With all the possible topics out there floating around, I thought that I’d pick one that is near and dear to my heart—and one that is maybe a bit on the edgy side—what a way to kick off a new blog!
I love it when we talk to schools and ask them how many parents are on their committees. Most give us an inquisitive look and reply—“well, our teachers, Mrs. Jones and Mr. Swartz are parents, and they are our parent representation.” Hmmmmm. Very interesting….
Why do I love that question and eagerly await that response? Well primarily it is because I argue every time that it is impossible for a teacher to wear that parent hat when they are participating on a committee that is headed up by their boss. How can you be impartial? They cut your check, pay for your insurance and make deposits into your retirement!
Not only is it a conflict of interest, it is not a fair representation of parent voices. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that teachers are parents too—but it’s not the same. Parents that are not employed by the school district will have a very different opinion, insight and suggestion—how could they not? They are not overshadowed by the fear of losing their job if they overstep their bounds.
So, in closing, I stand high above on my soap box—equipped with the argument that we need to empower parents, reach out across the aisle and ask for their input, value their suggestions and engage them in a dialogue that will only benefit our students. Isn’t that why we are there on that committee in the first place????