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Old 06-28-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Parents are the people with power. They have the power to instill high regard for education in their children, they have the power to demand financial support for schools, they have the power to support their local schools, they have the power to intervene on behalf of their children from an early age, they determine whether their child's education starts at 1 or 5, they have the power to teach their children to respect teachers, they have the power to make sure their kids show up for school, get a good night's sleep, have a good breakfast and do their homework....etc, etc, etc...of all the people involved in children's educations, parents have, by far, the most power to effect change.

So, yes, parent are, simultaneously, the people to blame the most when education fails AND the people with the power to effect change. Think about it. You can't blame someone if they don't have the power to do something. You can only blame the person who actually has the power. As a parent, I have way more power than my children's teachers, schools and politicians. I wish I could say parental power is perfect and all a parent has to do is X, Y and Z to get great results but if you don't have the parents doing their job, it's unlikely the child is going to do well.
Oh, there's plenty of "blaming" going around from people who don't have a clue what they're talking about. I'm sorry, I'm completely disassociating from people who constantly "blame the parents". They can find their support somewhere else. Teachers can learn to work with parents.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times
Reputation: 14495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Oh, there's plenty of "blaming" going around from people who don't have a clue what they're talking about. I'm sorry, I'm completely disassociating from people who constantly "blame the parents". They can find their support somewhere else. Teachers can learn to work with parents.
Whether you like it or not, parents are the ones with the true power and where you find power is where you lay blame when the power isn't used as it should be. As to who should be working with who...it's easier for parent to "work with" their child's teacher than said teacher to "work with" 150 sets of parents. You really don't get it.

The education ball is, clearly, in the parent's court. There is only so much a teacher can do if the parents don't do their job and it's not enough. OTOH, if parents do do their jobs, there's time a plenty for a teacher to do hers to a high standard. Parents determine how many of my hours will be spent working with kids who don't bother doing homework or are absent frequently or are too tired to pay attention the first time I presented something or are disruptive and disrespectful or who are unprepared for class or who don't value education or who think their learning is everyone's job except theirs...and parents determine the funding for my classroom which impacts the size of my classes and whether I'm doing things the right way or making do with what I have....and all of this takes away from my real job...TEACHING.

I will do what I have to do but much of what I have to do because parents don't use their power means I will never teach to the heights I could and your children will never learn to the depths they could. Parents determine how well I can teach. Parents both lay the foundation (the values they teach their children) and supply the supporting structures for education (the funds to run a classroom and their children well prepared for class).

IMO, parents must embrace the power they have and in order to get them to do that, we have to show them what not doing so is accomplishing. So, yes, blame is laid. More will be accomplished by parents who realize that they are to blame than will be by parents who think they are not. The ones who think they are not aren't working to change anything other than what teachers do and that won't help because that's not the problem.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 06-28-2011 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Whether you like it or not, parents are the ones with the true power and where you find power is where you lay blame when the power isn't used as it should be. As to who should be working with who...it's easier for parent to "work with" their child's teacher than said teacher to "work with" 150 sets of parents. You really don't get it.

The education ball is, clearly, in the parent's court. There is only so much a teacher can do if the parents don't do their job and it's not enough. OTOH, if parents do do their jobs, there's time a plenty for a teacher to do hers to a high standard. Parents determine how many of my hours will be spent working with kids who don't bother doing homework or are absent frequently or are too tired to pay attention the first time I presented something or are disruptive and disrespectful or who are unprepared for class or who don't value education or who think their learning is everyone's job except theirs...and parents determine the funding for my classroom which impacts the size of my classes and whether I'm doing things the right way or making do with what I have....and all of this takes away from my real job...TEACHING.

I will do what I have to do but much of what I have to do because parents don't use their power means I will never teach to the heights I could and your children will never learn to the depths they could. Parents determine how well I can teach.
In my district, only about 20% of taxpayers have a kid in school. The other 80% (obviously) do not. Teachers will not garner the support of these 20% if they continue with rants such as the above.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
In my district, only about 20% of taxpayers have a kid in school. The other 80% (obviously) do not. Teachers will not garner the support of these 20% if they continue with rants such as the above.
Apparently, the truth hurts. Why does it offend you so to be told that parents have the true power? I would think this would please parents. I like knowing that I have more power than the school over the outcome of my children's education. Of course, that means I accept the blame when things don't go right. Accepting blame is the first step in fixing things.

