Why is it always the teacher's fault?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pwhatley, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Please don't get me wrong - I'm the first to look inward when things don't go as they should, to see if I can improve the way I handle situations. Also, in a very challenging, inner-city environment, my class is (for the most part) great! They (on average) have the highest reading scores in 4 years! (Yeah, us!) That being said, why are the failures, the kids who can't quite get it (regardless of how many interventions they receive), the kids who refuse to mind (and don't mind Fs in conduct or disciplinary referrals), etc., considered the fault of the teacher? 9 times out of 10, low performance and discipline issues are portrayed by the media and (my) administration as such. When did parents and students stop being responsible for their actions as well?
     
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  3. rbschreiber@gma

    rbschreiber@gma Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I'm a new (young) teacher, so keep that in mind with my reply, but one problem to me seems to be that so many parents take their kids' statements as gold. When I was in school, what the teachers said went - my parents were virtually always going to believe the teacher (a trained, responsible, educated adult) over me. Obviously there's exceptions to these rules if certain things were to happen, but with questions of assignments, rules, clarifications, etc. what the teacher said goes.

    Now so many of my colleagues get parents who come in with, "Well my child said that..." without knowing the situation or the accurate details. One parent actually get the teacher complaining because her told her that the teacher would NO LONGER be grading things! This was obviously not what the teacher said, but instead of asking for clarification or just checking in, the parent called angry and upset to begin with.

    Ranting enough? But my overall point is teachers seem to have lost some respect. And don't get me started on entitlement!
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I think that much of this is because teachers are looking for ways that it could be their fault. We are constantly looking for what we could do to improve and become a better teacher.

    Also, administration doesn't want to get sued, so it cannot be the fault of the parents.

    Moreover, it is our current generation of parents. Many parents are so focused on their careers (as they should be), but they forget about all the things that parents used to educated their children on. Go out to dinner and parents are lost in conversations while their kids run wild. Well, parents don't want to seem as a failure (they are special and succeeding in the business world), so they believe their child's crazy stories.
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 27, 2011

    pwhatley, I agree with you, and I don't think you'll find anyone here who doesn't. I think the reasons others always look the teacher first is that they are the ones with the most immediate opportunities to influence those variables - classroom behavior and academics - with some exception. Even if a child's temperament or a parent's lack of involvement is mostly to blame, the last point of defense before a child does something behaviorally in a classroom is a teacher. And, even if the parent of a K student could have been reading for years to his/her child, the K teacher is the one with the most immediate access to the child in terms of instruction before the assessment period.

    It would be great if we could shift our society from a past-looking society to a future-looking one - not examining who is to blame, but who has the opportunity to step in and make a difference. Blame is almost rarely helpful in my opinion - looking at causation is fine if you're researching or problem-solving, but blame is different from assessment!
     
  6. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I agree EdEd, instead of finding who to blame we should focus on finding solutions together. It does no good to point fingers.

    I've been in both situations, as a parent and as a teacher and I can tell you that it is sometimes a teacher who can affect a child's performance. My daughter went through a horrible 5th grade experience because the teacher was picking so much on my daughter's little mistakes that my daughter was extremely anxious around her.

    As a parent I listened to the teacher's concerns and at home I tried everything there was to try to help my daughter not to make silly mistakes in the classroom and nothing helped. The teacher insisted that my daughter should be in special ed for ADD but as I parent I knew it wasn't ADD the problem since my daughter had done well before. I can't help but to put blame on the teacher's inflexibility and lack of caring to try to find solutions together. She finally stopped sending outragioius notes when my daughter would get a C after I met with her and the principal and told them how anxiuos my daughter was getting and how this anxiety could cause severe emotional damage. I asked the teacher to leave my daughter alone unless she was causing disruption (which she never did) and let her be and if she got an F I would take full responsibility. The teacher and principal both agreed that this was causing a lot of damage and the notes stopped.

    After that year was over, my daughter has done much better, is well adjusted, loves school and has been getting excellent grades.

    As a teacher I face the same issue with many students and it is clear that many parents won't try much or maybe they don't know what else to try and it is our job to guide them and direct them without blaming.
     
  7. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I'm a High School student.. and its always the teachers fault because the kids can't own up to their problems. Also but it isn't always the students at fault either. I have a Science teacher when you ask her a question she mumbles the answer and if you ask her to repeat it she gets upset...
     
  8. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Mar 27, 2011

    Interesting point. Would you mind to elaborate on this?
     
  9. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Mar 27, 2011

    Well in my school 98% of the time its the students problem they created like for example like two weeks ago

    My teacher went in her back room to wash her hands.. and the student got her key(which is attached to her id that she wasn't wearing) for her door on her desk and he locked it then the student started talking to another student and wound up closing the door. The teacher came back out and said he could stay out there then like 5 seconds later he is banging on the door trying to get in. She lets him in and he's upset with the teacher when he caused it. He said it was her fault no reason given..
     
  10. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 28, 2011

    As teachers, we tend to focus on how things "should" be and it conflict with what reality actually is.
    -students should behave, take responsibility, and be motivated
    -parents should be involved and support teachers
    -administration should support teachers
    -we should have more time to plan/teach/etc.
    Well, they don't always pan out that way, so we need to make choices. Our choices about how to respond these challenges is what will shape us as teachers. Do we choose to fail all unmotivated students, or find lessons and use strategies to motivate them? That's your choice!! ;)
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 28, 2011

    :thumb:

    I agree 100% with your statement.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Mar 28, 2011

    And if a student still does not respond to your differentiated lessons and strategies, is their lack of effort and progress still your fault?
     
  13. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Mar 29, 2011

    I think a few bad apples ruined it for the rest of us. We all know who they are -- the ones that just shove work sheets at the kids, berade students, show no passion for what they're doing and are simply going through the motions, etc. Though I am in favor of tenure, I know that some people take it as an opportunity to kick back and coast through the rest of their teaching career.

    Also, the government can't regulate parents and control what they are doing or not doing with their kids, the way they can come into the schools and judge teachers, force us to administer tests state tests (and yank our funding if EVERYONE doesn't past), give rigid curriculums (i currently teach reading from THREE seperate curriculums, writing from two curriculums and math from two. Plus I have a teacher's guide for each. it's overwhelming with these extra, supplemental curriculums)

    So...that's my theory on why they blame US and not the parensts. ALL teachers became the scape goats. :huh:

    EDIT: I was talking to my best friend yesterday (he also teaches) and he said that he thinks we should switch over to a four day work week. That way on Friday's, teachers can grade and have more time to plan quality lessons. I'd definately be for that even if they had to cut a few days of summer
     
  14. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2011

    Is it a lack of effort or understanding? Or is there something else going on outside of school that is the cause. - I've had a student who never did homework and fell asleep during class all the time (and would "get in trouble" for it). Turned out that he was up late taking care of his baby sister bc his mom was at work. Sometimes school and school work is not at the top of students' lists of necessities.

    There does seem to be "lazy" and "unmotivated" students in almost every class. However, there has got to be some kind of meaningful connection to the lesson for them to "care." Sometimes getting to know their likes/dislikes, their families/culture helps you to make these connections to motivate students.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Apr 6, 2011

    The meaningful connection is that if they don't learn, its going to be hard for them to learn and succeed as they move through school. In turn it could be hard for them to get a job where they can be successful in life.
    That meaningful connection should be coming from home, if it is not, sometimes there is only so much you can do. I cared because my parents made me care. I never thought it was a teachers job to make me care.
     

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