September 16, 2010

Why are teachers expected to be parents?!

Posted by Becka
Disclaimer: This post is about TYPICALLY developing children. 

I have been seeing people for years, as well as recently, saying that teachers need to do this, that, and the other thing, pertaining to manners, sharing, turn taking, social skills teaching, etc... Well, when did we stop holding parents accountable for what their children should do, manner wise?

I always lived by the saying "parents are the first teachers." To me, this means we, as parents, have an obligation to our children to prepare them to be a productive member of society. This means that, as soon as they are born, we have a job to teach them. No, I don't mean we need to teach our newborns how to read, I mean that we need to teach them about their world, what is acceptable, and how they need to act socially.

I do not believe it is a teachers job to teach any of these:

turn taking
behaving around other people
social interactions
listening to their teacher
including others in activities
self control
not to whine when they are told no
following simple directions
covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze
listen quietly when others are speaking...

These seem basic enough, but many kids go into school...and even go through school...never knowing what is and what is not socially acceptable!

When your child hits, has a tantrum, does not do as they are told, steals toys at a playgroup, refuses to share, speaks or tries to play a game out of turn, and so on, we can not, as parents, stand back and say "oh they will learn to do/not do that in school!" Our teachers are already swamped with academics and making sure our children are learning what they need to know to move on to the next grade...they don't need to take the job of teaching our children basic manners and social skills as well.

Of course, there are parents out there that will disagree with me...they are probably the ones that have a child with a horrible behavior problem, and blames it on a "condition," (even though that child shows no signs otherwise) instead of stepping up to the plate and actually being the parent.

I was once confronted by a parent in my preschool class, who's son was about to enter kindergarten. Now, we were a developmental preschool, the first and only I ever worked in (just does not go along with my beliefs). The mother was concerned that her son was not academically ready to enter kindergarten. Even as a new parent (my almost 11 year old was 13 months old at the time) I knew that it was MY job to teach my child all they needed to know before they entered the academic and social world outside our house. I asked the mother what SHE did with him at home (like teaching manners, academics, etc...). Her answer?! "Nothing, that is YOUR job, NOT mine!" I think I was so shocked, that I remember being speechless. Of course, as a teacher, I could not say what I REALLY wanted to...but you can bet that me and the other teacher in the room have A LOT to say to each other after she left!

Sorry to ramble...well that IS the whole point of this blog lol...but seeing teachers say they are frustrated that they have to teach these things on top of academics is upsetting! A teachers job is hard enough

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

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