So, I read something tonight that I’ve heard a million times over. The obvious divide between educators and parents. Here is the text I read:
I was feeling pretty jaded this morning as two different sets of parents at Walmart stopped me in the school supplies aisle to complain about how much they had to get their kids this year. “This is just ridiculous. I don’t know how these teachers think we are suppose to get all this stuff.”
As they complained, they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that my cart was filled with a class set of all the supplies they were buying–which should have been a pretty clear indication that I was one of those greedy teachers they were complaining about.
While I was checking out, though, things took a very different turn. I noticed the man in front of me in the checkout lane was buying school supplies for his daughter. As he went to leave, he said to me, “You are a teacher, right? I just want to thank you for everything you do. I see your cart is full with supplies, and I just wanted to help out as much as I can.” Then he handed me a $25 Wal-Mart gift card, shook my hand, and walked away with his daughter smiling big at me.
While I was extremely moved by the man’s generosity, the part that stuck with me the most was the difference in his message to his daughter compared with the parents who had been complaining earlier.
The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: “School is not important enough to spend money on it, teachers are not to be trusted and have bad judgement, and learning does not require investment.”
The kid whose dad handed me the gift card heard: “School is important enough that we should give more than required to make sure it is successful, teachers should be respected and valued, and learning requires us giving it everything we have.”
If money is tight, and you struggle to buy your child school supplies, I understand. Don’t worry: more than likely your child will have a teacher and a school that makes sure they have the supplies they need to be successful this year. However, as a parent, do your best to send the right message to your child. The man who gave me the gift card not only made my day, but I also know that his daughter will enter the classroom this year with a very different perspective about her teacher and her education, and that is extremely powerful!
I, to say the least, have a bad taste in my mouth after reading this. Not because I am a complainer ( I am) but the assumption of why the parents are complaining, and the take away to the kids. “The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: “School is not important enough to spend money on it, teachers are not to be trusted and have bad judgement, and learning does not require investment.””
What a load of shit.
I think this is misguided and skewed. I don’t complain because school isn’t important or worth it. I don’t complain because I don’t value teachers.
Anyone who knows me – knows that education is the #1 focus in my house. Working hard in school is my child’s job. Just like I get up everyday to work, he gets up for school. He needs to work hard, and do the best he can. You ask my son, is school important – he can tell you that answer.
I value teachers a lot. They get the shit end of the stick. That said, I don’t value the education structure we have today.