I have just finished my son’s book “Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds.” I read the draft; however, when you finish the actual book as I have, you will find yourself considering many aspects of the parents, students, teachers, and school administration and the impact each has on the other throughout the student’s school years. If you are fortunate enough to have a child, always keep in the forefront that it all starts with the parents. I had five children in school simultaneously, from Kindergarten to Twelfth grade. I now have great-grandchildren, and my thoughts are still very often on how today’s children are affected from the moment they wake until they go to bed at night.
Teachers want students to come to class ready to learn, be prepared, focused, and motivated each day.
They want students to enjoy and be participants in the learning process. All this starts with minimum parents’ participation. To answer the question you are asking me, I have the answer. No, I did not have the model student, nor was I ever given the mother of the year award. My children were normal in every way. That included my seeing that each had a decent breakfast or bag lunch in the cafeteria, clean clothes for all seasons, and I tried to make their morning as calm as possible. I knew that if they left with anxiety, depression, or fights with both children and parents, they could not possibly have a good day at school. Teachers want students to be respectful and respect authority and each other. They want them to respect themselves. A respectful and trusting environment allows teachers to maximize learning opportunities. If they go to school with unclean clothes, little or no breakfast, leaving the home atmosphere calm, without fights with parents or each other.
Teachers need parents to support them. They want parents to take them at their word and not question their motives. They want parents to support and reinforce classroom management strategies they have in place. Teachers want parents to be involved with their child’s education. They want parents to take an active role in their children’s education. They want parents who will ensure that all homework gets done and that the child is getting plenty of rest so that they will be alert in class each day. Teachers want parents to value education. They want parents to stress the importance of education from an early age.
Teachers want administrators to have their back in difficult situations. This includes student discipline, disagreements with parents, or confrontation with another faculty member. Teachers want to feel like their administrator(s) will listen to their side and back them if the evidence supports them. Teachers want administrators to provide them with adequate resources. Teachers understand that money can be tight for schools, but there are specific resources that they must have. If a teacher finds a help that they believe will benefit all students, then they expect the administration to find a way to fund it. Teachers want administrators to communicate clear expectations. They want to understand school policy and procedures that affect them. Teachers want administrators to clarify and explain the district’s expectations with issues such as classroom management, student learning, and communication.
Teachers want other teachers to be professional. They do not expect other teachers to talk about them with their students, a parent, or other faculty members. They expect other teachers to value their opinion. They expect other teachers to adhere to the policies of the district. Teachers want other teachers to collaborate. They value other teachers’ opinions. They want them to share best practices and offer advice. They want a strong working relationship with other teachers in which they feel comfortable to share frustrations and success stories.
Teachers want community members to get involved. They want them to volunteer to help in classrooms, read a book to students, or help with a fundraiser. They want them to donate money to projects that they are doing. They want them to offer their services in any capacity that they would be able to help. Now, you are saying so many parents cannot contribute money, but their time is valuable, ask a teacher what you can do to relieve the teacher’s stress.
Your next question will no doubt be; there are bad educators, bad administrators, those that do their job nine – to – five. There are bad apples everywhere and in all professions. We must be avid in being open, reporting fear we may have as a parent, remember everyone has a “boss” that they must answer to. Keep going until you get an answer to your problem. Remember, your child was not born racist; most are not born with no ability to learn; all these things must begin at home. Give your child a good foundation before sending them off to school. We are losing good teachers to non-education positions because of stress and anxiety throughout the system. We need to fight to keep good teachers and weed out the bad. Also, the school system needs a managed format involving teachers, parents, and students. I know you are saying there is one in place; if it is not working, take the time to change it.
What I am suggesting to parents, students, teachers, and administration are not quick fixes. The trouble now is that problems have been slapped with a bandage for years, and soon the problem will go away as the children go away (Graduate or move up in classes). This is not the solution to the problem, and the problems grow bigger each day.
Thank you for reading this post, and comments are welcomed. EAJM 5.3.2022
“Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds” at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree also located for purchase at: Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com