As we are introduced to the four key beliefs that form the framework for the MIT program here at City University, (Preparation, Practice, People, and Professionalism) I have chosen to focus first on People, since people are at the core of what we are seeking to become. Obviously there are areas of overlap in the four; like professionalism is going to include preparation, but people are at the heart of it; teachers, parents, children, and administrators working together for the common goal of education.
Unfortunately even though the goal is the same, what route to take in order to achieve that goal is sometime a contentious one. Laws are passed. Curriculums are made with the general population in mind, but not the individual.
Teachers have to work with their entire class at the same time. The parent however is often focused on only one thing, the education of their child and that can lead to problems
In “Parents Behaving Badly” by Nancy Gibb (Time, 2005,135,40-49), the author examines how well meaning parents can hinder the educational process by doing things that perhaps are well intentioned, but are quite possibly not for the greater good.
She sites from a 2004 MetLife survey, (Gibb, 2005, p.44) that 90% of new teachers agree that involving parents in their children’s education is a priority, however only 25% described their experience working with parents as “very satisfying”. In fact 31% of the teachers cited involving and communicating with parents as the biggest challenge they face. The vast majority of teachers in the survey felt too many parents treat schools and teachers as adversaries.
Parental induced problems included, but were certainly not limited to: parents doing their children’s homework, blaming teachers for their child’s mistakes, demanding that grades be changed, demanding daily updates on their child’s progress, restricting teacher’s speech (in the context of
Parents + Teachers = Conflicts Essay3
what can be said to their child), lawsuits, verbally abusing teachers, and at the other end of the spectrum parents that are completely uninvolved. “While it’s the nature of parents to want to smooth out the bumps in the road, it’s the nature of teachers to toss in a few more: sometimes kids have to fail in order to learn.” (Gibbs, 2005, p.44)
“Research show that students benefit modestly from having parents involved at schoolbut what happens at home matters much more.”, (Gibbs, 2005, p.44).
She calls on studies that demonstrate a partnership is required to achieve the best results. She concludes with and offers “Eight Steps to Parental Success”, (Gibbs, 2005, p.49) to help parents in preparation for conference with their child’s teacher
In a similar vain, a Peter Barnes article “Tough Parents”, (Teaching Pre K-8, 2005, 35, p.28) tackles the same subject. Barnes states “I must admit that parents can be one of the most stressful parts of my job”, (Barnes, 2005, p.28) He then presents three recurring types of problematic parents and then offers up solutions on how to deal with each.
Barnes recognizes the great value that parents contribute to the schools and the learning process. He considers it well worth the effort to turn problematic parents into supportive ones; then “both the child and the classroom are the big winners”, (Barnes, 2005, p.28)
Both articles tackled the same subject with a similar approach, both stating that there are problems and offering up solutions (always a plus). The Time Magazine article was significantly longer and was illustrated with plenty of horror stories, which made for entertaining reading, but in the end they both have the worthy goal of trying to get the reader to see the value in working towards forming a partnership in the educational process. The only negative comment I have was neither article put any culpability on the teachers for the problems. Other than that I recommend them fully and applaud their goal of developing teamwork and cooperation between parents and teachers for the betterment of the child.