A delightful voicemail parody: “If you want us to raise your child, press 6″

I first read a transcript of this school voicemail parody a while back but had not heard a video rendition of it.

An obvious spoof, the voicemail purportedly from an Australian school offers parents such options as  “To make excuses why your child didn’t do his homework work, press 2″ and “If you us to raise your child, press 6.”

Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend and this lampoon:

47 comments Add your comment

Elizabeth

May 28th, 2011
7:52 am

And you think is is a spoof? It is what we face every day with one caveat– “Raise my child and send out the door educated. But don’t dare discipline my child.”

CatsRule

May 28th, 2011
7:52 am

That is hilarious! It makes you appreciate what teachers are dealing with.

Sk8ingmomma

May 28th, 2011
9:09 am

Good one…LOL! Unfortunately, it has a ring of truth to it…So sad!

catlady

May 28th, 2011
10:13 am

Had to get in that language dig, didn’t they? But so true on all counts!

I think they left out, “To deny your child misbehaved, even though you were not there and did not see it with your own eyes, in other words, that the teacher lied, press #”

Veteran teacher, 2

May 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Many of the statements are quite real!

Double Zero Eight

May 28th, 2011
10:51 am

Outstanding and hilarious spoof with a touch of reality!

SBinF

May 28th, 2011
11:25 am

I wouldn’t call this a parody, because parody implies that the details are somehow changed or exaggerated. As an educator, I can attest to the fact that these expectations are not far outside the norm of some parents.

redhousecat

May 28th, 2011
2:04 pm

love it. In America though, someone would get offended…..

MrLiberty

May 28th, 2011
2:57 pm

If you have entrusted your child to a government school you have chosen to have the government raise them. Why is this a “parody?” Taking personal responsibility for the education of your child and actually raising them yourself is the out of the ordinary behavior in our society. Good for the Australians for pointing out the obvious.

d

May 28th, 2011
8:02 pm

@MrLiberty: I am a PUBLIC school teacher. My paycheck comes from public taxes authorized by the constitution of this state that was adopted by the voters of this state and the elected General Assembly. I am certainly not in this job to raise others children – nor are any of my colleagues.

Pink

May 28th, 2011
8:29 pm

They forgot to say what button to press if teacher is molesting your child.

Pink

May 28th, 2011
8:32 pm

Oh yeah, it’s only “delightful” if you are a teacher. This parody does nothing to foster cooperation or communication between teachers and parents. Perhaps teachers should keep this little gem to themselves and enjoy it in private.

Mary

May 28th, 2011
10:30 pm

I’m a teacher AND a parent. As a teacher, it’s obvious why I appreciate this. As a parent, I will continue to do the best for my child and to make sure that I’m NOT one of the kinds of parents this clip was made in honor of. Any parent who is offended by “this little gem” probably makes teachers’ lives difficult on a regular basis – thereby inhibiting their effectiveness in the classroom.

Really amazed

May 29th, 2011
3:19 am

Too funny, but so very true!!!

Dr. Craig Spinks/Augusta

May 29th, 2011
7:52 am

Moms and dads who care for their kids everyday are THE REAL HEROES in this world.

Elizabeth

May 29th, 2011
8:06 am

No, Dr. Spinks. Parents who care for their children are doing what they are SUPPOSED to do. The real heroes are the teachers, counselors, social workers, etc., who are caring for someone else’s children because the parents either can’t or won’t do the job expected of them by society– the job they are SUPPOSED to do when committing to be a parent.

mark

May 29th, 2011
8:37 am

I love the “bitch and switch” comment. When a parent accusses me of screwing up “thier Lives” because their student will not do their work and is now failing or falling behind. I must have some super powers. I have known their kid for 20 weeks, they have known them for 16 years. What great powers us teacher possess.

bob leblah

May 29th, 2011
8:39 am

Awesome, spot on!

