Education; Teachers want Family Involvement with Student Behavior

Many teachers across the country complain about the loss of learning in public school classrooms due to undisciplined children who come from dysfunctional homes. Their parents are children who have children, are usually single parents, and uninterested in the upbringing of their hapless children. The greater percentages are minorities and they are poor. These parents send their children to school and expect teachers to control them because they cannot or will not. You do not have to be rich to teach children acceptable behavior and respect for their elders and peers.

Alternatively, parents who do care send their children to our public schools where they sit in these disruptive classrooms waiting to be educated by teachers who are continually distracted by a minority of disruptive students. Teachers can no longer overtly discipline these out-of- control children due to current laws and politically correct rules and regulations.

Teachers need HELP! They need it from their principals, their unions, their parents, and society in general. We must allow teachers to teach in classrooms where order prevails and respect for authority is the law.

A.L. Lannie and B.L. McCurdy wrote a book in 2007, “Preventing Disruptive Behavior in the Urban Classroom: Effects of the Good Behavior Game on Student and Teacher Behavior”. They verified that classroom disruptions are associated with lower student achievement for the offending student, as well as for that student’s classmates. In the “Schools and Staffing Survey”, conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics, public and private school teachers were asked if student misbehavior, student tardiness, and class cutting interfered with their teaching. During the 2007–2008 school year, 34% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching, and 32% reported that student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching. A greater percentage of public school teachers than private school teachers reported that student misbehavior (36% vs. 21%) and student tardiness and class cutting (33% vs. 18%) interfered with their teaching. For example, among the states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of teachers who reported that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching ranged from 59% of teachers in the District of Columbia to 29% of teachers in Pennsylvania. This is a serious problem not only for teachers but for children whose parents care and take the time to parent and teach values.

McGraw-Hill Education and the Kellogg Institute at the National Center for Developmental Education have published that, “…63 percent of students at two-year colleges and 40 percent at four-year institutions are in need of remediation nationally, and statistics show that those who take remedial courses are more likely to drop out”. Who is responsible for this great American tragedy – the Parents or the Teachers?

All are to blame for shirking their responsibilities to a generation of children who are competing in a world where India, China and other third world countries are churning out highly skilled innovative students. Will American children be the order takers for the educated, disciplined, respectful, cultured, innovators whose parents take parenting as a serious responsibility in this century?

Parents need to send disciplined children to school and teachers need to be prepared to teach them the skills they go there to learn.

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  1. February 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    We are teaching our five-year-old as much as we can at home, because of this fact! He is doing simple math and reading (no flash cards or worksheets involved, just learning through play and life lessons/explanation). We also work on his listening and comprehension skills. However, it’s hard to expect good things from a small town, rural school district that doesn’t even have a “game plan” for enrollment for Kindergarten, whereas most districts in the local cities and suburbs have already enrolled or will in March. This is our first child to enter public school, but it scares me that the principal doesn’t even know exactly how/when Kindergarten enrollment is going to be. Suggestions??

    • February 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

      We raised our sons in a small county in rural TN, probably similar to yours. We taught them at home from the moment they could focus. Both attended MIT. You are doing the right things to help your 5 year old get the start he needs to succeed. Sadly, many educators remain unchallenged in their performance and lazy in their innovative thinking. They have little support from parents, from their community, from their superiors, hence, they lack the ambition to create stimulating educational environments for their students. You have 2 choices; provide the enrichment exercises at home that your child will need to succeed, AND/OR, be a FORCE in your community by creating a parent organization that focuses on upgrading educational expectations for your children. Bring this organization into the schools and collaborate with your teachers and principals in helping to shape a school room environment that is exciting and stimulating. You will meet resistance but your passion will prevail. You can make Changes; you can move people with your voice. Teachers have children too. Don’t waste a moment; get busy and if you need to call upon me do it. I am ready to make changes with you. “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king”

      • February 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

        I have been sincerely debating on the latter of those two choices, as I definitely have already decided that we will do as much for our children (without putting too much pressure in them… They do need to “be a kid” and just play, but you can learn more through those experiences sometimes than through a standard classroom anyway, if we are involved in the play and take advantage of what we call in the preschool setting, “teachable moments.”) Any advice on how/where to get this type of organization started?? I am in a position where staying at home will be a possibility soon, even if only temporary, and I would like to do something useful with the extra time! This is a great opportunity to give back, and help my own family at the same time.

        • February 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

          Good for you! Remember that children love music and art. As an idea of what I did, buy a large piece of foam core then go to a local paint store and ask for paint that has been rejected as a donation to your “art studio”, get some rollers, a paint tray, and a few BIG brushes. Put the foam core in the yard (we bought 4′ x 8′ pieces and put them in the driveway, leaned against saw horses or trees). Then turn them loose to run up and down their canvas with big splashes of color, laughter, excitement and your grand approval. You are going to be so surprised when they get the hang of it what they produce! They will need your uninhibited direction. We have art hanging in our home now that friends think we bought in NY. As for starting an organization that motivates for changes in childhood education begin in your neighborhood – begin with other mothers or community members who you know. Form a group (coffee clutch) create an agenda for their review encourage discussion and brainstorming. Take the best ideas and create an actionable plan. You would be surprised again at how mothers (and fathers) yearn to participate in the direction of the education of their children. Invite teachers to your meetings (after you assemble a plan) or go to their classrooms and have them offer their suggestions. Begin a thoughtful, sensitive collaboration within your community – without finger pointing. BEGIN, that is what is important. Open the door and walk though. The first step is the most challenging but then after that all kinds of doors open. Be positive, let no one discourage you, stay involved and DO NOT give up once you set your feet on the path. I am always ready to help others begin – you have my email address sandra@peekabooparenting.com. I have yours lauraberry1984@gmail.com.

          • March 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

            The art idea is a fabulous one! I will definitely be doing things like this with my son, especially this summer when I am home on maternity leave before he starts school in August! Thanks so much for the sound advice and encouragement! I want to also work with and participate in any existing groups that the school/community has organized (PTA/PTO or Parents as Teachers?) to begin with, and if none exist, then I shall create one! I definitely want to have a voice when it comes to my children’s education, and like you said, I’m sure others do as well, and teachers can benefit from gaining support at home from the parents. Teachers certainly don’t teach for the money, so deep down, it has to really be about the children for them too. I will be contacting you via email for any future questions or progress updates, if you’re interested. Feel free to contact me likewise.

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