Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Teacher Burnout: It's The Parent's Fault

Demanding parents burn out teachers according to a small German study. Does this hold for American teachers? Maybe. The demands on teachers have increased with the standardized testing. In wealthier school districts, competitive parents may blame a teacher for a child's lackluster performance. But in poorer districts, teachers lament the lack of parental involvement. If parents were involved, they'd feel less exhausted. So, I'm not sure this study has enough breadth or depth to be of value in America.

One reason for homeschooling my children was that the school system burnt me out. I don't recall my mom having to do projects for me anywhere through school unless it was for an extracurricular activity. It seemed that my kids brought home a project at least every other week that was beyond their capability. That meant that mom was doing homework. In addition, both kids had to read daily (no biggie, they did anyway) and I had to sign their book saying how much they read. A girlfriend taught her kids to forge her initials. Why hadn't I thought of that?

There does seem to be some inherent tension between schools and parents. Working parents strapped for time blame the teacher for their kids' achievement. Teachers blame parents for undisciplined kids. They're both right, probably. One thing about homeschooling, it's my own dang fault if my children turn out to be dull-witted cretins. Of course, I don't think any teacher would hold themselves as responsible as I feel, if it just turns out to be a challenging year developmentally.

It seems a good solution for both parents and teachers would be school choice and vouchers. The teachers could be confident that their students are there because the parents wanted their children there. The competitive urge would kick in. Teachers would be offended when parents tried to get their kids into another school and work harder. Parents would research and become more involved. It would be a win-win. Why would the teacher's union reject vouchers? It would help them, too.

3 comments:

Sister Honey Bunch said...

Why do teacher's unions reject vouchers? For the simple fact that vouchers will certainly guarantee a loss of jobs for incompetent teachers in the public schools. Fewer union dependant teachers means less money for the union leaders.

"NEA national headquarters took in $295 million in dues in 2004-05, the major portion of its total receipts of $341.2 million. Roughly one-third of that money is spent on the salaries and benefits of NEA's employees, executives and retirees" http://www.eiaonline.com/archives/20051212.htm

Follow the money.

galensmark said...

And…transparency of their inadequacies might lead to accountability and of course that would definitely not be PC and furthermore might hurt someone’s feelings. Better our children (read future) pay the price of their lase faire attitude.

I’m not going to go into my other vein popping peeve, the parent who needs further education as to the difference between the meaning of the words “Teacher” and “Nanny”.

sandy said...

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