Monday, November 14, 2016

Unsupportive Parents

You've seen this comic before I'm sure.  When I first saw it, I wondered if I blow things out of proportion.  Did that parent really just attack me, or am I too sensitive?  Is she asking questions to prove I'm wrong, or is she just trying to gather more information?  However, I received an email recently that is clearly blaming me for their child's performance.  The closing wasn't "sincerely" or even "respectfully", it was "this is unacceptable".  I am being reprimanded by a parent who has been bamboozled by her son.

Just a few weeks ago a girl had an incident with my substitute teacher while I was at NCTM.  The incident had nothing to do with me, it was an exchange between the sub and this student.  However, the parent demanded that I send her a copy of the lesson plans that I left for the sub.  Wait?  What?  The lesson plan had nothing to do with the incident.

I'm at a loss as to why I have to defend my almost every move.  I have to defend my lesson plans.  I have to defend my grading procedures.  I have to defend the grades they students earn.  I even had to defend my sick days to parents in the past (or at least was asked to).

Why have we lost support and respect?

My next move:  Write an email home to a parent whose child is doing fantastic work.  That always cheers me up.

1 comment:

  1. It's much easier for a student (or a parent) to blame a teacher rather than confronting the idea that they bear at least some responsibility. As a regular reader of your blog, I know that you are a highly reflective educator. When a student is struggling, you look first to yourself to see if there is some way that you can make the learning more accessible for him or her. You spend a huge amount of time and effort creating games and activities specifically for engagement and variety of learning methods. Although we sometimes expect this pushback from a teenager, it is really frustrating when you get this kind of attitude from an adult.

    I am with you about emailing home with some good news. I have been in the habit of beginning every parent communication with "thanks so much for your note," and ending by saying "...thanks for your partnership." Maybe try some variation of this on the parent who wrote to you. It will be hard for them to respond negatively to such a positive message. And even if they do, we're still behind you!