Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by TiffanyL, Apr 9, 2011.
Apr 9, 2011
I'm not getting this...
The poster suggested that she did not have these feelings towards parents when she worked in an environment with highly involved families. Once she moved into an environment where there was a higher population of disadvantaged students, she listed multiple reasons as to why she was justified to feel such negativity towards them (noting that she also had many positive things to say as well), in addition to suggesting that I don't work at such as site so, therefore, just may not understand.
Definitely an accumulation of many comments over several weeks or months. I don't think it would be a good idea to list exact threads or posts. That would be cruel and unprofessional and we all seem to be hearing each others views and opinions quite well.
I'm just trying to bring awareness to some of our views that may be highly judgmental. Judgment always leads to a lack of empathy for one's situation.
Really?? I'm not trying to be disrespectful to you because you seem like a very committed teacher. But, really? That's our place to judge? I had my oldest daughter at 18. She has a different name than the rest of my children. She does not see her biological father ever.
But others are justified to using something such as that to base their opinion of me as a parent?
This is a perfect example of what I am talking about.
Why would she have feelings of disappointment and anger (that a child is being beaten in the neck with a belt) if at her first site she didn't experience a lack of parental involvement or abusive parents?
JustMe, you keep going back to single specific examples while I keep trying to mention that I'm referring to generalizations, overall generalizations.
I'm simply working through your response to smithereyenes and trying to understand how this member being upset at parents for abusing their children translates to her only having such negative feelings toward disadvantaged families, when the reality is she didn't experience such sad circumstances in her previous school. Had she and then chose to excuse it, but not tolerate such behavior from disadvantaged families, I would see an issue. But as it stands, I feel you are questioning something unnecessarily.
Although I grew up in a middle class family, my dad was a functional alcoholic. I have firsthand experience watching family fights, seeing my dad passed out in the chair, experiencing violence, and all of the other garbage that goes along with this sort of life. I saw my brothers brought home by the police for many things and I answered many a phone call from them asking my parents to come get them in jail. I have seen my oldest brother go to college and drop out several times. He cannot even hold a job due to his inability to submit to authority. He has spent years in and out of homeless shelters and living in his car. I went down and picked him up numerous times at the homeless shelter to bring him home for a Thanksgiving meal. My other brother, although he was able to graduate from college and is now married with a little girl, is certainly not a poster for success either. I get it. And my heart breaks for these kids. I would never blame them, for as you pointed out, being born into these families. But I certainly don't think we should feel sorry and make excuses for the parents who are old enough and legally responsible, according to our government, for the well being of their children.
Very well said.
Thank you JustMe because I do believe you read my post as it was intended to be read. I think a lot of what I said was taken out of context and twisted.
For the record, Tiffany, this was EXACTLY why I asked what the composition of your school was, so that I could understand. Had I assumed, I would NOT have asked.
Furthermore, for the record, one of my brothers got a girl, of another race, pregnant in college. (I say this so you will understand my open attitude toward all and not so you take that part of my sentence and decide for yourself that I must be prejudiced.) She had the baby (my nephew) and three years later got pregnant by another man. Both boys have different last names and their mother's last name is different from each of those. My nephew by blood graduated from college a few years ago and is a Mircrobiologist for Nestle. My other nephew (and YES! He is my nephew even though we are not related by blood.) struggled through college and recently dropped out. He is now living at home and working. Throughout their growing up years, their mother managed to continue going to school and get not one but TWO degrees. She is a successful nurse and leads a wonderful life. (And I must mention that she grew up in poverty with a single divorced mother.) I cannot image my life without my nephews.
So with my experience as it is, I am highly offended that your opinon of me seems to be one that I turn down my nose on anyone that is a different color, or does not make enough money, or does not have a good job.
My point in all this is that no one has a perfect life but everyone has to make choices. I made the choice to not be an alcoholic. My "sister in law" made the choice to finish school and was a wonderful mother. My two brothers, however, made some not so good choice. We cannot continue to make excuses for our bad choices. We have to take responsibility.
I've worked with some teachers who felt that if the parents weren't seen at school they weren't "involved" parents. I eventually took offense to this, as a parent. Just because you don't see a parent at the school does NOT mean that the parent is not involved, or not trying.
I've heard teachers bash parents because of their parenting style or because of a decision that the parent made.
My response is this: if you think a parent is a "bad parent" because you never see them, I will have to disagree with you. I'm not a bad parent, I'm a working parent and I work the same hours as you. Therefore, you will not see me at school. That doesn't make me a bad parent, a non-involved parent. Please, when I do show up at a school function & you are my child's teacher speak to me, not the parent who is available to come into the classroom and help out on a regular basis. (Yes, that happened to me! I was able to come to a class party & the teacher barely spoke to me, she had plenty to say to a Mom who was in the classroom all the time!)
