so, I go into to school a few weeks ago to get a better sense of what the curriculum is for my 6th grader. To my surprise, well-not really, the teachers invited the assistant principal to the meeting. Maybe my emails were intimidating. I don’t know. However, I do try to maneuver between being a parent who happens to know a lot about education and teaching and being a parent who is just interested.
The burden is heavy for us educators. We have to think about when and how we will ask questions
- how many parents should speak before we speak in a school meeting
- how many hours, days, weeks should go by before we approach a teacher
- how do we ask questions in a way that don’t sound judgmental
- When do we involve the principal
- how much do we share about what we know about the curriculum or teaching standards
- it’s very tricky to know stuff and to have resources at your disposal because you know stuff.
Yes, unfortunately (or fortunately), like many others, I have had to pull out the Dr. Freeman thing one or twice when I wasn’t getting anywhere just being the random parent asking questions.
Once was when the teacher asked if Danielle could come for remedial math support and when I asked her to show me the data that suggests that Danielle needs this support, all she could show me were her scores which were all As and Bs.
Once was when the teacher tried to explain to me why the students don’t have discussions about texts in class
Once, I had to talk to the principal about the teacher yelling constantly at the student and yet another time, I had to challenge why only the white kids in the school received awards.
All of this stuff is emotionally draining and yet, if unchecked-could mean the difference in your child’s education. Yet, your kid pays the price for this kind of involvement. It’s almost as if they have a target on their back. Danielle, I’m sure, worries about when and where I will unleash on the teacher. I don’t want to be THAT parent but I have to advocate for my child because lord knows, it might not happen any other way.