TEACHING IS NOT CRICKET [2] PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS

THOUGHTS FOR PRESERVICE AND BEGINNING TEACHERS (42)

There is a cartoon doing the rounds that quiet aptly (and accurately) portrays the change in parent expectations on the subject of teacher and school accountability. The cartoon shows parents of the 1960’s and 70’s supporting teachers in urging children to do their very best to overcome poor attitudes toward school. The cartoon shows parents and their student children thirty years later. In the 2000’s they are shown rounding on the teacher, blaming that teacher for the poor academic results achieved by children. “The poor results are YOUR fault” they say as they round in unison on the teacher.

This cartoon depicts the way things have changed. Teachers are expected to work miracles so that students, including the lazy, preoccupied, indolent, disrespectful and the deliberately disinclined, achieve positive outcomes. “My child’s poor attitude and indisposition is YOUR fault”, parrots the parent.

Juxtapositionally, if the teacher contacts the parent with concerns about the child’s poor attitude and effort, that parent (multiplied by a factor of tens of thousands of parents) do not want to know. They treat the concerns of teachers as a big yawn.

Be aware of the fact that this parental attitude is one that seems to be increasingly manifest within the community. This apathy needs to be taken into account by those who would teach.

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