This post was previously published on my former site, reprezent98201. However, the more I substitute teach, the more solidly I believe what I have to say in the rant below.
This post is part of my 2013 series #31Days: taking a month to remember, recap, and relish Click here to access all the posts as well as for background on the series.
This sort of fits into the theme of remember/recap/relish seeing as I used to be a full-time public school teacher and am currently a public school substitute as well as public high school coach. But the reason I am writing about it now is that this article is going around Facebook right now (at least that’s where I came across it) and definitely piqued my interest. Hence, the rant (which starts with an “r” like the other words for this month). And I’ll warn you, it’s a bit of a going-down-the-rabbit-hole post but it’s still worth reading. :)
If parents did their job at home, teachers wouldn’t have to be social workers, nurses, counselors, conflict interventionists, AND educators. Yes, districts are messed up (I used to work for Seattle Public Schools and it has it’s share of issues) but the biggest fix can come at home.
Parents, sacrifice your own wants and needs and figure out how to be more present as parents. If that means cutting back on your cell phone’s data plan so you can work a half hour less a work each day so you can be home sooner to be with your kids, do it. Put effort into your marriage so your children can be raised with 2 parents (regardless of sexual orientation) rather than just one or, like too many kids, none.
My husband and I live on a public school teacher’s salary so I can stay home with our daughter (and other future children) until they go to school, at which time I will go back to work as a public school teacher part time so I can get them off to school and be home when they are done for the day. We don’t live in a lavish home, don’t have cable, and rarely go shopping. Our daughter is happy, healthy, and wears hand-me-downs and is just fine.
It comes down to PRIORITIES and PARENTING.
Feel free to call me judgmental and tell me that I don’t understand how hard your life is, etc. However, as an American society, we need to put an emphasis on the family and parenting or we’ll never turn ANYTHING around, let alone public education. Check out this infographic about lengths of maternity leave in different countries around the world…we’re last.
So yes, it is true that districts are a huge part of stressing out teachers and that the best part of a teacher’s day is the time they actually spend with students helping them learn all the wonderful things we get to teach as educators. But what would keep districts from making teachers’ lives so difficult is engaged parenting.
If, as a society, we had engaged parents, school districts wouldn’t need things like drop-out retrieval programs because the teacher and school district wouldn’t have to be the safety net, families would.
You can blame teachers (or tell them they’re getting paid too much which is total crap Jami Lund) and blame school district administration (which are unfortunately a huge bureaucracy and definitely could use some streamlining) but don’t you dare forget that parents are a key part of this problem.
Okay, rant over. For now. Bring on the emails (click here to email me) and comments. :)