Sunday, December 11, 2016

THOSE Parents

One of the last things a fellow teacher said to me before I left my Title 1 school to teach at a high performing public school was "Good luck with THOSE parents". I knew what she meant.  And it angered me.  It's the type of assumptive thinking many had about my students at that Title 1 and their parents. THOSE kids have no chance. THOSE parents don't care. How demeaning, biased and damaging. They were fantastic families - full of trust and heart and love. 
Let me tell y'all - parents want the best for their kids. Universally. I want that, too - which means parents and I - we are teammates. Don't you mess with my team!
So let me tell you about THOSE parents I have this year. The ones people call demanding, Tiger, Helicopters... the ones who expect a lot from their kids and their kids'  teachers. Well - they should have high expectations for their kids - and for us as educators. It's our job and duty to do our very best - to not get stale - to try new things - to stay abreast of educational research - to grow in the profession - to make learning fun and rigorous.  They should ask questions that make us think - they SHOULD be involved.  I welcome each and every one.
You know what else my awesome parents - THOSE parents - are doing? They are raising kind and thoughtful children. Kids who donated a huge amount of socks during Socktober - kids who congratulate each other and root for each other. Kids who comfort each other when playground issues bring about tears.
This week we did a Secret Snowflake exchange. Of course I heard a comment or two that's normal for  9-10 year old kids still learning how to be - they are human children after all. But, overwhelmingly, I heard the excitement in their voices and saw it in their faces. Eagerly waiting to give a note or trinket. Excited!  NOT about what they would get, but about giving. My kids are good people, filled with gratitude for gestures and tokens - who think of giving over getting. These excellent humans were raised by THOSE parents.

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