I’ve had many discussions with parents who are upset because their child is having an educational issue and they feel the School is unresponsive. I think part of the reason that the Parent feel the School is unresponsive is because the boundaries are not clear . where the actual responsibility of the Teacher stops and the Parent begins What needs to be clear is that it is the PARENT who is ultimately responsible for the student’s education. Teachers and administration are tools and resources. They can only work with what they have.
If there is a deficiency in a child’s education then the parent should step up to the plate and ask the question: “What do I need to do next?” Teachers and administration cannot solve all of your child’s problems and a parent should not hold them accountable. However that boundary is oftentimes not made clear to parents. The administration needs to make it clear where the boundary is; the administration must also make clear what the resources are and how parents should go about getting them.
Sometimes the administration may come across as unwilling to divulge what those resources are. I am not sure why, but when that happens the walls of communication between Parent and Administration simultaneously go up. There is no team and conversations become adversarial and contentious The parent must go after those resources. The administration cannot do it for you.
When my son was in the first grade I received a notice from his elementary school that he was deficient in math. I went to Marc’s and purchased math workbooks for him. I had him work in those books every evening. When he was coming home with bad spelling grades. I would come up with 20 words every week, make him look them up in the dictionary, define them, and write them in a sentence. He HATED it. He would grumble every evening. BUT he was ecstatic when he came home with a 100% in spelling! My daughter was found below average in reading in elementary school. I had books at home; I made her read and write a report on them. I was never an expert, but I knew that ultimately I was the one responsible for my child’s education.
A friend of mine (Cheryl Ludwa) had the greatest idea of the parents who are very good at digging through the process of finding resources for students would be a great resource for mentoring other parents. This is an idea I would love to sponsor and have at Euclid Schools. I would love to meet more parents Like Cheryl so we can form a team and be a part of a solution for the future!
Unfortunately, education is a huge bureaucracy with many levels and sometimes parents don’t know what it is that they don’t know. I think it’s a great idea! Parents helping parents! Who would better understand the frustration more than another parent? And who would be more sympathetic? A teacher has at least thirty or forty more students to worry about. Parents could be much helpful if they are more willing to participate in researching the resources.