Why do so many teachers and administrators quit the profession after just a few short years? Some of the best and brightest walk away from their careers and “American Teacher of the Year,” Ron Clark, sheds some light on why that might be.
In a recent article on CNN.com that’s been circling wildly around the internet the past few days, he talks about how parents make things so much harder than they need to be for teachers. Already working in an incredibly demanding profession, teachers find that dealing with parents is sometimes near impossible. Mr. Clark gives parents some tough words of advice about what they’re doing wrong and how they should change to be better partners with educators.
His suggestions cover a range from showing respect when talking to a teacher and recognizing her unique skills and qualifications to giving her the benefit of the doubt and really listening to both sides of any story. He also gives what look suspiciously like parenting tips, such as not making excuses for your kids and not denying them the growth they could experience through natural consequences.
Some of his suggestions had me pointing fingers, thinking, “I know awful parents just like that,” while others made me cringe just a little, which makes me think that I may need to work on my relationships with Laylee and Magoo’s teachers. There’s a scripture I grew up reading that says, “The wicked take the truth to be hard,” and I think it’s true.
If reading any of his suggestions makes you a uncomfortable or even a little upset, it may be time for some introspection. We want to keep our teachers happy and feeling valued because without good teachers and good partnerships, our kids’ educations suffer.