As a teacher, I want the parents involved, but sometimes their work hours, physical ability or what ever limits that involvement. Sometimes, the parent just getting the child to school has to be enough.
Tiffany, I have to admit, I parent bash at times. Typically it is about a very specific parent or situation that has happened but I will make general statements about it. Your post made me step back and look at my comments. The majority of my parents are wonderful. They are doing the best they can to support their child--for some of them, that is providing food and shelter. I do have some parents that I wish would participate more in their child's life--however, I don't know everything there is to know about their situation so it's not my place to judge, although I have been known to.
I think some of topic has been twisted around some. I didn't get the feeling that you were singling others out or trying to be specific about instances. Thank you for the reminder. I'm a parent and if I were to check into one of these posts where parents are being bashed, I would not be happy. It is reflective on the whole profession, sadly.
A teacher once told me that parents send their best child to school each day. They don't keep the best one at home. They send what they have to us and it's our job to do the best that we can with what we have to work with. We may have support, we may not. They may have an abundance of resources, they may not. They may have food on the table, they may not. It's not our place to judge the situation they are in. It IS our place to teach them all that we can so that they are empowered to have a better situation in their own life.
There are people all over the world who make bad choices. And there ARE bad people. Yep, I said it, actual bad people. Some of those people are parents and some of them are students. Sometimes those bad people make the lives of teachers quite miserable.
You can give people excuses all day long as to WHY they do the things they do. I've heard it before and I'm sure I'll hear it again. Heck, I've heard people excuse Charlie Manson before.
The overwhelming majority of the students and parents at my school are wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. But I have admit that we do have students who aren't as joyful to be around and some parents that can test the patience of any saint.
And some of those people are teachers. Not "most" or even "many" but "some."
I know a number of people in AA.
Please believe me when I say no one CHOOSES to become an alcoholic. None of them checked that box at career night in high school or elementary school.
This is a good point Alice. I grew up in an alcoholic home and became involved in AA with my father. It's not a choice to be an alcoholic.
Addiction is not a choice--whether it's drugs or alcohol. You are lucky that you only know about it from the outside looking in, and not the person with the addiction. It's a completely different situation.
Not buying the addiction isn't a choice bit. Especially when it comes to illegal drugs and alcohol. Everyone had to choose to take that first drink/hit and they all know that there is potential to become an addict.
That's true but people never think something will happen to them. I mean, gosh, we all know that we can be in a car accident but we still make the choice to get in the car. We never think we will get in an accident.
That's not true. Prudent and responsible people do think about the consequences of their actions. I never take anything for granted and make choices with the future in mind. Have I made the wrong choice from time to time? Of course I have. But when I have, I have accepted the responsibility for them.
I *do* make the choice to get into the car. Because I know there is a possibility that I might get into an accident I wear my seatbelt and make sure that anything of substantial weight is either tucked away or secured. I put my children in carseats and I avoid driving in dangerous conditions.
Thinking that you are better than the rest, as in, "it would never happen to me - I'm too special for that" is no excuse for an addiction.
I wondered the same thing. I hadn't noticed that trend either. I'm glad I didn't post what I was going to today! We did a parent activity and couldn't get rid of our parents! I guess that's complaining on the other end of the spectrum.
To continue the hijack-I think I understand what the poster is saying. I made that choice myself-after seeing my father and sister have issues with alcohol-I don't ever drink at all. Maybe that's what she meant by making a choice not to be one. Not that being one is a choice, but not even taking the chance that might happen, knowing family history can be a choice too.
We shouldn't be comparing alcoholism to a car accident. Everyone is not made from the same mold. An alcoholic doesn't know they are an alcoholic when they take that first drink and they don't "choose" to keep drinking until it ruins their lives. Their make-up is such that they cannot stop without hitting rock bottom. I've witnessed first hand the struggles of many alcoholics.
“No one wants to be an addict. All anyone wants to be able to do is knock back a few drinks with the guys on Friday or have a cigarette with coffee. But very few addicts can do this. When someone goes from being able to control their habit to mugging their grandmother to get money for their next fix, that convinces me that something has changed in their brain.”
Apples and oranges.
My father also suffered alcohol addiction. It wasn't his choice to be addicted to it, but it was his choice to continue drinking when he knew he couldn't control it. He finally realized this and knew he had to stop completely. He made the choice to NOT drink.
I've never tried an illegal drug of any kind. One, it doesn't appeal to me and, two, I know there is a chance I could become addicted if I did. So I made a choice and decided not to take the risk.
