Discussion in 'General Education' started by anon55, May 7, 2017.
May 7, 2017
A few are. Some pay us lip service. Some vacillate depending upon how much we inconvenience them and what drugs they are on at the time. Some will defend their child no matter what evil is perpetrated.
I've learned that you can have a great year if you don't discipline too harshly and let most things slide. It's always best to hand the nasty cases straight to administrators—after all, it's pretty much their policies that have gotten us in the mess in the first place.
I know how that sounds, and every fiber of my being feels it wrong to discipline so, but we are in survival mode around here. Sad to say.
There are always those children who will cause problems if a teacher stands up to them, as their parents are simply larger versions of the children, and always share their twisted perspective.
I'd say your situation sounds fairly good compared to mine, and far better than that of some of my colleagues. I don't think anyone has been threatened with murder this year (other than by a demented student), so it's been better than most.
For the most part. When I was getting my certification one of my instructors worked at my current school. He said that the kids are great overall, but the parents are beasts. As long as you are telling the parents how wonderful their children are, you'll get complete support. But if their child is working harder in your class than he's done before, or he gets caught doing something wrong, the fights can be really nasty. Typically, the more affluent the family, the more difficult the dealings. BUT, and this is a big one, the majority of the parents are great. The select few that aren't can make it seem worse than it is.
There are a few who would find fault anywhere, but the overwhelming majority are supportive and recognize that we go out of our way to do what's best for their kids.
The majority are very supportive, even in negative situations. Of course, you will always have a handful of parents in any school who will be unsupportive.
I have found most of my parents to be supportive. I teach at a low income, title I school and I have heard other teachers complain about lack of parent support and involvement. But I have found it's all in the way you approach parents. My principal just commended me for my parent relationships. She said she hasn't had a negative call about me all year. Our population tends to only contact the school when there's a problem... I contact my parents regularly and always return their emails/calls/ Dojo messages. I've been lucky with a great group of students and parents this year!
The average age group in my school is probably 24-25. They're as supportive as they know how to be (if that makes sense). A lot of them seem like kids themselves!
May 8, 2017
I'm with cocobean. I contact my parents about positive things more than negative things. it helps to build relationships and when there is a negative incident, they almost always accept it because they don't feel like you are picking on their child. Mama bear and Papa bear instincts override logic and common sense when they feel their kid is being unfairly picked on or treated.
But I also think the way you approach it correlates to the response you receive. If how you present things that are factual and non-personal then in my experience, parents will see it for what it is and work with you to resolve it. There's a difference in saying "your kid is naughty and rude" and "your kid is a good kid but at the moment he is choosing some negative behaviours that will impact his results if it continues". The former is quite personal and the latter separates the behaviour from the kid, so it's clear that it's the behaviour that's the problem, not the kid as a whole.
I find two areas which cause serious contention in schools. One concerns differences in religious beliefs, and this occurs in both Christian and public schools. I find it important to respect all beliefs, and if an offensive situation arises, work around the situation with the parents, but sometimes parents are insistent on stirring up trouble. I can even see and welcome open discussions on differences between school curricula and various beliefs between parents and schools, but I find no positive results from arguments that become heated or each side tries to out do the other. Calmly listening to each other is more productive than seeing who can shout the loudest or who can come up with the most clever cliché.
A second area of serious dissent stems directly from current media propaganda. I don't mean this to refer to any particular political side, but some articles and television news reports are portraying schools negatively by using persuasive techniques that either falsely report on a situation or report on one single incident among all the classrooms in the entire United States but make it sound as if it's the new current trend in education. I recall one article, when I read it my teaching experience immediately sent up red flags saying this can't even be close to the truth. I researched articles within local newspapers from where the incident took place and found the national article severely lacking in factual information. I then looked up the source of this national article's information, the original article which was from a national news source on the Internet, and wow! The author of that article could have been the poster child for how to write propaganda. I won't mention the information in the article to avoid a tirade of comments on the forum since it would also involve political opinion, but no matter who's side of the fence you're on, there's a major difference in a well written editorial (which I personally enjoy and appreciate from any side) and attempts at persuasive mind control. Oops! I really got off on a rabbit trail, but my point is, sometimes parents, who are not part of the actual school climate, are misled by such articles; again, calm discussion and appreciation for the parents' concern, and much, much listening seems to be the best productive solution.
Our parents are quite supportive. We are Title 1, so many families are just grateful for you and willing to back you up. It's a nice feeling. We also have a fair amount of middle-class and wealthy families who are also willing to jump in.
It is a good community.
