What Teachers Really Want to Say to Parents: An Article Revisited

While I was thinking about what I might post this week, I remembered an article that CNN ran entitled, “What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents several years back. It was a guest column written by Ron Clark, author of “The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck — 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers,” Clark was named “American Teacher of the Year” by Disney and Oprah Winfrey’s pick as her “Phenomenal Man.” 



Highlights of the article:

He wants parents to trust teachers and their advice about their students.

Clark says some teachers hand out A grades so parents won't bother them.

It's OK for kids to get in trouble sometimes; it teaches life lessons.


My first thought was that it might be a humorous spoof on teachers, but after I read it, I understood what it was meant to be…a sincere message to parents, a request of sorts, that I felt had some very valid points.

Let’s face the facts. There are bad teachers, those who are in the profession for the wrong reasons. But for every bad teacher, there are so many more who believe that teaching is a calling, and they are teachers because they love children and want them to learn and be successful in school and life. Teachers understand that when parents send their kids to school in the morning, they are entrusting them with their most prized possession. It is a responsibility not lightly taken.


Here are two important points he makes:

* Please quit with all the excuses

* Parents, be a partner instead of a prosecutor


I found this paragraph of the article particularly insightful:

“This one may be hard to accept, but you shouldn’t assume that because your child makes straight A’s that he/she is getting a good education. The truth is, a lot of times it’s the bad teachers who give the easiest grades, because they know by giving good grades everyone will leave them alone. Parents will say, “My child has a great teacher! He made all A’s this year!”


This week I’m planning to revisit some books from my professional library. Clark’s will definitely be one I include in my list. 

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