Allen

May 29th, 2011
9:05 am

So true with so many parents. It is so sad that so many parents nowadays expect teachers to do everything for their child’s education. Then there are those so-called responsible parents who pay top dollars to send their children to private school and think their task for educating their children is complete. That’s far from the truth. My kids are in a top notch private school in Atlanta. We still have to do a lot to help our children academically. Teachers can only do so much in class. And there are a lot of pretty dumb kids in private school, too. So you can’t expect a teacher to leave out those average kids in class by lifting the level to your child’s.

@Elizabeth

May 29th, 2011
10:47 am

Get over yourself Elizabeth. Your incessant martyrdom is tiring.

Elizabeth

May 29th, 2011
3:10 pm

If teachers were regarded as martyrs, maybe we would get some respect in this state. Don’t like hearing the truth? Too bad. Get over your superior attitude and teach for a year. Then we will see who is the “martyr”.

@Elizabeth

May 29th, 2011
3:38 pm

I am a teacher, and you need to earn respect.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

May 29th, 2011
4:00 pm

You need to earn respect? Curious. I was taught to show others respect until they somehow proved themseves unworthy of said respect. If, as you say, one must “earn” respect, then, pray tell, how do you treat another individual up until such a time as you feel they are worthy of respect? What, for you, do you display in the absense of showing respect?

Philosopher

May 29th, 2011
5:13 pm

Pink hit the nail on the head! As the parent of 3 childre never disciplined in school and a child who has aced every class from preschool through middle school, I find this offensive and I think it clearly demonstrates why teachers still clamor for respect. I am tired of teachers lumping parents together as targets for their frustrations, and as objects of ridicule…talking about us and treating us as such!!!! YOU are not helping the great divide between parents and teachers with this constant assault on the people who expect you to BE professional, ACT professional, and treat children AND their parents with compassion and understanding. There will be a continual divide as long as you maintain an arrogant disdain for the people who pay you and entrust you with their children each day! Do you know what the biggest challenge to parents of public school students is???? It’s teachers!! We constantly face teachers (among the great ones, of course) who are uncommunicative, controlling, unfair, demanding, and unaware of what the child and his/her parents face…you just ASSUME we’re all slackards not trying to raise respectful, kind, contributing humans…while we try our best to help them through. I could count on ONE hand the number of teachers in this blog who give parents credit for ANYTHING positive…one would think that NONE of us are worth anything and that all we do is have them and dump them on you. Well, no thanks, I’d never ask you to raise my child…I have raised 3 children with more respect, empathy, and compassion than I have seen anywhere in this blog!

@Elizabeth

May 29th, 2011
5:22 pm

I think Philosopher said it best there love/hate. If you read Elizabeth’s posts regularly, she takes great pride in being super strict and she regularly talks down about parents and students alike. With her nasty attitude, no one in their right mind would just give her respect.

People like you, love/hate, totally underestimate the ability of students to sense how teachers feel about them quickly and accurately. Change the way you look at you students and their families and the respect will come.

Philosopher

May 29th, 2011
5:40 pm

And by the way, I don’t make ANY teachers life miserable…I send them a child who is respectful, attentive and ready to learn…EVERY day. We don’t bother teachers and never did unless absolutely necessary- we learned the hard way that teachers don’t bend and they sure as hell never make mistakes. So we send in donations and supplies and try our best to STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY, for heaven sake!

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

May 29th, 2011
5:57 pm

Philosopher,

I find the phone parody amusing, because, as a teacher, I have heard all these comments and more from parents over the years. That does not mean I have heard it from EVERY parent, or even from most parents, but like people complain about doctors who keep them waiting in the waiting room, or lawyers and their frivolous lawsuits, or mechanics who always seem to find something wrong with your car during a routine check up, teachers share experiences with difficult parents.