Of the 80%, how many have in the past or will in the future have children or grandchildren in the system?

Like it or not, a child's attitude towards education matters more than anything and that is formed at home. There isn't much I can do with a child who does not value education and doesn't see learning as their job but THAT child will take, disproportionately, more time than the child who arrives at school with a good attitude and ready to learn. Unfortunately, the latter often goes wanting because of the former and I would think that parents would be clobbering each other over the head over that one. Maybe we need to start billing parents when their child is the one who requires extra work so that we can hire the extra people needed because they aren't using their power as they should. Of course this means I get a bill for dd#1 but I would welcome the extra help with her.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:25 AM
 
4,658 posts, read 5,905,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
Just a comment on this one:
for those of us parents who are not schoolteachers, school is not an all-consuming part of our lives. I really don't feel a burning need to attend the girls' volleyball games just because Jennifer or Latasha's parents can't make it. That's a great pie-in-the-sky thought, but frankly, I have kids of my own who need my time and energy, and I have my other responsibilities, and the time I don't spend on either of those I really don't want to spend with anybody's children.

Having three children of my own and working at a school that my children do not attend I understand your feelings about not having enough time or desire to attend events my child is not involved in. But, parents are an integral part of the success of their child's education and often being a visible presence at school sponsored activities will help bolster your child and the school. I'm not saying you should be at every atheletic event or play/musical program that blows by, but just try to attend a few each year. I f your children are in middle/high school they want to go anyway so don't just drop them off and go to the mall.

My intent was not that you should "spend time" with anyone elses child, but what would it hurt to cheer on another kid while you are there supporting your own.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Apparently, the truth hurts. Why does it offend you so to be told that parents have the true power? I would think this would please parents. I like knowing that I have more power than the school over the outcome of my children's education. Of course, that means I accept the blame when things don't go right. Accepting blame is the first step in fixing things.

Of the 80%, how many have in the past or will in the future have children or grandchildren in the system?
Cut the snark. It makes you sound like a "certain poster" over on P&OC.

Re: the other 80% of taxpayers, some never have and never will have kids in the school system. I've never seen the stats for that number. Once one's kids are out of school, people generally turn to other priorities, e.g. college, retirement, etc, and are not so concerned about the public schools any more. That is my observation after being involved in education of many levels for many years. And I don't think teachers who "blame the parents" will ever get much support from same. Few are going to "accept the blame" and have an epiphany that the teachers are right and they are wrong. Human nature just doesn't work that way. Teachers need to learn to work with parents. Parents are not going away. Teachers constantly say they don't want to raise their students, just teach them. Learn to co-operate. All the rest of us who work with kids do that.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,159,738 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Apparently, the truth hurts. Why does it offend you so to be told that parents have the true power? I would think this would please parents. I like knowing that I have more power than the school over the outcome of my children's education. Of course, that means I accept the blame when things don't go right. Accepting blame is the first step in fixing things.
I expect it's your definition of "power" and who has it. Not the least of which is the erroneous tendency to assume parents are one monolithic structure.

I have quite a bit of power over parts of my kids' education (not the least because I live in a state with liberal homeschooling laws, but that's another discussion). However, there are things I do not: other voters, school board policy and budgeting, anything handed down from the state (because god knows Gov. Voldem--er, Rick Scott-- wasn't my idea), Federal law, other kids' behavior...the list is endless. I am one voter. The recent near vote for Cherokee tribal chief notwithstanding, one vote rarely swings that much power. Especially in a diverse metropolitan area (and some of us do live in those), you're simply not going to get voters banding together to fix anything, because the definition of "fixing" is not clear cut.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:40 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,638,586 times
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The problem with our schools is not money.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:50 AM
 
613 posts, read 807,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I got a good chuckle out of that. Have you never heard "you can catch more flies with honey"? And the parents are hardly "the people with power".
I got more than a chuckle. I was LMAO!
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:53 AM
 
613 posts, read 807,510 times
Reputation: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
IME teachers are neither saints who should be genuflected before, nor lazy sots who went into it for the cool summer vacations. They're pretty much like everybody else: some are brilliant, some are horrid. Most are decent people who want to do the best they can without killing themselves in the process.

Of course, I also think parents are basically decent people, too. Probably neither opinion will play well with everyone in this thread. It's too much fun complaining it's everyone else's fault.
Actually, I think this sums it up quite succinctly.
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