Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Bad Parents

It is truth often acknowledged but less often spoken that the main problem with schools today is parents.

When you start a column off that way, you've certainly captured my attention. And while I agreed with some of what the author said after that, something just didn't sit right with me. Was it his tone?


MiaZagora said...

Bad parenting can lead to bad behavior. In our local schools, I'll just bet if we had parents - especially responsible fathers - walking the halls in shifts, we wouldn't have nearly the number of behavior issues we have. That's probably half of the problem, though. The other half of the problem is the school system. From the crooked school board (that seem to get re-elected every year), to the gross mismanagement of funds, to the use of experimental curricula that are overly-expensive and difficult, and the inability to fire teachers for not being able to teach the children assigned to them.

Mrs. C said...

Parents are uncaring/ don't show up for meetings. They *must* be drinking 10 vodkas a day. Waaah.

Parents care TOO much. Show up for too many meetings. Advocate for children. Question his unilateral authority.

"Whatever kind of bad parent they are, they help set up a situation that leaves the teacher powerless."

I'm thinking that's the sentence to focus on. He demands the student's life revolve around school (ok he grants time for sleeping, generous of him).

I'm thankful for the sane teachers out there, but stuff like this makes some of my friends roll their eyes and go, "Another reason we're homeschooling!"

Have you seen this one?


Darren said...

That was not just painful to read, it was embarrassing.

Middle School Secretary said...

If by tone you mean poorly written, then you are right; it didn't sit well with me either.

However, his premise, near as I can make out, is correct. The main problem I see with parents is that they don't understand minor children don't have adult comprehension yet, and so everything their little darling says is the truth and they will believe them over the parent.

Back years ago, parents would believe a school over a kid. Now, all a kid has to say is "teacher said I was going to be on welfare when I grew up" and the parents come in screaming. When the teacher actually said the word "welfare" in the sense that the "your future welfare depends on your education."

It's always the kids' interpretation that is believed and acted upon, never the schools.

If a kid says he turned in homework, then he did, even though an experienced, organized teacher has procedures in place to keep track of homework - and even though the student hasn't been turning in homework for years in all his classes.

That's what I see as the main problem (aside from addiction and abuse). The fact that parents no longer understand that kids are kids.

MiaZagora said...

Teacher, Revised got too much traffic from Mr. Scaccia's silly rant. One minute he's blasting homeschoolers, the next minute he's inviting them to write for Teacher, Revised. I thought it was a joke - a ruse to drum up traffic. I still can't get over the part of the web site that says he has a Masters in journalism.

Middle School Secretary said...

All I have to say is my above comment is not exactly an example of stellar writing either. :) I was interrupted too often while trying to compose it - hopefully my meaning is clear.

DADvocate said...

He "doth protest too much." Yes, parents are an essential part of education but too many teachers use "bad parents" as an excuse for bad results in school. Too many schools do a good job with the same raw material as other schools for that excuse to fly.

...let's agree that there are more bad parents than bad teachers, because at least you have to take a test to become a teacher.

The test part is true but where I went to college (University of Tennessee) education was easiest curriculum. The university actually did a study that demonstrated that when they delved into why education majors had the highest grade point averages and the lowest GRE scores.

My kids' mother or myself have shown up for every, yes every, parent-teacher conference they've had since starting school. Of course, being good parents, it's mostly to hear how good our kids are. One year every teacher described my daughter as "wonderful." This year I think the word was "fantastic."

I wonder who Mr. Carroll would credit to for the success of kids like mine.

BTW - One reason I read this blog is to get the opinions and insight of an intelligent teacher which to a too rare commodity.

Darren said...

You flatter me. Please continue!

maxutils said...

As one who grew up reading Jon Carroll every day, two things jump out: some of the criticism here results from not understanding Mr. Carroll's somewhat obscure writing style . . . he never quite says qhat he means, but prefers to nudge around the edges, prodding the reader near a conclusion. He tends towards circuitous routes and irony from medium to sharp.

That said, I'm a fan, and I didn't get his point here. I think it might have been as straightforward as too much parenting is just as bad as too little; but it might also have been that teachers complain too much,and should control what they can and leave the rest.

Not his best piece, but the tone was pure Carroll.

Anonymous said...

"I'll just bet if we had parents - especially responsible fathers - walking the halls in shifts, we wouldn't have nearly the number of behavior issues we have." This is a great idea!


neko said...

If I have to read nonsense from an author named Carroll, then I prefer Lewis Carroll.

ns123 said...

It was his tone. Full of vitriol. He has some good points but presents it in a way that just makes him sound like a hateful raving ass. And hateful raving asses can be right, but no one wants to listen to them.