Where Are Your Priorities?

Our Halloween celebrations at school last week were something else. They started after lunch with a costume parade. The entire school took part in it. Some parents even came with costumes. After that, we went over to “the haunted house” that some parent volunteers had set up. It was nice to see parents in the school and contributing to something.

Several of my students’ parents came into the class to drop off treats. This was the first time that I had really seen any of them since the BBQ night we had at the start of the year. Quite frankly I was really surprised to see them since I didn’t ask anyone to bring in treats. I had actually downplayed the whole party all week.

So I saw all these parents coming to school on Halloween day and taking a great interest in the happenings at the school. Yet, all I could think was, where are these parents every other day? Why don’t they come and show support for their child’s learning? I mean, where exactly are their priorities?

I’m sick and tired of parents acting like their children’s education isn’t important. They treat school like a glorified babysitting service. They bring in treats and smile. It’s all phony-baloney.

I want and need the support of the parents in my program and I don’t get it. Where exactly are the parents? Don’t they care?

It seems that the sad answer is NO! And that really is a shame.

Many of the students in my class are working below grade level. Many of my students should be reading texts at a higher level. They should be writing more detailed and complex paragraphs. They should be better problem solvers at math. Quite frankly, they should be better students. However, this is not completely their fault.

Parents who don’t take an active interest in their child’s education are actually sending them a message that school isn’t important. This is the wrong message. I know that some parents didn’t really enjoy school and have some issues surrounding how they were treated as students. But education has changed leaps and bounds since then.

School is more than a babysitting service. I am a qualified professional that cares about your child’s education. Do you? Or do you just care that they have some sugary snacks and have a good time?

It makes me not want to have any more parties at all in my class. Of course, that would be just as wrong. I just wish I knew a way to communicate this frustration to the parents. I’ve tried and I’ve kind of given up on it. Maybe I just need to try harder. Truth is, I really don’t know what to do about it. I wish I did.

3 responses to “Where Are Your Priorities?”

  1. So put a blog post at the bottom of your newsletter (if you have one) and say something like this post (albeit much more diplomatically). 🙂 Umm…or, not.

  2. Hi Chase – Is this something you can discuss at parent teacher meetings? Or does your school allow you to write notes regarding the child’s progress on their report card?

    The idea silverfish had was good, too. Maybe the parents never had a teacher like you who is as concerned about their child’s future. I think communication is the key.

  3. Hi Silverfish,

    I send home a newsletter every month. I haven’t made one up for November yet. Perhaps I could write something about this on it. I’m just not sure about how to do it diplomatically.

    Hi Barbara,

    I guess I’ve kind of given up on getting parental involvement. I’ve tried many things over the years and it seems that few parents truly care about their child’s education. I send home newsletters, occasionally call home, and I write in student planners. I don’t know what else to do. But there probably is something.