A beloved principal who was named “School Administrator of The Year” recently announced she was leaving the profession. Many who didn’t understand why she would make such a decision, was outraged and asked to stay on please, her reply was “”Look, if I get an offer to lead a school system of orphans, I will be all over it, but I just can’t deal with parents anymore; they are killing us.”
This seems to be a growing sentiment amongst educators. The average career of a teacher is now an unbelievable 4.5 years.
Many teachers state they have problems with making children understand that they are educators, not babysitters. Parents do not want to hear that their child has a behavior problem or isn’t doing well in school. This makes it difficult for the teachers to have an open line of communication that benefit all parties concerned.
One teacher is quoted saying one of the very worst examples of the teacher being unable to have open and honest communication with parents is a conversation that goes something like this “One of my biggest pet peeves is when I tell a mom something her son did and she turns, looks at him and asks, “Is that true?” The teacher, exasperated explains in the interview that “Of course it’s true.” Perhaps though, the educator is misunderstanding the parent who’s intention is to force their child to admit and take responsibility for their action.
The interview goes on with educators and administrators’ venting frustrations about parent – teacher interactions. This type of venting, unfortunately, can lead to the us v/s them thinking.
Though no one would say it is an easy job dealing with students and teachers daily, that is what the job entails. One comes with the other, perhaps teachers would benefit more from getting a feel for the student / parent dynamic on an individual basis and try to make a personalized game plan from the beginning of the year, and follow through.
Having said that, parents should be able to take an honest look at their children’s behavior and work habits before conferences occur. It would be a good idea to make an honest list of the child’s weaknesses and strengths and discuss the best plans for keeping your child motivated throughout the year. Also… Parents should keep a close eye on any potential behavior problems so they can be dealt with before the child acts out in the classroom setting.
For further reading regarding this interview….. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html