If you have raised respectful, attentive children, then this parody obviously does not refer to you. Most of the parents I have worked with have been supportive and willing to work together to best meet the needs of their child. However, a handful have been disrepectful and even threatening. I have no doubt you have worked with very difficult teachers. (I have too… since they don’t necessarily treat their colleagues any better) but it is unlikely any of them have every threatened to kill you, or called you up drunk in the middle of the night to make sexual comments over the phone. That type of thing tend to leave you a bit jaded. You are accusing teachers of generalizing, but you seem to be doing the same thing. I treat all my students and parents with respect. Generally, it pays off and we can build a good working relationship. Sometimes, it does not matter how much I reach out to a parent. Nothing I do is ever going to satisfy them. That is one of the realities of working in a service industry. You are never going to be able to make all the people happy all of the time.

Philosopher

May 29th, 2011
7:06 pm

Actually, perhaps in my frustration and anger, I did not say what I meant to say clearly enough. What I mean is that if this blog represents teachers as a whole, then teachers as a whole are disdainful and arrogant and disrespectful of parents. When one reads this day after day, month after month, goes away and comes back and NEVER hears from a teacher about the great kids they teach…only the bad ones with parents they consider to be bad parents….what else is there to think? What of the parents who work 12-14 hour days saving lives, come home and get out of bloody clothes and help their kids with math, a research paper and a project… and then study for 2 tests…all in one night….and often for more than one child. This is a personal example. Then there are the parents who lost their jobs- both of them, and now they are cleaning homes, flipping burgers, whatever it takes, to keep a roof over their kids’ head…and not getting home until after the kid goes to bed…and then they stay up to make brownies for the PTA fundraiser…and still get her to school the next morning. Or the parents who have a kid with asthma and both parents are in trouble at their jobs for being out sick with their kid too often, but they have to do it again and they are stressed and scared. This is what makes me angry…Just once in a while, why can’t one of you show some small sense of understanding that the MAJORITY of parents are not irresponsible goof-offs and the majority of kids are not, either. Because we’re NOT!!!

JW

May 29th, 2011
7:20 pm

^^ “Just once in a while, why can’t one of you show some small sense of understanding that the MAJORITY of parents are not irresponsible goof-offs and the majority of kids are not, either. Because we’re NOT!!!”

Maybe the answer is the same reason most parents don’t come on this blog and show some small sense of understanding that the majority of teachers are not irresponsible goof-offs…Honestly, how many posts do you see where a student’s parent is praising a teacher for a job well done? Unfortunately, that is the society and the times we live in…it’s always easier to criticize the job someone else is doing.
I can’t really blame teachers for being a bit defensive with all the attacks they receive constantly.

Pink

May 29th, 2011
8:05 pm

Thank you Philospher. I know just what you mean. Yes, there are good teachers and there are bad parents but I found that “parody” to be condescending to say the least. As I said earlier, perhaps they should have just kept that little gem to themselves. It’s okay to have your little private joke. It does seem like this blog paints most teachers as saints and tends to blame parents for all the failure in the school system. I for one have had teachers that scarred me for life and made me hate school. Well, I’m done with this blog. You teachers can have your big circle … pat on the back.

NY Teaching Vet

May 29th, 2011
8:54 pm

Hmmm….I think it’s the end of the school year and we’re all a bit tired. I guess the only input I have on this one is that I taught for more than 20 years before my husband and I had our own children. Once we did, and they went to school, I had a sudden urge to call every parent of my former students and tell them I was so sorry for ever presuming to give them advice of any kind! I do have a different perspective these days, but honestly, my husband and I both laughed when we listened to the “phone message.”

Been on hiatus...

May 30th, 2011
10:26 am

@Philosopher- it’s funny you feel that way about the comments on this blog from teachers because I feel the same way about the comments from parents. If you were to believe what you read, all teachers are power-hungry, incompetent, bottom-of-their-class, lazy whiners who are only teachers for the summers off and couldn’t cut it in the real world. Well, sorry to disappoint, but not only does that not describe the majority of my colleagues, it also does not describe the majority of fabulous teachers my kids had, nor does it describe me. Personal story.

