Modern parents live a hectic lifestyle, often with both parents working full-time positions. Also, parents have a busy social life with peers outside the family. There is often insufficient time to devote to their children.
Children spend more awake time in school than they do at home. Too often, parents pick up their child from an afterschool activity as late as possible. The meal is most often take-out from a restaurant or other quick meal option but is rarely homemade. In our modern demanding lifestyle, time is at a premium.
After dinner, the child might share how their day went with the parent. Too often, the discussion is brief, with the child only saying that their day was OK or not much new. There are few school reports about the child except report cards that rarely let the parents really know how the child is faring. Any report, for the most part, is positive and academic report cards are average or above. There are rarely parent-teacher conferences due to the time constraints of parents and administration. Often, the meeting between school personnel and parents excludes academics and focuses instead on negative behavior.
Many education experts argue that the COVID-19 pandemic opened the eyes, especially of the mothers, who became aware that their children’s assignments were below the parent’s expectations for the level of the child. The online education and teacher interaction with their child was shocking. The COVID experience was a wake-up call to most parents.
Government schools have drastically changed from local neighborhood ones to large factory buildings that are difficult to enter. Staff stability has evaporated with the increase in social mobility. Juvenile crime has skyrocketed as family instability rises. Yet, in middle-class affluent areas, unlike poor areas, they believe their schools are radically different and superior. The parents in these upscale neighborhoods are informed by the press and the public relations department of the school that their schools are outstanding, according to press releases. The children’s report cards with high grades attempt to confirm that their children are outstanding academic students.
Additionally, the parents’ harried lifestyle makes it difficult to visit the child’s school. The school officials are unable to meet the parents’ schedule. The parents rarely can enter the school and have direct contact with the teacher or see their child working in their classroom.
Many more parents have woken up to their child’s plight. They are demanding to meet with their child’s teacher and are not backing down. They are asking pointed questions. Some parents have even gone a step further to join the school board or regularly attend meetings instead of being treated as a child and told what the school board is going to do. Indeed, parents are demanding more specific changes in the curriculum and classroom practices. Parents are becoming active participants again in creating and maintaining a quality school.
Parents can no longer hide behind ignorance of their children’s time spent in school. Videos posted by students and teachers have shown the perverseness of some teachers and chaos in the classroom. Parents realize that much of their child’s academics are way below the level the parents were exposed to at the grade level.
Good things can be inspired by unfortunate events like the COVID pandemic. The incredible positive result of this influenza period in our lives was it opened our eyes to government schools. We learned the necessity of parental involvement in government or any school. Parents need to keep inspiring educators to do their job with the best interest of the students in mind, not their own.
All parents should stand together as one by informing government personnel that children belong to the parents, not to the teachers. It does not matter that teachers have a higher level of education. This may just mean that the teachers have been exposed to double speak, questionable psychology, and educational disinformation.
Parents were there when the child was born, nursed them through serious illness and taught them how to behave in many situations. There is no doubt parents have long-term experiences with their child from birth through adulthood, while a teacher will learn how the child functions with their peers in a school setting during a certain short time period. The parent sees their child in multiple situations throughout their life.
Parents are obviously the primary guardians and deserve the respect of teachers. The parents of the pupil are a vital part of their child’s education and are invaluable for their success in life.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.