March 21, 2008


Idjits All Around

I know people like this. And I know more teachers who deal with parents like this.

A nutter in B.C. is suing his son's grade 2 teacher "for "purposely and maliciously work[ing] to damage [his] self-esteem."

Ya know, enough. Enough of namby-pamby raising of these kids. No one is allowed to not make the team; everyone gets to star in the school play; everyone gets an A whether they earn it or not, and everyone moves along to the next grade whether the last book they read was by Dovtoyesky or Dr. Suess.

My sons have had teachers they didn't like; they've had teachers I didn't like. So? You source out the problem, which can be anything from personality conflicts to lazy teaching to a lazy kid. If it's not a deep-rooted sinister plot, you haul your kid aside and begin teaching them one of the biggest life lessons of all: the world doesn't revolve around you. I am plain in my approach - I tell them they don't have to like a teacher, but they will respect them. Even if it kills them. And they will not disrupt the rest of the class' right to learn, regardless of the snitfit they are considering pitching on that particular day. And if they do, I will punish them. That is my job.

There are dangerous situations, and there are a child's interpretation of a situation. While it is my job to represent and protect my child, that does not extend to allowing him to believe he will grow up untouched by the jarring, emotional, tough and occasionally soul-sucking reality that is this world. My number one job as a parent? Giving my children the tools to deal with adversity, not removing adversity.

We are already making it damned near impossible for teachers in this country to teach. We've stripped away discipline and punishment, we've sucked money out of resources like aides and libraries and supplies (your kids sharing text books like mine, that they can't bring home at night?), I've done my rant on deadlines and due dates, and now this?

Really? Now teachers have to face lawsuits from parents? I have an idea. Why not take that time and energy and money and do something with your kid? Teach him about the world, show him how other people live - you know, the ones with real problems - maybe take him into the wilderness and let him learn an appreciation for the wild, animals, the climate, his own resilience. He's suing the teacher for not making his kid do his homework. Here's a novel idea: you make your kid do his homework. If he's struggling with any subject, you help him.

By suing his teacher, you are magnificently showing him that with enough bullying, enough money, and enough sense of entitlement, you can surely grab the earth from its orbit, stop it, and redirect its path to make it revolve just around you.

Cuz that's the way it works, right?

2 Comments:

Blogger DJ said...

Oh my gawd, I don't know what to say.

In my own case, the fear and intimidation came from knowing if I got the strap at school, I would get it again at home. (it happened) I didn't become a burbling basket case. In fact, I think it made me aware that my actions (or lack of) had consequences.

DJW
My kids went to two different grade schools (long story), with similar demographics, but completely different environments. One suffered nine years in an environment of fear and violence, and the other in an aura of confidence and calm.

Ya know what?

They both turned out ok.

So to the people who want to blame their children's performance (or lack thereof) and esteem issues on the schools or teachers, they are only a piece of the puzzle.

March 21, 2008 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought here, so correct me if I'm wrong, but how are these kids gonna handle rejection and the otherwise "tough stuff" life has to offer when they venture out on their own. Very nice of parents to be protective, but is this kid's dad going to beat up the first boss who fires him? When will it end?

March 23, 2008 9:41 PM  

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