I've had quite a few instances where parents are automatically defensive when I've had to call home or hold meetings. That usually changes after I explain things, but it seems there is a wide mistrust of teachers here so they generally are not supportive. Most don't value education at all either.
We have highly supportive parents. Many parents who have high expectations, but remain supportive, respectful, etc... I think it also depends on the teacher's personality and the way in which they interact with the parents (as well as the students in the classroom). I've had almost complete support from parents, and don't hear much from them / they trust me because of how their child comes home enjoying school, making progress, and there's strong communication. The couple times I haven't have been times in which the student was being held accountable but didn't want to be held accountable.
(Note: I'm not implying that those who have unsupportive parents necessarily don't have a good classroom environment...just saying that it's one of the many factors in play)
For the most part, no. It's simply a daycare center to them.
It's a wide range. For every parent who is very supportive of our efforts, there's the parent who buys their children cigarettes and drinks with them, too.
May 9, 2017
I think our biggest issue is that many, many of our well-to-do parents MUCH rather their kids get good grades than actually learn something. As in, they'd rather their child get a 93 (A) and learn absolutely nothing than a 92 (B) and be extremely well-prepared for the next level. Bonus points to the teacher that doesn't require make up work after a mid-course family vacation or give homework during soccer/lacrosse season.
It depends. If school gets in the way of baseball games, baseball is going to win. We had late night baseball games scheduled during our state testing and the parents refused to reschedule. The kid that started crying during the test because he was so tired due to the midnight bedtime had a parent complain because the state test must have been too hard and that we should have excused him for the test. Seriously?
Then we also have parents who actually send their kids to school on time, expects the kids to behave, and show up to conferences. It may be perception but it never seems like there are enough of the latter type.
May 11, 2017
My friend who works in a very high socio economic community keeps warning me against going anywhere near a district like that, because he can't give detention without the parent complaining to admin. He says I'm lucky to work in a working class / middle class community, despite the fact that 70% of my students AREN'T at grade level, while at his school it's more like 70% at grade level. Is working in a high performing/high income school really that bad?
May 12, 2017
Yes. My job was much more enjoyable at my 85% low income school than my current 15% low income school.
In affluent communities, there is zero respect for teachers. Parents in these communities typically did well enough in school to get a well-paying job and don't have high opinions of teachers, which is reflected in their children. Students have a sense of entitlement that they deserve high grades without achieving subject-matter competency. If parents see low marks for their students, rather than talk to a teacher and ask for suggestions, they'll complain to someone high enough until they get what they want. The most disappointing part is seeing how easily administration caves to pressure from these parents.
At a low-income school, while parents typically can't help their students with their homework, they want their kid to do well in school and tell their students to "listen to your teacher". There's respect for teachers in these communities because conversely, these parents weren't the strong students when they were in school and don't view teachers negatively. Yes there's going to be a higher percentage of disengaged parents of students with behavior problems (typically single mothers of boys), but this is not the majority of students.
The best jobs in the teaching profession are the ones teaching accelerated students at low-income schools. You get the best of both worlds - no behavior problems and no parents.
this has not been my experience in a low income area. in one word, I would describe the parental involvement as "apathy" in regards to academic performance. Which is nice in the sense that I don't get pushback from home on their on students receiving whatever grade they have earned (or the one that apparently I "have given them" in student lingo as if the whole process is a random act of chance). But it is awful when I don't get return phone calls or emails from them regarding same.
There is tremendous pushback from parents whenever discipline is involved. And it's typically not supportive of the faculty or admin. The absolute most parental concern or involvement in our community seems to stem from athletics and the amount of playing time a child is getting. Apparently, our coaching staffs have entire squads of future Hall of Famers and Olympians on their respective teams and are ignorant enough not to recognize such. So the moms and dads have to assist them and point out their coaching shortcomings.
If I had my pick, I'd have kids from solidly middle-class neighborhoods. Not the kids with wanna-be parents. The parents that would never have a boat unless it was for fishing for tonight's supper. The ones that got Bs in school or missed out on college because life got in the way. So they know how school works, are hungry for their kids to have college educations and they expect the school to prepare students for life after high school. The ones that have average family members and have no problem having an average kid. The families where Johnny gets to go on a vacation every couple of years and it is to the Grand Canyon or Disney. Not Europe for three weeks during the school year. The ones that can get school supplies without having to wait for payday but don't spend their check on $200 shoes to prove that they can. No one is hungry unless they forgot their lunch. And if they did forget, they learn a lesson from it because Mom isn't leaving work to fix their mistakes.
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