Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why Won't the Teacher Raise My Child - the great question from parents to the public schools

I have a story to tell. When I was a kid, in middle school specifically, I had a particularly wonderful English teacher. He gave me my love of poetry, and it was his class that helped push me to continue my writing. This teacher was a tall, mild-mannered man who genuinely cared about his students. His assignments were unique, and they honed writing and critical thinking skills. I continued to go back and visit this teacher when I was a high school student.

Several years after I had this teacher, a friend's younger sister got his class. Running into this friend's family several months in the school year, I was shocked to hear her mother bash this teacher. Her complaint? "He just can't keep order in that classroom. He doesn't get them to sit down and listen."

I was floored. In a child-centric society, it seems we have forgotten that the responsibility to teach children to sit down, shut up, and respect authority lies with parents. This man went to school to become a teacher - not to be a father to children whose own fathers are either absent or ineffective. A teacher should be judged on his or her ability to teach, not on their ability to raise 30 children that belong to other people.

Once upon a time, children were expected to file into the classroom neatly and sit at their desks quietly, especially once the teacher walked in.  This man taught middle school English, not Kindergarten.  If a 12 year old walks into a classroom raising hell and disrespecting authority figures,  the fault does not lie with the public schools. Parents need to instill proper public behavior in their children. Despite what Hillary Clinton says, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes responsible, mature parents who invest time making sure that their dog isn't better trained than their 12 year old.

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