Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: When there's trouble at school, teachers sometimes expect parents to fix the problem -- and parents sometimes expect teachers to. The problem lies in BOTH parties thinking it is the other's job. This argument could go 'round and 'round for hours.
Teacher: "Mrs. James, we called you in today because Maxwell is having some trouble with impulsive behaviors."
Parent: "Well, what are you going to do about it?"
Teacher: "What are WE going to do about it? Maxwell is YOUR child. We feel this is a problem you need to resolve at home."
Parent: "But you spend more hours a day with Maxwell than I do. Shouldn't this be something YOU work on at school?"
The truth of the matter is, teachers and parents need to partner in their child's education
. And by "education
," I mean the education
of the whole child: academics, motivation, problem-solving, self-esteem, appropriate behaviors and the like.
I was a teacher before having children, so my students WERE my children. Everything about them became my business. Who they hung out with, why they had bloody knuckles after lunch and who needed to be excused to cool down after a toe-to-toe with the school quarterback were things that shaped my day and shaped my classroom. Some of the parents were dialed in with all of this and I was simply the extension of their hopes and dreams for their child. But then there were the parents I never met -- the ones who figured that what their child did during the day was my business and that they would only deal with the after-school stuff. Fact of the matter is, most of those parents had raised latchkey kids and wouldn't see their kids except to kiss them on top of their heads as they slept.
Raising children is the job of many. We can't expect to do it all, and we certainly can't expect someone else to invest all of their time with our child to fix what is broken or needs to be greased. Bringing a child up in the world we live in and protecting him or her from the evils that lurk there is more than a full-time job. Teachers and parents need to be on the same side: the side that fights FOR the children.
Call your school and see what you can do to get involved. You would be surprised to learn how many schools can't get enough parents to volunteer. Think it's too difficult? Answer this: Can you love a kid? It's truly THAT simple!
You may be the voice of reason someone's child needs to hear. You could save a life.