This clip is from Don't Back Down. First, I love that the teacher gave them homework which asked them to engage with their parents...the homework is from an oratory by John Adams, which is the cherry on top.
A buddy asked me a question this afternoon and I've been thinking about it on and off since. His 'quandry':
I want my kids to excel more! What is the key? How much parental involvement at the public school level would you recommend? I want my kids to be more self driven! Ideas and thoughts at your leisure Obi Wan.
First of all, James. You are as skilled a Jedi as me so ... There are three ideas to unpack in the quadry. First is The key to getting kids to continue to excel. The third is how can we challenge students to be more self-driven. The question in the middle is what I've been thinking about.
How engaged should parents be? How hands off should parents be? What should a teacher expect from the parents of their students?
I am a teacher in a private school and I'm genuinely blessed with how parents interact with teachers. Are there times when a parent and teacher find themselves at odds? Yup. Does it always resolve itself in a way both parties are completely happy? Nope. However, his question is about public schools and so I wanted to be fair to him and place the question in the context of public schools.
That means I need reinforcements!
May I ask for a conversation? I have both teacher types and parents who read this blog. I would ask for your thoughts. The question is what level of parental involvement is best in most schools. Please note that its not asking for horror stories on either side. There will always be problems--a student has two people who are passionate about their education and sometimes the lens by which they both look causes them to see different things. And that is okay. But how much makes for a hovercraft parents and how much makes them absentee. What is the balance?
Post your comments below! Please Please and Please.
You do not need to join the blog to respond--but would you please give your first name of some way of identifying you?
Feel free to send this to other teachers-types and parental units.