Parents Don't Change, but Children Do

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Parent involvement touches all aspects of education, affecting children, teachers and schools. Groups of people get together to agree disagreeably, and invent ways to encourage more of it. As a teacher, I know only what I see, and from what I see, the whole debate seems a little pointless.

Parents touch their children’s school lives in a multitude of ways. Some parents come to school and put on a loud show so that everyone knows how much they care, but beyond our eyes they never follow through on any of their promises. Others arrive defeated, exhausted, unsure of how to proceed, and surprised by the demands of parenthood.

The ones you expect to show up always do, and the ones you most need to see almost never come. I have taught some children for three years without meeting a parent.

Nevertheless, the students will do the public relations work for their parents that no one else will do. When I ask them to write an essay about someone they admire, they write about their parents.

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