Daily Archives: May 24, 2011

Teaching Our Kids Values That Matter

Us parents are always getting the short end of the stick. It feels like if our kids are overweight, it’s our fault, if our kids are bullies–it’s our fault, if our kids are rude–it’s our fault. Sadly, but true, a lot of things are going to be our fault.

A lot has changed from when I went to school compared to now. In my time (not too long ago), teachers were respected, and students knew what were expected of them. Being a teacher was no joke, and school was not all fun and games (not even in a catholic school); but nonetheless it was something that we had to go through and we knew how we were expected to behave.

Disrupting the class was not permitted–don’t even think about it. There was a punishment far worse than being disciplined by your teacher–it was being disciplined by your parents. The last thing anyone really wanted was to have their parents come up to the school because you’ve been “actin’ the fool” in class. All you needed was one look from your mom or dad and you knew you were in trouble. Thank goodness I’ve never had to experience that.

Since teachers were highly respected for what they did in the classroom, you would have to be crazy to talk back to one. They never tolerated back talk and they didn’t tolerate attitudes.

The only reason why this was the case back in my day, was because teachers, principals, and parents were all on the same side. The teacher’s job is to teach, the parent’s job is to discipline. To waste time disciplining children in the classroom instead of teaching is counter productive, but that is what’s going on these days.

Teachers are spending far too much time disciplining children who should have learned basic values at home. Instead, the values that some of these kids are learning are contributing to the downward spiral of the education system.

Is it really the teacher’s fault when a child fails a test or acts out in class? It would be easy to say that the teacher is teaching poorly, or they have poor classroom management. But what about the parent that is supposed to be on top of their kids work? Shouldn’t the parents know everything that their child is doing in the classroom? I think so.

If the child is acting out in class, instead of asking why this is only happening in this class, sometimes it would be a good idea to find out from the teacher what’s going on while the parents are at work. I’ve heard so many parents say “oh my child would NEVER do something like that,” but they have.

The power has shifted (in the wrong direction) from the teachers to the students. Now, there are teachers who are seriously injured by their students, and the first thing that is done is blame the teacher.

They must have provoked the student into attacking.

The student didn’t even hurt them, why are they making suck a big deal?

The problem is, our kids should not be touching the teacher. They should not be talking back to the teacher, and they should not be blaming the teacher for everything that goes wrong.

These generation of teachers are dedicated and excited to make a difference, but what differences can they make when they are not getting the support they need from the administration or from the parents. It’s no wonder that new teachers usually quit in 5 years.

This shortage of teachers in our school system as well as a national witch hunt for teachers is not making teaching a viable career choice. When all the good teachers are gone, who do we have left? The bad ones. The ones that don’t care about our children. The ones that are looking to do minimum work in order to get paid. The ones that are will to push our kids forward to the next grade, even if they don’t know how to read. Those are the teachers that are going to be left.

But, I know there is something that can be done to try and scale back this trend.

01. Teach Children Manners
Basic manners such as thank you, excuse me, please, can really go a long way. It not only teachers children to be respectful, but it also teaches children that you get what you receive. If you are respectful to others, others will be respectful back (unless the “others” were raised by a pack of ______. Hmm, let you fill that in).

02. Keep Hands To Yourself
We all learn this when we were children, but sometimes we end up forgetting it. Sometimes as parents, we forget it too. By telling our kids to not touch or hit others we can decrease the chances of there being any swinging accidents. Again, this lesson will go a long way.

03. Respect Your Elders
I don’t care if they are talking out of their heads, there is never a “right” when you disrespect your elders by yelling, cursing, talking back or just being plain disrespectful. They’ve been on this earth long enough not to have some pup trying to tell them how things go.

04. Listen
I think this is the hardest one to do. Too often we are thinking about our response instead of really listening to what the conversation is about. When our kids act up, we want to believe that our children will never do that, but let’s be honest, they are going to because the eyes on mom or dad was not directly on them.

If our kids know that nothing will be done if a teacher reports bad behavior to us, imagine how that same child will think about the law as they get older.

To the parents that are doing these things already, thank you. From a daughter and a sister of a teacher, you are already making a difference. For some parents that haven’t been consistent, not to worry, just take things one step at a time.

The most important thing is, I feel that our kids follow our lead.

What are your thoughts?