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PattyKnowles
PattyKnowles asks:
Q:

Is there too much pressure on teachers to "parent" children?

I am curious what others think about this.  Teachers are now having to do more for students with less time and less resources. With so many concerns parents have about their kids, do you think that there is too much emphasis on teachers to teach children social behavior, self-esteem and growth and many of the other things in life that parents really do need participate in?

How much do teachers have to be held responsible for teaching kids manners and so on?  I myself don't really know the answer, so I'm wondering what others think.

Pat
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s)
> 60 days ago

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ronald
ronald writes:
As a parent and former teacher, teachers today face by far more challenges in the classroom than they did years ago. I have my own experiences and the experiences of my mom (who also was a teacher) to draw upon. To expand on your post Patricia, many &nbsp;teachers are not given the respect needed, some teachers are afraid of students, some students are easily bored in classroom, and in some schools students do not take their homework seriously. But, these highly visible symptoms have many causes. Parents too have problems controlling some of their kids. Students are &nbsp;being entertained (TV, social media), and many have very short attention spans. Finally, many students have very low self esteem given their environment. In some cases, the teaching profession has not evolved to ogranize more interesting and stimulating content. Instrutional approaches that worked 40 years ago may not work with our kids today.<br />
<br />
Additionally, many students' values are being shaped by TV, movies, music, and negative images. Parents need to take more ownership in monitoring and controlling how students spend their time. &nbsp; I believe that many parents want to support and guide their kids but simply do not know how in this very complex media rich culture that we have. There is much more to discuss here; however, I am curious to know what others think.<br />
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi Pat,<br />
<br />
I think this is a great question. &nbsp;I guess what I hope for my children (just getting started in school) is that the classroom environment will reinforce the work I'm doing with them at home. &nbsp;It's important to me that my kids have good manners, are respectful of adults and of their peers, etc and I'm trying to teach them those things at home. &nbsp;I hope their teachers will hold them to those same standards in the classroom and I also hope that their tearchers will help them learn appropriate ways to manage situations when their peers don't treat them with respect. &nbsp;I think those kinds of lessons are as important as reading, writing, and arithmatic! &nbsp;So I guess I do have an expectation that teachers teach the things you mentioned (social behavior, self-esteem, etc) and not just focus on academics but it's very clear to me that they can't handle those things on their own...it has to start, and continue, at home!<br />
> 60 days ago

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melanienenni
melanienenni writes:
Pat,<br />
I teach 3rd grade in Tennessee. &nbsp;I would like to reply to the following question that you had, &quot;How much do teachers have to be held responsible for teaching kids manners and so on?&quot; &nbsp;Technically, we are not held accountable by the state in teaching manners and the like. &nbsp;The state of Tennessee requires that a teacher teach &quot;State Standards,&quot; which include information from Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts. &nbsp;However, we have the Character Counts Program established at our school. &nbsp;This program has six pillars which include: &nbsp;Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship. &nbsp;The school guidance counselor comes to my room once every six weeks to talk to my class about Character Education.<br />
<br />
On a personal note, students look to their teacher to exhibit all of these characteristics. &nbsp;Teachers definitely teach more than the 3R's. &nbsp;Students bring many problems to school with them on a daily basis. &nbsp;It takes a lot to be everything that children need, but it is so worthwhile.<br />
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For more information concerning Tennessee's Curriculum Standards or the Character Counts Program, please visit: &nbsp;http://state.tn.us/education/ci/standards/index.shtml and &nbsp;http://www.charactercounts.org/defsix.htm<br />
> 60 days ago

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kallsup
kallsup writes:
Children want to learn more than academics. &nbsp;Stories told and read in the classroom bring up themes about interpersonal relationships, character, justice, freedom, love, happiness etc. &nbsp;My students dive into conversations about these topics and are quick to apply what they learn to their own lives. &nbsp;They appreciate class meetings where they can work on improving relationships and they come to me frequently for short &quot;private talks&quot; in which they seek advice about how to handle situations with their classmates. &nbsp;When a teacher and her students enter into frequent conversations that touch the students inner lives, they realize that school is not a separate compartment where they perform academic feats, but a real place where they can discover and explore topics of deep interest. &nbsp;Sudents with who develop this sort of eagerness for learning soak up academics and do't need external motivation (grades, tests etc.)<br />
<br />
Kim Allsup<br />
Waldorf teacher<br />
> 60 days ago

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rajeeyah
rajeeyah writes:
I think that social behavior starts at home. We can help students build their self-esteem by building up their confidence on a daily bases. If  the parents and teachers work together as a net-work, I believe a lot can be accomplished. There is not enough time in the work-place to  teach manners and respect. When will the teachers have time to really teach.
> 60 days ago

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drgiggs
drgiggs writes:
Yes, I think very often too much pressure is put on teachers to do what parents should be doing.  Academic teachers should NOT be held responsible for directly teaching students "manners and so on."  However, we obviously have a responsibility to do it indirectly - by example.  You'd think that would be a given, but sometimes it's not.  

Why is so much pressure/accountability being put on schools/teachers / why are they often the scapegoats?  Because they are the only entities that bureaucratic authority can control.  No one can force parents to help educate their kids and they can't force the kids to do anything.  But they can exercise power over teachers.
> 60 days ago

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education.com
education.com writes:
Here are some related thoughts from a teacher who commented on the article, "Mastering Second Grade Math" (linked below)...

"I am a second grade teacher and I appreciate parents getting involved in the education of their children. There have been too many times that I have had to beg parents to help their child at home. I'll be the first to admit that I can't do it all. There are parents who lack patience and skill to help their children and it can result in ill feelings toward learning math, reading, ....whatever! I believe it takes the parent and the teacher to ensure success for our children. I am having an issue with the idea that teacher is responsible for what has to be taught and how much time is being spent to teach concepts. Teachers follow the rules! They are told what has to be taught and for how long as dictated by the local school district. The local school district is mandated by the state. The state standards are tested every year and children are expected to perform. When they don't everybody looks back at the teacher. Children are expected to know more and do more. I don't recall anyone asking me what I thought about it! So, parents have to understand that school is not what it used to be and it's going to take everybody to get it done - or home schooling is an option."

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