Let’s Blame the Teachers
We all know it is the teacher’s fault when kids don’t learn. That is why there is the strong push to link teacher pay to achievement test scores of kids. If teachers did a better job of teaching, students would do a better job of learning. But what if there are other factors besides how well the teacher teachers.
The single highest corollary for achievement by children is the quality of the partnership between home and school. Teachers sometimes think that partnership only goes one way, parents need to be nice to teachers and do as teachers ask.
But let’s look at it from another perspective. Teaching is the teachers’ job. They get paid a decent salary with good benefits and great vacation time off to do that job. Yet consistently teachers complain to parents that the child is not learning. A teacher will contact home and inform the parent that the child is not paying attention at school. Just exactly does the teacher want the parent to do? It is the teacher’s job to make school sufficiently interesting that the child will pay attention. The teacher needs to look at the level of the work being offered the child and methodology being used. That is not the parent’s job.
Teachers often complain to parents about things they see as being wrong with the child. Parents live with their children. They are more than aware of what challenges their children have. They do not need a teacher to appraise them of the difficulty.
Teachers have a very bad habit of contacting parents with only bad news. So when a teacher’s name pops up in email or on a phone screen, the parent’s stomach will clutch and the parent will not want to respond. Teachers need to send good news home, even more often than they send bad news. Teachers say they don’t have the time to send home good news but yet, they always make the time to send home bad news or requests about how parents can make the teacher’s job easier. That is not a parent’s job. Parents have their own work to do and teachers who are also parents should be well aware of that.
It is easy to blame the teachers. After all they make the big bucks. But if we want kids to succeed, we need to stop blaming each other.