Saturday, 5 September 2009
Give teachers a break
To who it may concern
I come from a family of teachers.
My mother was a teacher and my four siblings all trained as teachers although only two of my older sisters are still teaching. And as for my mother, once a teacher always a teacher - she's been known to circle my blog posts with red pen.....
As for me? Well there's a reason I only have one child and that's all I am saying (and let's hope that one child doesn't read this because I always told her the real reason was that when you got perfection why bother going back for more only to be disappointed....).
I remember getting a scholarship to teach (yes it was a sought after career back in the day) but I bucked the family trend and did something entirely different. Even at 17 I knew my limits and I take a great deal of pride in the fact that there are hundreds of children out there that are better off as a result of my selflessness.
There is absolutely no way I could have handled 20, 30, 40 kids five days a week. And worse, I couldn't have tolerated the parents of some of those said kids blaming me for why their little Johnny or Mary wasn't recognised as a genius. It would have been a short and 'interesting' career I am sure.
Being a teacher must be like handling 1,000 year old eggs. It's not for the faint hearted, the clumsy of foot or those devoid of tact. So I really admire my sisters and every other dedicated teacher and teacher's assistant out there who love doing what they do.
However, just how hard do some parents make teachers jobs? There's a fine line between taking an active interest in your child's education and constantly knocking on the teacher's door with one more reason why they could be doing a better job.
That's why the following audio made me laugh out loud and I couldn't wait to send it to my sisters. It is supposedly an answering machine message from Maroochydore High School Queensland, Australia and has options such as:
To lie about why your child is absent, press 1
To make excuses for why your child did not do his work, press 2
To complain about what we do, press 3...and so on.
Of course its a fake but more interestingly, the audio is actually based on a real-life 2002 clash between parents and teachers at Pacific Palisades High School in California, in which the school failed pupils for absences, regardless of their academic record. When parents started to sue the teachers, the teachers voted for a new office answering machine message.
The real-life details are as fascinating as the MP3 is amusing. Listen here.
Read about the California incident here.
And the message coming loud and clear from educators is don't blame schools for problems that parents and children should solve. I agree!
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