We Need to Switch Things Up

I had a crazy idea today.

I would like to have an exchange program at my school.

I know, it doesn’t sound crazy because exchange programs have been around for a long time. However, they’ve never been done like this (to my knowledge anyway.)

I would like to have a regular day of school where my students actually don’t come.

I’m not talking about a Professional Development day either. I’m talking about teaching a full day’s work.

To who? you ask.

The parents.

That’s right. I want all of my students to stay home and send their parents to school instead. I would treat them just as I would their children. We would have a regular day of lessons, seatwork, recess, and gym.

I would make it mandatory for at least one parent to come as well. This way they could experience exactly what happens in today’s schools.

I think this would give the parents a new perspective on the challenges that I face on a daily basis.

Too many parents don’t take an interest in their child’s education at all. Some parents make sure their child is at school each and every day but that’s the extent of their efforts. The truth is, parents have a much bigger role in their child’s education and need to be aware of it.

I think this experience would actually help the parents to buy into what I’m doing. I don’t like feeling that I am just a glorified babysitter (glorified in the fact that I have two post-secondary degrees and am a professional. The truth is I don’t feel any honour or praise directed my way and it’s really frustrating)

Things need to change soon. I can’t continue to do this all alone. I need the help and support from home. The children need it as well. I’m just not sure how to get this message across to those who really need it.

I don’t think this exchange idea could ever fly. But I can dream, can’t I?

5 responses to “We Need to Switch Things Up”

  1. I think parents being forced to sit down and watch video footage of their little darlings acting-up would be even more effective.

    "My Alex is not a bully!"

    "No?" *watches the footage of Alex stomping on another kid's hand*

    "…I see what you mean."

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I so wish I could record video or audio of the kids' behaviour. I think if the kids knew they were on tape, and there was the possibility that their parents could see it, there might be less issues in the classroom.

    Of course, this is a violation of privacy so I don't think I would ever try it. I know I wouldn't want to be taped all day long either. Scary stuff.

  3. An effective and achieavable work-around:

    At your quarter progress report days, teach a 20 minute mini-lesson. Let your principal know you will do this so she or he can put it in the newsletter. Send home a paper with your students reminding them. Not all parents will come, but more will come than usual and they'll be engaged.