sep 07
The thing is, there are teachers that really don't know what is best for a child, and there are parents that need to shut up and listen to someone else for a change about what really is best for a child. Parents, are parents, so of course they are going to assume (in a lot of cases, I'm not saying you are one of them) that whatever they choose is the best thing for their child. Some parents just won't admit to faults and what not. Then again, there are teachers that need to shut up and realize that just because they hold a teaching degree does not mean they are the god of children. It's sad really.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
7 Sep 07
I have none in school now But when I di d seemed like abattle all the way. Seemed like me or my friend would have to go to school at least once a week I had 2 kids in school she had 3. Her Daughter had the most awful teacher and I dont care how good the girl was or bad for she was a sweet kid at home. The teacher had no reason to whoop her till that board with the holes in broke on the girl and ya know they never did call the teacher on it. I had great teache3rs when I went seemed like the teachers enjoyed teaching back then. Now adays they are harried and underpaid for what they have to go thru not reall sticking up for the teachers but you know darn well they have always been under paid and I guess now we have a different kind of teachers and parents no one wants to take care of wheat teh kids need.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
7 Sep 07
My sons are adults, but when they went to school, if the teacher punished them, they probably deserved it. That was the way I was brought up as well. I did see a program on 20/20 that showed that bad teachers were not fired or reprimanded because they had the Union behind them and had there been a disciplinary board that did not have to answer to the Union, the students would have a better caliber of teachers whom the parents would respect. Then again, parents should know that teachers are not babysitters and their children go to school to learn, not to warm a seat.
@pismeof (855)
• United States
7 Sep 07
Miami,I think that we experience the type of reactions that you infer for a couple of reasons. I don't think that a lot of we mortal's have developed or been trained in proper communication skills.There is a saying that *We have two ears and one mouth and that we ought use them proportionately*. All to often we look to get our point across to an individual by badgering or attacking them instead of presenting a view point in a non-confrontational manner.(I'm Guilty Your Honor!!). Many times when dealing with a situation whether it be a teacher or a client or a boss;We think that we have "THE Solution" but,unless you look from the other person's side of the predicament you are really only presenting "THE Solution" from your own perspective.That's why it is so important to be prepared to LISTEN!!. I've been a lead person in a number of different profession's and through out my career there is the inevitable conference; Where the boss wants to know, How can we solve such and such?So everyone else in the room throws in THEIR two cents.If you purchase this..or if you hire that..But the boss may not have the money to purchase this or that,He needs to solve the problem without spending MORE money.YOU need to solve a problem for Him, Not solve a problem for you.You must LISTEN to his problem to then determine "The Solution". The only way for anyone;Whether it be a teacher or a parent to solve a situation is to Listen from both sides and Then solve it TOGETHER. After all is said and done it's supposed to be ABOUT THE CHILDREN!