For the record, I read some complimentary comments from both sides to the other, but probably not enough.

As the phone message?? FUNNY!!! And I thought it was funny when I read it years ago, before I was a teacher and before I had plans to become one. I thought it was funny because I’m ewthesepatents – they were the “Negative Nancys” I avoided at the park, pool, and PTA meetings. And they were the parents of the kids I didn’t want my kids hanging with because they were rude and disrespectful. Funny about that whole apple/tree connection, eh??

Been on hiatus...

May 30th, 2011
10:28 am

*know these parents

Not sure what my phone was trying to type!!

Elem. Principal

May 30th, 2011
10:14 pm

After 23 years in the classroom, some of the most precious people I met were parents. While I loved my students and did all I could to help them achieve, I realized early in my career many of the parents worked third shift or had hourly jobs and were unable to be active volunteers in my classroom. We worked out a system, however, for them to stay involved by using a simple system. Students & parents agreed on a common place in the home for school papers to be left by the child & reviewed/signed by the parent. The child brought the papers back to school & everyone was happy. We provided a tutorial service after school and had business mentors come in during the week to help kids with their academics. I had good classroom management skills and showed my students respect. One must give respect to get respect. The students knew I genuinely cared about them & my lessons were engaging with hands-on activities to make learning fun. I did not have serious behavior problems, but when a kid went too far, grandmothers supported me with discipline. No, I was not a “perfect teacher” by any means, but I built relationships with my students which came back to me ten-fold. I changed schools and worked with parents in a different socio-economic group. These parents were available to volunteer because they either owned their own business or were “stay-at-home” moms/dads. Keeping this in mind, teachers need to know their students & background in order to foster healthy, respectful relationships. Teachers who do not really have no business in the classroom. Parents & teachers need to stop blaming each other & work together to make the education process meaningful for children. I’ve got a couple of teacher for whom communicating with parents was a “problem” this year, but it won’t be next year, I assure you. I am accountable for the way teachers act and students perform. I take that seriously, but I also know building relationships with teachers, students, and parents is critical to the success of any school. I don’t live in a perfect world, I work in a Tittle 1 school (by choice), and I am proud of my parental involvement. Everyone needs to cool off & work together for the common goal: CHILDREN. Thank you.

Same tune, different words

May 31st, 2011
8:27 am

As a college educator for 18 years at Ph.D. granting institutions (the ones that supposedly attract the brightest kids), I found this parody hilarious because it is another riff on the many and seemingly endless variety of excuses, nasty comments, and threats I received over the years from undergraduates, even down to the “cursing the educator.” After I had my own children, I ran into more parents to whom this parody applies than I would have ever guessed existed out there, and my children attended a gamut of Montessori school, Catholic school, public school. Interesting that even the upper middle class (maybe especially the upper middle class) is fond of threats (of lawsuits usually) and bombast to get their way.

Warrior Woman

May 31st, 2011
9:27 am

Philosopher and @Elizabeth – You two have hit the nail on the head. It seems that many teachers and administrators claim to be professionals and demand respect, while continually denigrating the parents that pay their salaries and the students they are supposed to serve. This is not respectable or professional behavior. I am thankful beyond words that my children have only rarely had teachers like this – only a few in their combined 15 years of public school education, and most of those only for as long as it took me to insist on another class.

@love/hate – Before respect is earned, you give basic civility.

@Elem. Principal – I wish there were more like you in education today!

JW

May 31st, 2011
4:40 pm

In her blog entry, Ms. Downey describes the voicemail as:
a) a parody
b) an obvious spoof
c) a lampoon
d) delightful

Sorry, but those using this to blast teachers are taking this just a bit too seriously.

