The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Parents vs. Teachers

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Parents vs. Teachers

Teaching is one of the few professions where the "clients" think they know more than the professionals.  A parent wouldn't take her child to the dentist and say, "She has a chipped tooth.  I think you should extract it because it's ugly."  She wouldn't take her child to the hairdresser and say, "Now take about two inches from the back and an inch from the front and then layer it the rest of the way so it looks like this picture." (Although I have seen some parents get almost as demanding at the salon!)  My point is, why do parents think that they know what's best for their child's education and criticize a teacher's methods? 

What's even worse is when the parent question's the teacher's comments.  A teacher explains to a parent that his son hit another child in the schoolyard.  The parent turns to his son and asks, "Did you do that?" to which the son naturally denies the accusation, leaving the parent glaring at the teacher.  HUH?  You believed a ten-year-old over a professional educator?

Or how about the parent who wants to know what the teacher "did" to her child to make him behave so poorly in class?  Again I say, "HUH?"  Maybe the teacher should set aside his or her professionalism and ask the parent what she did to model such disrespectful behavior at home. 

Finally, there's the parent who doesn't believe that the teacher taught the material well enough, causing her child to fail the test.  Could it be that her little angel simply wasn't paying enough attention to the teacher's instruction?  Or was too busy with two sports and piano lessons to have time to complete the homework?

The bottom line with today's rant is that teachers don't get the respect they deserve for all the time and effort they put into planning, implementing, and grading their students' work.  Parents should realize that the teacher has the degree which has been sanctioned by their state to teach methods they learned in college.  Why is that so difficult to comprehend?  I don't tell my plumber how to fix my leaky pipe.  I don't tell my carpenter how to fix my sagging door.  And when my children were in school, I worked with the teachers to understand how my children would be better prepared for their daily instruction.  Isn't it time parents learn that teachers are actually on their team not playing against them?  By working together, parents and teachers will cooperatively reach the same goal - the best possible education for the children.

Happy parenting and happy teaching!

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