That Bulk of Reasonable Parents
In education’s corner of the Intertubes, there’s a lot of ranting and raving about parents not being involved in their students’ schooling. Parents aren’t involved. Parents aren’t supportive. Parents are non-responsive. Parents are angry at the suggestion that their little angel could be a disruptive beast who never turns in work.
I have yet to meet one of these parents. That I haven’t met them either proves or disproves that they exist, depending on how you look at it, I suppose. Yet although I’m sure that there’s some truth in saying that there some parents are too busy holding three jobs to care about what happens with their little truant, by-and-large the parents I’ve even tried to contact are extremely supportive.
Case in point: Just yesterday, I met with the parents of Ceasar Nothisrealname, one of my failing sophomores. Though I can say he legitimately bright enough that he should be in AP classes — that is, I don’t tell his parents that because they want to hear it — he’s loud, talkative and will interrupt lectures and discussion with bombastic non sequiturs.
Ceasar would have close to a C if he made up his test and quiz. He just hasn’t. He has rarely turned in other assignments on time.
Confused if not frustrated or angry, his parents called Ceasar’s counselor yesterday, arranging to meet me after class for a same-day appointment. My master teacher would have been there had he known about it, but he had called in for a sub — me — that day.
Any trepidation I felt about talking to parents and fielding their questions evaporated in the first 30 seconds. Over the course of the next 15 minutes, they, whether they knew it or not, revealed Ceasar’s motivations, favored learning style, attitude and outlook. That he wants to play sports. That he learns well by listening to lecture, rather than taking notes. That he has only ever failed one class, and because of a questionable teacher.
Good to know.
When I start finally start teaching and getting paid for it, I plan on making parent contact within the first two months. Reasonable parents are always an asset, and are always leverage.
Here’s to my hope that I haven’t just been lucking out.