Getting Derailed Parent-Teacher Relationships Back on Track
Hello and welcome to the Blame Game, where parent blame teachers and teachers blame parents for low grades, mischievous behavior, and everything under the sun. I’m your host, and today we have two contestants who will …
Wait! What? Stop!
While this game show doesn’t exist, and may exaggerate what actually happens, it’s not too far from the truth. Just at the comment section of any article or blog post on education. It’s not unusual to find comments like, “my son hates school because of his teacher” or “parents don’t care.”
“People make assumptions all the time,” says Bonnie M. Davis, a retired educator of 30 years from Missouri. “You’ll hear, ‘Kid doesn’t do homework because parents don’t care.’ But most people do care and they try to do their best.”
Most teachers are understanding of parents, too.
In a Reddit thread dubbed, When Parents Blame You, one user commented, “I don’t blame the parents. They are usually super stressed out. [I’ve] had parents go from irate to crying in 20 minutes. As soon as I can identify the underlying fear and address that directly, we can get on the same page and come up with a plan.”
“Try not to take it personally,” suggests Davis, “and give each other a break.”
The trigger, in a lot of cases, is that the communication between the educator and the parent has fallen to the wayside. That’s especially true amid the heavy demands of educating students and the weight of raising children. “Everyone is stressed,” says Davis, who taught in the Clayton School District just outside St. Louis.
Take a look at the statements below. Which sentiment belongs to whom? The parent or the teacher?
I’m doing everything I can
I need more hours in the day
I’m so tired
I feel like I work all the time
I’m so stressed
I have no “me” time
If you said a teacher and a parent could have said each one, you’re right. The good news is that a lot of parents already have strong relationships with educators.