As a connected parent educator, it is tough to remain edu-neutral when it comes to who teaches my kids especially when they are in schools where 0% of the teachers are connected. I have to make this distinction between “connected” and “not” because of the difference gained through deep conversations and access to ideas from a broader perspective.
Face it, we are different…we just are.
I made the choice two years ago to leave my home town where I started my career but I also made the tough choice to leave my son in this school. Actually, with my insane schedule…it wasn’t really much of a choice. I could not move him and with that realization, came an embedded set of positives and negatives that I will have to face on top of the typical, “parenting a teenage boy” issues.
On the positive side, my son has to grow up and make the right choices, which he has honestly struggled with. At 15 years old, he needs this room away from me during the school day. On the other side, I have zero trust that his teachers are there to support his growth. I take that back. His football coaches are for sure. Academically, this one hurts more than anything.
I have always been a teacher who taught my students as if they were my own children. It’s tough being on the other side of this when other teachers are not the same. In my mind, this should be a minimal requirement.
About those trust issues…
The other day, I talked to a teacher in my son’s school who needed to vent about the new mandates that the new superintendent has placed on school staff. I sat on the other end of the phone as this person said that he did not have time for “this foolishness”. In case you ‘re wondering…here is what this supt is asking…
- Teachers meet with subject area teachers to discuss instructional goals, students…etc (PLC)
- Teachers must call a certain number of parents a week (this is an increase over ZERO)
- Teachers must integrate technology (Last year, my son used zero technology)
- Teachers must write actual lesson plans and maybe reflect on them
Normally, I am against mandates but to me, these seemed pretty minimal. In my mind, what this superintendent is requiring are things that good teachers already do but in this case, it is rare. I am proud that my hometown has a leader who wants to address the issues but I am sad because when you attach the word “mandate” to anything, it automatically becomes negative…even when it is good.
You can’t mandate a relationship though. That takes effort.
A Few Small Parent/Auntie Wins
My son came home and told me that a varsity football player tried to jump him in Geometry. He also told me that his friends handled it by snitching to the coach and he is fine. I was then told to keep it to myself and NOT intervene. He said that all he kept thinking about was his goal to stay out of trouble and he was more afraid of that than anything. (To be clear…this should not be on our children’s radar of worry. For me, the win was that he confided in me.)
He didn’t say not to blog about it though…so there’s that.
My nephew came home from school excited because he has a project to do with a team of students for science. He didn’t bring home a worksheet. He had a series of questions about paper airplanes to research. YES!!!
It’s only day 3.