Current Role of Parents Within the Classroom

Today, I could not stop thinking about one of my biggest pet peeves in regard to education nowadays, so I figured I would blog about it. I don’t mean for all my blog posts to come off negative this week, just had  a lot on my mind about becoming a future educator and everything. Anyways, at the moment I have to say that my biggest pet peeve lately is the role parents have started to play in classrooms and education in the last few years. I feel like parents used to always back teachers and authority figures when it came to what was best for the students, but I feel like nowadays, parents mostly back the students and often times get upset with/and or disagree with teachers for no good reason.

For example, last semester I had to do a classroom observation project in which I sat in on a class and observed teaching strategies, classroom behavior, classroom management skills, etc. for four hours and then conducted an interview with the teacher at the end of the day. During the interview, I asked her what the hardest part about being a teacher was and she said, “honestly, it’s the parents.” According to Mrs. Trowbridge, parents nowadays feel like they are entitled to things they are not, and expect their children to have special treatment within the classroom. For example, often times a parent will approach Mrs. Trowbridge after class claiming that their child did not have enough time to do their homework last night due to sports, choir, etc. and they will basically demand that she give their child an extended amount of time to finish the homework. Seeing as how this is unfair to the other students who did finish their homework on time, however, Mrs. Trowbridge does not feel it is right to grant an extension. This, in turn, then upsets the parent and causes unresolved conflict between the two of them. Mrs. Trowbridge claims that this happens to her all the time and it has become increasingly hard to deal with.

I also feel like it is more common nowadays for a parent to side with a student if there is a student/teacher conflict during class time, and it did not use to be that way. Parents used to side with the teachers, illustrating to the children that authority figures are to be respected and obeyed. Now since students are the ones being backed by the parents, I feel like a lot of the respect for teachers and how they run their classrooms has gone away, and that really bothers me. I just don’t understand why this shift in attitude has occurred over the last few years. To me, it honestly seems detrimental in what is actually best for the students and I just wish there was something that could be done about it; something that would make parents realize that we, as educators, really do have their child’s best interests at heart and we would appreciate their support in helping the students achieve their goals and reach their highest potentials.

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