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Parents + Teachers = Conflicts

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As we are introduced to the four key beliefs that form the framework for the MIT program here at City University, (Preparation, Practice, People, and Professionalism) I have chosen to focus first on People, since people are at the core of what we are seeking to become. Obviously there are areas of overlap in the four; like professionalism is going to include preparation, but people are at the heart of it; teachers, parents, children, and administrators working together for the common goal of education.

Unfortunately even though the goal is the same, what route to take in order to achieve that goal is sometime a contentious one. Laws are passed. Curriculums are made with the general population in mind, but not the individual. Teachers have to work with their entire class at the same time. The parent however is often focused on only one thing, the education of their child and that can lead to problems

In "Parents Behaving Badly" by Nancy Gibb (Time, 2005,135,40-49), the author examines how well meaning parents can hinder the educational process by doing things that perhaps are well intentioned, but are quite possibly not for the greater good.

She sites from a 2004 MetLife survey, (Gibb, 2005, p.44) that 90% of new teachers agree that involving parents in their children's education is a priority, however only 25% described their experience working with parents as "very satisfying". In fact 31% of the teachers cited involving and communicating with parents as the biggest challenge they face. The vast majority of teachers in the survey felt too many parents treat schools and teachers as adversaries.

Parental induced problems included, but were certainly not limited to: parents doing their children's homework, blaming teachers for their child's mistakes, demanding that grades be changed, demanding daily updates on their child's progress, restricting teacher's speech (in the context of

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what can be said to their child), lawsuits, verbally abusing teachers, and at the other end of the spectrum parents that are completely uninvolved. "While it's the nature of parents to want to smooth out the bumps in the road, it's the nature of teachers to toss in a few more: sometimes kids have to fail in order to learn." (Gibbs, 2005, p.44)

"Research show that students benefit modestly from having parents involved at schoolÐ'...but what happens at



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