Parent-Teacher Relationships: From respectful, to indifferent, to just plain rude!

A teacher’s take on parent-teacher relationships…

Parents, who do you have a better relationship with – your hairdresser or your child’s teacher? The profound and lasting impact that a positive, respectful parent-teacher relationship has on a child’s learning and determining their life-chances, is often rarely realised.

A teacher’s life is dedicated to facilitating a supportive, positive environment in which all children can be challenged to achieve their best in all areas of social, emotional, physical, behavioural and cognitive learning. Too many parents are at best indifferent toward their child’s teacher, and in some cases are just plain disrespectful, untrusting and rude (I’d guess that all teachers have had to deal with, as a minimum, some form of verbal abuse from parents at some stage of their career).

My last three posts have all explored the idea of respect for teachers – the importance of students respecting their teachers and the lack for respect for teachers from society in general. I’ve missed a major stake-holder in the education business, so I’ll use this post to address them… parents! How well do you know your child’s teacher? Do you respect them? Do you trust them? How often do you communicate with them positively?                      

Read this popular Ron Clark CNN article (plus a follow-up article here). The open letter to parents called for parents to “be a partner instead of a prosecutor” and to “have our backs, and we need you to give us the respect we deserve”. “We know you love your children. We love them, too”.

Alternatively, if you want to read a colourful rebuttal, read this Laurie A. Couture post which includes claims that “Teachers routinely inflict an environment of chronic physical and emotional distress on children” and that school children are held as “hostages, against their wills” by “factory-like” schools that force “the population to deny the self, homogenize, obey and consume… ignor[ing] their bodies, emotions, passions, interests, questions, ideas, creative impulses, purposes and needs”.

Yikes! All I can say is for the sake of teachers everywhere, I’m glad Couture’s son is, as she terms it, “unschooled” because imagine if she was a parent of one of your pupils. Perhaps parents need reminding that a teacher’s priority is to do what’s in the best interests of the child. We’re not the bad guys we’re sometimes made out to be. We’re not in it for the holidays, as some people believe. We’re obviously not in it for the money. We’re teachers because we care about children. Surely that’s worth some respect?

–  Teachling < WordPress> <Tumblr>

The ‘respect series from Teachling:
A teacher’s take on respecting teachers, pt2…
A teacher’s take on respecting teachers, pt1…
A teacher’s take on earning respect from students…

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10 thoughts on “Parent-Teacher Relationships: From respectful, to indifferent, to just plain rude!

  1. Thank you for sharing these articles! I wish there was a way to subtly send these links along to some of my parents. It is so helpful when parents can be a part of the process, rather than — intentionally or unintentionally – working against what we do.

    • And thanks for reading! Yes, haha, perhaps print it out and ‘accidentally’ drop it in the schoolbags of children of tricky parents! By the way, halloween isn’t a very big deal in Australia, but if it was, I’d be hitting you up for ideas. Halloween in your class sounded FUN!

      • Thanks! It is such a big deal here in the US…once October 1st arrived, all of my students started wanting to say, “Happy Halloween!” as their good morning greeting. Of course, this pales in comparison to the winter holidays…I had a student try to say, “Merry Christmas!” yesterday morning. Yikes!

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  7. Reblogged this on Second Laura and commented:This week there’s something for the gentlemen!

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