Elizabeth

May 31st, 2011
5:42 pm

I “revel” in being strict? No, I don’t. What most people today call “being strict” is, for my generation, demanding ( not asking for) acceptable behavior and a work ethic from my students. When I tell a student to stop talking, the student response should be to respond “yes” or “yes, ma’m,” NOT to say “Sorree” or “MY BAD” in a rude tone, or keep talking, or to say “I wasn’t talking, I was asking a question”, or “I needed…” or “why can’t we talk?” Any other response is disrespectful. Yet almost every student I teach today thinks talking in class is a given– even the “good” students. THEIR needs, their wants, come before anything else. And this includes the so-called “good ” students. Parents of “good ” students complain when thier child receives a B instead of an A. Do they know how hard I pushed to get a B from a student who told me “this is too much work”? Sometimes the parents tell me that it was too much work. Why should I have to tell your child 3 times every day to be quiet, sit down, do your work, etc.? And these are the “good” kids.

I am the adult in the classroom. My generation was raised to give respect to ANY adult unless that adult was abusive to the child. Telling a child to be quiet and do the work is NOT abuse. Consequences for failing to follow the instructions of the ADULT in charge is NOT abuse. Respect my students? I do respect them. If the students in my clases behave appropriately, according to MY rules, and complete assignments to the best of their ability, they will have no problem with me. But if they want respect from me they will have to accept my authority over them. And most do not accept that. They will have to adjust to my rules and my expectations, which are high, JUST AS THEY WILL HAVE TO DO IN THE WORKPLACE SOME DAY. I worked for eight years for a principal whom I could not stand and did not respect. But, until I could move, I outwardly showed respect and followed her edicts. SHE was the boss. I had to get along or lose my job.

I AM more strict andf more demanding than most of the teachers today. That does not mean I don’t care about them. I do. I want them to do better, to excel, to do what they are capable of. But I will not tolerate the disrepect I get every day. And UNTIL I GET REAL RESPECT FROM THE CHILDREN, I CANNOT GIVE IT TO THEM. It starts with them respecting me because of my age, experience, knowledge, and authority. If you want to read more about my philosopy of discipline, read John Rosamond’s books. He and I agree on almost every aspect of raising respectful, responsible children.

@Elizabeth

May 31st, 2011
6:49 pm

Wow, you have some serious issues there. Do you seriously think that your students can’t sense how you feel about them? It’s not 1950 any more…

Elizabeth

May 31st, 2011
9:12 pm

I do have “serious issues”. I have serious issues with people like you who think that children today have the right to openly question adult authority, refuse to obey directives until they have been given 3 or 4 times( then they accuse me of “yelling” at them because my tone grew more authoritative instead of sweet, when I NEVER raised my voice, which is the definition of yelling), speak in rude or disrespectful tones using words like “Sorree” or “my bad” instead of the appropriate “I am sorry”.

I have serious issues with parents who believe their children can do no wrong and the their every whim must be catered to.

I have serious issues with people who have never taught a day in their lives telling me how to teach ( the test) and run my classroom.

No, it is not 1950 anymore. Too bad it is not. No child in my 1955 3d grade classroom would ever have dared speak to an adult the way students speak to me daily. Their parents would have made short work of them if they had.
Until teachers have regained the authority and respect they deserve and must have in order to teach (not the test) effectively, then education in this state will never change.

I love my students and I feel very sorry for most of them because they have been raised to believe that they are entitled to speak, and behave anyway they like.They have been raised to believe that they can get an A just for turning in a paper, regardless of the quality of work in that paper. Then they hit the work force, and then the businesses complain because students can’t or won’t do the work. I try to make then realize that hard work is the only way to learn and achieve success. But that is foreign to most of them. We of the 1950’s schools knew this. Today’s students do not.

So when I look at the schools of today as compared to the schools of the 50’s and 60’s, I do not praise the advances we have supposedly made in education. I see not only what we have gained but also what we have lost.

