Monday night I posted a fairly significant rant about (simply) kids today, parental involvement and the public schools (read here). I wrote it in response to several events recently that have rattled me. Honestly, nothing new had happened. Parties with alcohol, and kids confessing while others have their parents bail them out, have been happening for as long as my kids have been in high school. Each time, I am still shocked. Shocked that parents would step forward and lie, to save their kids the unpleasant consequences that accompany those actions. I have been shocked that the kids who are honest and fess up, are punished while kids who everyone knows are lying get off free. Shocked that others, myself included, talk about this and complain…But it continues.
I am frustrated by talking in class that often makes for a chaotic and disruptive learning environment for kids who want to study or, who have trouble focusing and need some quiet. I am frustrated by bad teachers who have tenure, and good teachers who don’t have support (financial/parental/district/etc) in huge classes where things are not the way they were when I was walking ten miles to school… in the snow… uphill. I know that every generation says that about the younger generation, and I am not the only one making that observation. A friend recently shared some writing with me, that was clever and funny and addressed these very same things, albeit from a different angle. I hear it at lunches with friends. I hear it when talking to teachers. I’ve vented here before.
I was really impressed with the feedback that came from the Monday post. I ask for comments every post. It’s one way that I can see what hits a mark and what doesn’t. Comments and Likes help my blog and my ratings, and that is certainly part of why I do this. I want to be writing, and building a readership is critical to that. So each time one of you hits Like (on my blog vs my Facebook page) or leaves a comment, it helps me toward that goal. But, more importantly, it tells me what touched a nerve. I get to connect with the readership I’m working to build. So, to read so many thoughtful comments was really exciting! They comments that were left were sharp, insightful and powerful. For those of you who contacted me to say that you can’t figure out how to comment, I believe you need to sign in with WordPress to be a “comment subscriber,” and then you’re good to go. However, I just changed some of my settings, so it may be easier now. I don’t see the blog the way you do, so this is tricky for me, but I know I have had to register (one time) to comment on other blogs.
I was blown away to hear from so many teachers, educators, administrators and parents, sharing their own experiences and lessons learned. Frankly, I thought there would be more dissension. There are certainly people out there who might have read my post as condescending and judgmental. As much as I’d like to live in a fairly gray zone, generally believing that there’s validity to most sides of an issue, there are some times when I’m like the proverbial bull in the china store, and I rub people the wrong way. I know that and work on it… but I yam whats I yam.
One parent pointed out that her kids talk at home about these things, something I am also so grateful to share with my kids. To get my kids’ feedback and thoughts on these things is critical. I want to know what is happening in their worlds, and how they view and experience it. That open line of communication is critical. If you read through the comments, you read the brilliant quote shared by an old friend, who is an educator and Principal back east. She shared her frustrations with parents who complain on Facebook that their kids are not treated fairly and who threaten to sue. Sue! She puts up posters that read: “You have a problem? Face it, don’t facebook it!” Love it. Bravo! So thank you to those who jumped into support my thoughts and my writing, and those who have been continuous support! I hope to see the dialogue continue.