Class is in session.
Over the past few years, teachers across the United States have shared an increasing concern. In fact, if there are any teachers amongst your friends and family, you may have heard them complaining about a specific group of people, and it’s not the students.
For better or for worse, parents have been getting increasingly involved in school activities both inside and outside the classroom. And I’m not just talking about as volunteer chaperones or members of the PTA; no, parents today are challenging their children’s grades, dismissing the teacher’s authority, even doing their kids’ homework.
It’s a growing trend that’s worrisome for many a teacher and school administration, and we probably haven’t yet seen the full repercussions of their helicopter actions. After all, schools are a place where children learn to grow independently from their parents, picking up not only academic knowledge but also social skills and lessons that will last a lifetime. With too much parental interference, there’s a major risk for the so-called ‘failure to launch.’
And from the sounds of it, these kids are the ones in most need of getting away from their parents sooner rather than later! The potty training one still gives me chills…
It was my first year. Her daughter could never do wrong. So when another student told me that she was copying another students homework I was quick to check the two papers. Sure enough every answer was similar. The spelling of “bufalo” and even the odd answer describing the great plains as a “plentiful waterland” (they were to know the great plains as a treeless wasteland. So I told them they would receive a zero on this assignment and next time they were caught they would get a referral. They even acknowledged that they cheated off each other. I called home and the mother would have none of this. Saying I was out to get her daughter. That I will be fired for accusing her of cheating. I said the grade stands and her daughter admitted it. She yelled some more and said that I I was too dense to understand and that she would like to have a meeting with the principal and myself.
At the meeting, I held the two copies in front of her and asked her how these two girls had similar answers and spelling. I then said how they admitted two cheating. The mom said her daughter was shocked that I would accuse her and didn’t want to upset me so they just agreed they cheated. This went on for an hour. Finally the guidance counselor asked if I could just excuse the grade. That was the worst encounter with her. (Captain_Steve_Hiller)
Taught in an old, impoverished town. Father told me he would not allow his son to read poetry because it would “make him gay.” (PM_Happy_Thoughts1)
Taking the Blame
I worked in an affluent school. A few parents didn’t like how I graded a couple of their kids’ essays and was inflexible about due dates. Did they set up a parent-teacher meeting to discuss? No. They set up a brunch with the superintendent of the district (a guy 4-5 levels above my head) to discuss what was wrong with me.
Another time I accused a kid of plagiarism on a big research essay. I had proof thanks to turnitin.com. This grade of zero was going to cause the student to not graduate on time, so the mother set up a conference. When I pointed out the offense and showed my evidence, the mother replied, “[student] didn’t cheat because I wrote that part of the essay for her.” I was literally dumbfounded. (SleepsontheGround)