If this viewpoint makes me outdated or a minority, then so be it. In the long run, I do believe I will be vindicated. In any case– I can and do make a difference every day in the lives of my students. They may not appreciate me when they have me, but most of them come back later to thank me and tell me how much they learned and how much I helped them. And I have the letters and emails to prove it.

I do not teach for the test today. I teach for the world tomorrow. That means I am not popular with students and teachers and parents. I used to care about that. I don’t anymore. I make a difference. My students and their parents tell me so every year.

I AM a traditionalist. I will never apologize for that. You see, I am not the one with the “serious issues”. You are the one with issues ,@ .Elizabeth. I love my students. I respect them as they respect me. You have to give respect to get respect. Show it to me and I will show it to you. But as the adult in the classroom, it must be shown to me first. Why? Because I am the trained professional and the boss in my classroom.

Warrior Woman

June 1st, 2011
9:48 am

@Elizabeth – Most people think that saying “sorry” is an apology, which would be the polite response to having given offense by talking. Using commonly accepted slang like “sorree” or “my bad” is not, by itself, disrespectful, it is admitting you erred.

Further, if parents and students are routinely telling you that you are assigning too much work, you should check to ensure your requirements are in line with the school’s homework guidance. If every teacher gives 2 hours of homework a night, students either don’t do the work or they don’t sleep.

Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
10:15 am

I am assigning the same amount of work that every other teacher in my department does. I am not allowed to assign more. The clone teaching we are required to do does not allow me to assign more. But the kids complain that what we give is “too hard” and “too much work”. The parents back up their kids. And “SORREE” in a rude tone that conveys the opposite of the literal meaning is NOT an apology. Neither is”my bad”.

It goes back to the newest blog- paying kids for grades. This generation wants to be rewarded for what they are supposed to do without reward. They feel entitled to rewards, bribes, and the right to speak and do as they please.

The ones who are accusing me are the ones who are perpetuating this mentality by not standing up to the kids. Kids rule– but NOT in my classroom. And that is what the parents, kids, other teachers, and administrators do not like and do not agree with.

Fortunately for me and my job security, my test scores are always the highest in my department. And I teach inner city, deprived, needy kids as well as spoiled helicopter parent kids because my school is an eclectic mix.. But I MAKE them learn because I do not enable them or indulge their attitudes. In the past 10 years a total of 16 kids have failed the Reading and Lnguage Arts CRCT in my classroom. Ten of these were nonEnglish speakers; 1 was at the alternative schoolall year but I was still responsible for his score; 3 were kids who came in 3 weeks before the test. The 16th was a nonreader who had been “home babysat” for 6 years instead of being in school. My success speaks for itself. And my students do not just learn to take the test because I refuse to limit my teaching to that. When you have had that kind of success rate, and have visited my classroom, then call me the problem. Until then, be quiet and do not presume to condemn me as “having issues”. I do not. You do.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

June 1st, 2011
5:23 pm

Elizabeth

“I love my students and I feel very sorry for most of them because they have been raised to believe that they are entitled to speak, and behave anyway they like.”

I know exactly what you mean. I am fortunate in that I currently teach a student body of what one would basically describe as “good” kids, but most have been raised to make no distinction between adults and children. They see nothing wrong with calling me on everything, and making comments I would never have dared make towards my teachers or any adult. I am not talking about cursing or threats, but a casual attitude that suggests the child and I are on equal footing – when we are not. I am the adult and the professional. Why I ask a child to get out his or her textbook, I do not expect a chorus of “Awww” and “Seriously?” and “Are you kidding me?” comments. When I mention an upcoming project that will be due, I should not have to deal with a bunch of “Do we have to?” questions. And heaven help me if I make some kind of mistake in class! I am very open about my mistakes. I tell students that I am human and sometimes make errors, hoping to encourage them to be risk takers in my classroom. I never disparage them for their mistakes, but rather use them as teaching opportunities. However, some of my students seem to see nothing wrong with making comments like, “Well, THAT was stupid!” when I trip up from time to time and perhaps write the wrong lunch choice item on the board. I cannot imagine ever saying anything remotely similar to an adult in my life when I was a child, and yet it seems perfectly normal to many of my students!