Driving a car, however, is both a luxury and a necessity. It is approximately 12 miles to the school where I work. It wouldn't be feasible for me to walk that distance each day and I'm not in physical shape to ride a bike that far, so driving a car is my only option.
I understand the risks involved and NCScienceTeach, I take the necessary precautions. I always make sure I and my passengers are buckled safely before ever moving the car. I drive defensively and even look both ways before going on green, just in case someone decides to "beat the light" from the other direction.
The AMA has recognized alcoholism as a disease for decades.
And, for the record, alcohol is legal.
Again..... thanks for the thread, Tiffany... lots of weaving replies but that's ok..... It happens ... Lots of good teachers and parents out there ..
Ok--bad analogy. My point was is that things happen that we don't expect. As Grammy said, no one knows when they take that first drink what will happen. They may be able to never drink again, or it may be the beginnings of the disease.
Both my parents and my hubby are alcoholics. It doesn't make them bad people or bad parents. It makes them human.
The theme here seems to be lack of compassion/empathy--for people with addictions and parents with issues.
Thank you Tiffany for sharing your thoughts. You've certainly made me think about my generalizations with my comments, especially to those that I speak with daily. It's always interesting to hear an administraters point of view on things. I am blessed with a principal who listens and doesn't judge, just tries to help, support, and encourage in all ways. I imagine the teachers in your school feel lucky to have you.
Please don't assume that because some people believe in natural consequences or in taking responsibilities for actions that they do not have compassion for other humans.
As teachers I think we should avoid being too judgemental when it comes to our students and their parents.
Remember you're there to educate them and help them in other various ways. Parents are a part of that as well. You're supposed to be there for your students and parents in times of need and adversity. I think that some teachers forget that.
I couldn't disagree more, especially in regard to parents. I think people are making an issue out of very little. It seems to me that the vast majority of us here at A to Z, even when frustrated with parents in various circumstances, recognize reasons behind their behaviors and wish we could somehow help these families.
You can be disappointed and compassionate at once.
Some of the things you mentioned are out of control in certain circumstances.
Shouldn't you be there for the children in need? Shouldn't you be there and strive to help children and parents who are in bad situations? Shouldn't your goal be to better your students so they can live successful lives without some of the 'bad choices' you mentioned?
I think this whole conversation is just getting a little...out there. It seems there is a lot of assuming the worst of teachers here.
On the other hand, I've witnessed teachers, on here and in person, assume the worst of parents.
It's interesting that the thread started with concern about how negatively some talk about parents (which you can find traces of and blatant statements in recent threads) and now it's switched to defending teachers. :unsure:
I agree, JustMe. I've forgotten the original topic of the thread already!
If the teachers are doing all they can to help their students then I think a little "venting" about parents is not a problem. Most of us do our job at school and just hope the parents do their jobs at home. Is it just me or does it seem like parents are allowed to "do the best they can" but if teachers are doing the best they can then it's always not enough? And yes, I see it as venting not bashing. To each his own.
Sigh. I'm done.
All parents are doing the best job that they can with the resources they have.
All parents love and care about their children. They may show this in a different way than you do, but that does not mean that they are doing it the "wrong" way. They are doing it in the best way they know how.
Viewing parents in this light enables me to be as supportive as possible to both parent and child. I find that the more encouragement and support that I give to parents, the more they are able to encourage and support me as well as their child.
I think we all can agree that most parents care and are doing their best just like most teachers care and are doing their best.
I also think that we could agree that we, teachers, do not like being based, vented or talked negatively about by others so we can imagine that parents don't enjoy it either.
I agree that MOST parents love and care for their children. I agree that most parents only want what is best for their children.
I don't believe that ALL parents love and care for their children. Unfortunately, I have heard admissions to the contrary enough times to know it isn't true. And that is just from people who are willing to admit it. I don't believe that all parents put their children's welfare ahead of their own. The number of parents who do is significantly lower than the number who actually love their kids, sadly. It is so much easier to put their own desires ahead of their children's needs.
What I really believe is that many parents just are not aware of what is best for their children. That includes the crack-addict mother who never shows for conferences as well as the helicopter mother who thinks her child is the only special person in the classroom.
Like I said before, the vast majority of the parents at my school are awesome. And without them, there wouldn't be any children in my classroom!
And I couldn't disagree more. The overwhelming message by many posters on this thread is that venting away about one situation is one thing. But if someone's overall opinion is that kids these days are not being raised right, parents don't know what they are doing, we are better than the parents, we are justified in turning our noses up at them because of the horrible things they do....then this career will not bring many rewards to those with that type of thinking. I don't think that is making an issue out of something that is very little at all.
On that note...
Separate names with a comma.