Dust from the Book Fairy

Blog love & Parent Power

Posted on: 30 July 2008

I stumbled across Current Education Issues via a link from this week’s Carnival of Education at The Chancellor’s New Clothes.  Lots of good posts made it into the Carnival, so be sure check it out.

Current Education Issues had several posts that really got me thinking. He’s probably aggravated with me right now, as I just finished writing a small essay about my thoughts on tenure as a comment, but the thoughts were bubbling over. His writing is clear and concise–unlike mine! Talking about education issues without a trace of educationese is quite a feat. You should go see it in action.

So after commenting on the tenure post, I found this one. Here’s a taste:

Those who experience ineffective education are parents who refuse or fail to take steps to ensure that their child gets quality learning. Don’t like the teacher or the school? Get a new one. Don’t like how your child’s behaving in school? Change their behavior. Is your child not making the grade? Spend more time with him on his school work.

What did you say? You don’t have school choice? You can’t change their behavior? You can’t spend more time with her?

He then explains what parents have the POWER to do to make sure there child gets the best education possible. Teachers and schools don’t get a free pass, but parents are important.  He just points out that there are some things parents have more influence over than the school does.

The parent power to change behavior is the one I see the most. If parents insist that their kid behave, 99.999% of the time, s/he will. Everybody has bad days, but when a kid knows their parents will hold them accountable at home for their behavior in school, those days are fairly rare.

When I taught middle school and had issues with one of my darlings, I would call home. Usually from my room phone with the kid listening.

You know how I could tell when I would most likely never have to call about a problem again? When the parent said something like “I’ll take care of it.  Can I speak to My Darling Sunshine right now?” Sometimes I could hear what they were saying (once, the whole class could! That was a bit much–but that girl worked like a demon for me the rest of the year. All I had to do was wander towards the phone if she started to get off task). Those parents used their power to change behavior usually got results.

You know how I knew when to go ahead and start the discipline paperwork? When the parent said, “When she’s at school, she’s your problem.”

I don’t call parents much now–one of the perks of being the librarian is not having to “discipline” much. I see 500ish students every week, but, really, how much trouble can you get into in a half hour? I think I’ve “written up” maybe one kid in two years, and there was blood involved. But I do keep the in-school suspension kids when there’s an overflow.  They often have “she’s your problem” parents.


2 Responses to "Blog love & Parent Power"

Not aggravated at all…Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

This is so true! The worst is when a parent makes excuses for the child and tries to get the child out of trouble.

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