When trying to figure out what to write in this blog, I have always erred on the side of neutrality. This week, probably because of dwindling readership and the fact that I have had a really yucky week, I think I am going to speak what’s on my mind.
Someone told me yesterday that “teachers must be terrified of you”. Hmmm. That gave me a pause to consider what my expectations are of schools now as this terrifying mom that enters a school building and teachers scatter like mice……
A little background: I taught school for nine years. I taught cute little elementary kids who are now grown and not so cute high school kids who I wonder if ever will grow up. I know that for me and the teachers who shared our schools, working with parents was not job 1. Our job was to teach our kids—and as a teacher, we took a lot of pride in that role. I also know as a mom, having had experience in two different states—that teaching is job 1—not working with me or keeping me informed about what is going on in my kids’ classrooms. Now don’t get me wrong—I totally want my kids’ teachers to teach, that is the job at hand. I am also not asking for the key to the kingdom—I as a mom, just want to work with schools to make sure my kids and other kids are more successful.
So, I am the polar opposite of what teachers expect parents to be. As a parent and as a teacher, I know that many schools want families to be involved—on their terms—and when parents like me come through the doors, they don’t have the foggiest notion of how to work with me, and frankly are probably terrified—I make them feel uncomfortable because I am different. Now, taking a look at the flip side—if I make teachers tremble—what do most teachers do to most families that don’t look like me? Teachers are, after all, considered by many families as the experts and when you stop and put the shoe on the other foot, it makes you think that if I am so different and I scare teachers, do teachers scare most parents that don’t look like me?