And these are children being raised by involved, well meaning parents. No wonder society as a whole seems to be become less and less civil.

Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
8:41 pm

At last someone who understands. That is exactly what i am talking about. Thank you so much for this post.

@Elizabeth & love/hate

June 1st, 2011
10:20 pm

What you both describe here sound like severe deficits in classroom management and a complete inability to connect with students.

I teach kids in a “bad” school and never hear the mess you describe. So, is it the kids? Or your outdated methodology?

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

June 1st, 2011
11:24 pm

@Anonymous poster

LOL! Must be my “outdated methodology” – the one which holds children accountable for actually putting forth effort in the classroom and being respectful towards others. Yeah, that “outdated” approach. If being respectful and mannerly is “outdated” then chalk me up as old fashioned.

You really should refrain from making judgments about other teachers when you know so little about them. I really don’t see how you can reasonably draw broad conclusions about my classroom management and ability to connect with my students based upon a blog post.

I taught at “bad schools” too and the type of disrespect some students gave adults was different. When those children were disrespectful, it was generally deliberate. The children I am referring to are not aware that what they are doing could be considered disrespectful. They are not consciously trying to be rude. They simply have not been taught old fashioned manners. They see themselves as the center of the universe. They walk right up to people talking and interrupt, whether it be a conversation between myself and a student, or myself and another adult. They expect to be catered to immediately, regardless of what I am doing of who I might be assisting at the time. They argue when asked to do a task that isn’t “fun.” When told “no” in answer to a query, they beg and whine and it becomes obvious they are used to adults capitulating to their demands.

What I am describing has a great deal to do with children being raised without any clear boundaries between themselves and the adults in their lives. They don’t see my as an authority figure. They see me as an equal, and talk to me as though I am a peer. I am glad they are comfortable with me, but my students are not always clear about where they line between being comfortable and being too forward lies. It is not their fault. They haven’t been taught or shown. Being the “teacher” means I am in the authority position, and that mean what I say is not always open to negotiation.

Your swift conclusion that it must be due to some “deficit” on my part does not explain that these children treat ALL adults this way – the librarian, the lunch ladies, the Para pros, the other teachers and yes, even their parents. I recently watched a student chew out a parent because she brought him the “wrong” lunch from the local fast-food joint. He had wanted a cheese burger and she made the unforgivable mistake of bringing him a hamburger. They child yelled and stomped his feet, refusing to eat what she had brought. My mother would have told me to eat what she’d provided and if I had refused, she would have pitched it in the trash. Guess she would be “outdated” too. This parent begged her child’s forgiveness, and in a meek tone and offered to go back to the restaurant and get him what he wanted!

Maybe this is the way it will be in the future. Maybe the lines between “adult” and “child” will disappear. Maybe that is the new methodology you seem to advocate. Whatever the reason for this shift, I think it does children a disservice. Children need boundaries. They want someone to let them know when they are crossing a line. They need safe zones in which to explore while they grow into the wider boundaries of adulthood. Too much freedom too early leads to confusion and uncertainly. I don’t know the whys or the wherefores of the changes I have seen in students. Increased media portrayal of adults as idiots being outsmarted by their children. Too many parents trying to be “friends” instead of parents. A growing, “anything goes” attitude in society… or maybe something else. I just know it makes my job more difficult as I have to spend time establishing the classroom expectations that used to be “understood” by all parties.

Elizabeth

June 2nd, 2011
9:01 pm

@ilove teaching but.. You said it all. Said it much better than I did and gave better examples than I did. Thanks for pointing this out.

I am also offended by someone judging me by this blog. Connecting with kids does not mean being their friend. It does not mean that they get to argue and whine when I say no or tell them to do something they do not want to do. Those who think other wise can call me as outdated as they like, but I don’t care.