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Do we expect too much of teachers?

by Karina Bryer (follow)
Parenting (215)      Kids (112)      Education (91)      School (52)     


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I overheard a parent at school berating a teacher for not making sure that her child had put her lunch box in her bag after break and as a consequence the lunch box was lost.

It got me thinking, where does parenting stop and teaching start? Should we expect our teachers to teach manners, responsibility, how to tie shoelaces? Should teachers just be able to concentrate on teaching the Three R's? Are parent expectations too high? What are your thoughts?

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That's a tough one, it is a blurry line....teachers have so much pressure on them as it is, and they often have to work under stressful conditions within the confines of a heavily regulated system, curriculum and budget restraints. Parents and teachers need to be understanding and respectful of each other's roles and positions; a teachers role is to educate and a parent's to parent. That's how I see it but am interested to hear other viewpoints.
I think the example you give is a really good one. I try to teach my children that their property is their responsibility, and while the teacher sometimes can help, it is unrealistic to expect them to be able to go down to such a level with all the children in their class.

I try to keep up a good relationship with my childrens' teachers through polite and constructive communication. I think, all too often, parents do have unrealistic expectations of what teachers can do over and above the most important element: teaching the curriculum.
Yes, definitely!! I just saw a report on morning TV that at a school in the UK, the teachers are expected to give the students shaving lessons (for the boys obviously) and ettiquette lessons for everyone! Seriously!!!! Where are the parents? Do they do anything now? I used to work in a high school canteen for a short time and the stories the principal used to tell us would curl our hair! The behaivour of some the students' parents beggared belief!! They wouldn't believe their precious Johnny was an absolute brat and out of control and it was the school's/teacher's fault that Johnny was being "naughty". I could seriously slap some of these parents!!! Where do their responsibilities lie? The teachers are there to TEACH their precious little so and so's, not mollycoddle them through life!!! I would HATE to be a teacher! Mandy E.
I think so. Most are committed, hardworking people totally dedicated to the children in their care, yet some parents expect them to have almost super-human qualities. For example, some complain that their children struggle with basic literacy and numeracy, yet they never take any responsibility in providing a favourable learning environment at home or set an example in their own behaviour. It's unfair to expect teachers to perform miracles with children whose families show a complete disinterest in their learning. The education of our children should be an equal partnership between both parents and children.
Teachers do work quite hard. Some of a child's learning and development also rests with their parents. Teachers can only do so much, considering larger class sizes.
The best thing is to have an open communication with the teacher, attend the parent/teacher conferences, what the child is expected to learn throughout the year, tell them about family activities and child's likes/dislikes, if possible be part of the Parents and Friends Association. All these things will help keep the expectations very realistic.
As someone with a lot of teachers in my family and group of friends, it seems to me like parents are expecting teachers to take on a lot of responsibilities of the parent. The example in your question seems a little over the top to me. But that said, I don't have school aged children so my opinion may change.
Argh! Parents are nuts. It is not the teachers job to make sure your kid put their lunch box away. It's the child's responsibility.
The teacher's job is to educate a whole class. Make sure everyone can read, write and whatever.
I have lost a gazillion lunch boxes (and jumpers) and regularly scour lost and found for them. It never occurred to me I should be blaming the teacher!
I feel really sorry for teachers, as they have to deal with kids being kids and their over-indulging parents.
Out of interest, what did the teacher say?
The poor lady was stunned and looked like she was biting her tongue. She eventually suggested she try labeling the next lunch box and check in lost property.
I bet she was stunned. That's hilarious!
For the pittance they are paid, YES! But remember, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. It's about time we stopped throwing money at education things and put it into personnel. Then we may be able to employ some teachers with a few smarts. Yes, I'm a retired teacher who started in that career when women were encouraged to teach or nurse, subsequently there were quite a few who could actually spell, do calculations in their heads, and had a vocabulary broader than a budgerigar's. Oops, hope I haven't made any spelling or grammatical errors.
Yes, teachers are expected to do the work of school psychologists, probation officers, and parents in Jamaica.
I don't think we expect enough of teachers.
As far as lunch times go, if teachers wan't to have their heads in the lunchboxes of children, and monitor the quality of lunch provided, then they shouldn't mind monitoring the return of the actual lunch box to the school bag once lunchtime is over.
If you don't like the heat involved in the lunchtime fracas, stay out of the subject.
hum you make a interesting point the breadth of whats expected does seem a bit much currently.
by filli
No teachers are not expected to mind a child's property. However, they are responsible for teaching manners and life skills within the class/school ambit. Generosity of spirit and social interaction go hand in hand. However, many teachers cannot and do not demonstrate social and humanitarian skills and they need to be taught this in their training and within the school's culture.
No teachers are not expected to mind a child's property. However, they are responsible for teaching manners and life skills within the class/school ambit. Generosity of spirit and social interaction go hand in hand. However, many teachers cannot and do not demonstrate social and humanitarian skills and they need to be taught this in their training and within the school's culture.
that sounds like parenting and not teaching that parent really needs to get a grip and do some parenting teachers are there to teach academics not personal responsibility.
As the mother of a teacher . . .yes! It is ridiculous that parents think that teachers can be at fault for childrens' actions. They seem to forget that they have the formative first five years and they are the parents . . . most of them do not understand what "parenting" is at all.
by Rice
probably ... there only human
The responsibility for personal property lays with the student. I've found over the years that most personal property is misplaced, lost, or whatever else you want to call it, is because playing with your friends is more important than making sure you take everything home. If the item is labelled you stand a good chance of getting it back from the lost property basket unless someone else has claimed it because they like the look of it and couldn't find theirs. Teachers have enough on their plate to be running after childrens' tardiness.
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