Passive students, pushy parents

A ninth grade science teacher in a middle-class town says students are becoming less mature and more apathetic. Parents are less mature and more aggressive.

“I have had parents tell me I am ruining their children’s lives because they won’t get into the college of their choice if I don’t give them an A or B. I have other parents who say I am hurting their children’s self-esteem if I don’t give them a good mark because building up their self-esteem is so important.”

And if kids don’t do their homework, it isn’t their fault; it’s the teacher’s, he says. “They say that all the teachers should get together and make sure we don’t give too much homework as a group. ‘Don’t you talk to each other?’ they ask. ‘You teachers ought to coordinate your assignments,’ I’ve been told.”

Via A Constrained Vision.

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  1. The California elementary district where I work has adopted a “homework policy” for grades 7 and 8 that directs that no homework should be given on weekends. Further, when homework is assigned, it should not be more than 20 minutes per subject area.

    Parents still complain that this is too much homework.

    I’ve personally seen parents scream at teachers because the classroom teacher had the audacity to give a child a “B” instead of an “A” due to missing homework.

    And I’ve seen school administrators change that “B” to an “A” in order to stop a parent from complaining to the superintendent/school board.

    When it comes to aggressive and hostile parents, oftentimes it seems as though teachers have become convenient targets.

  2. My old high school, every now and then, gets all the teachers together for a “stress discussion”, where they decide the workload is too heavy for our weak young minds. What this means is that the kids I was a Latin TA for last year didn’t spend their time learning declensions and conjugations, but making collages representing the ideals of the Romans. Uh, right. What worries me is that my sister’s class, three years above mine, scorns the easy ride that my class had. So if they’ve made it so easy compared to my education, what must it be like in comparison with a classic one?

  3. EdWonk, perhaps the administrators at your school need a refresher in California Ed Code Section 49066, which states
    “When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a school district, the grade given to each pupil shall be the grade determined BY THE TEACHER (emphasis mine)of the course and the determination of the pupil’s grade by the teacher, in the absence of clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.”
    Ask your administrator if you made an error, gave the grade in bad faith, or are incompetent.

    As for the self-esteem argument, I tell parents that self-esteem is the result of accomplishment, not the cause of it. My grade stands.

  4. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    It’s no surprise that parents misbehave..the current crop were raised in the permissive 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, when moral relativism prevailed in mainstream society. Just treat the parents as you would their childen–don’t take their misbehavior personally, and maintain your professionalism and high standards. Understand that permissiveness delays maturation. Teachers should not be scapegoats for the immaturity of parents.

  5. I wonder…what do these parents think will happen when the kids graduate and get a real job? They will find out that bosses are much harder to intimidate than school administrator…but by that time, the attitude of entitlement will have taken root in the kids, and it will be too late to change.

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Those parents should be introduced to Mordito, Kumshaw and the truism that virgins never get A’s. You might as well get something for your troubles.