Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Response to CNN: We are ALL a Team

Click through the gallery to see some of the best responses to the following <a href='' target='_blank'>prompt posted on Facebook</a>:<!-- -->
</br>"The one thing parents/teachers <a href=''>really need to know</a> is _____." Some comments have been edited for length and clarity.So this weekend, I saw this article from CNN about the 10 things parents and teachers should know about each other.  I have talked on here before how parents and teachers should be a team, and that parents shouldn't demand things of teachers--just as teachers shouldn't demand things of parents. And again...these opinions are mine alone, but I wanted to respond to this article.
Briefly, this article is a response to an article that they did probably about a year ago about what teachers want to tell parents.  I saw that article then and liked it enough to share it on Facebook.  To me, this new article discusses that parents and teachers are on the same page--some of the time.  They give a couple of quotes--some I agree with and some that I don't. As the article asks at the end: "What do you think about this list and what would you add?" I will do a list of three quotes from the article with my own commentary.

Quote #1 from the article states:
"Parents need to know we're in it for the kids; obviously not for the money," said Facebook user and Florida teacher Cindy Hoffman. "We're in a partnership, trying to do the best for the children as possible. Please don't treat us as adversaries."

I agree because as I have mentioned before, no teacher is in it for the money.  If parents know that we are a team--things go so much better.  Students drive the train (especially in high school) while the parents and teachers work as the staff on the train to help support the engineer.

Quote #2 states:
"As a teacher (oh yes, I am both) I want parents to stop blaming teachers and start working with us," Williams-Solod said. "We can't fix everything, but remember we are humans and we aren't perfect. Also, teach your kids to respect us."

I like this quote because it comes from a teacher-parent.  Sometimes teacher-parents are the worst--because we know what we would do as a teacher for our own kids.  But I think this mom hits the nail on the head--teachers are only human.  And one thing that I have to remind myself of everyday is that parents are only human too. I deal with a lot of kids who might not be in the situation that they were if there were different choices made in their upbringing.  So...again we are a team.

Quote #3 states:
"ADHD is not an excuse; it is an explanation."--Melynda Hartley Johnson, parent

I disagree with this quote to a certain extent. I agree that in some cases ADHD is a real thing--and something that the student needs to learn how to overcome.  However, I think that it can be used as an excuse even when it is a real thing.  No kid that is in a wheelchair or has glasses or any other visible difference says that they can't do something just like everyone else.  They figure out how they can do it their way.  That's what I as a teacher wish the parents that come to me with, "My kid has ADHD." would understand.  I wish I could hear, "My child has ADHD; can we help him learn despite of that?  I want him/her to be able to reach their potential and not be a kid defined by this."  That's really is the biggest thing--we can't define our kids by an explanation--they have to define themselves by what they CAN do, not what they CAN'T do.

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