What are we coming to?
An article on the CNN website today tells of a new program that pays parents to attend parent-teacher conferences and pays students to attend school and take tests. Says the brainiac who thought up this idea,
“Our parents are disconnected. They’re disconnected from a system that doesn’t respect them,” says Wiley. “They’re disconnected from a system they don’t have a positive relationship with, so we’ve got to reconnect our parents.”
Respect? Excuse me, but as a teacher I had nothing but respect for the parents of my students. In my eyes, I worked for them because they were tax payers. I worked myself way past a 40 hour work week making sure their kids had their papers graded, essays read, lesson plans created, etc. I spent thousands of my own dollars supplementing the supplies in my classroom. I bought pencils and other materials, even backpacks, for those kids whose parents sent them to school without them. I checked their heads for lice every week. I gave money to kids whose parents forgot to send them lunch money (or couldn’t afford it that day). I taught them to read, to write, to add, to do mathematics, to spell, to dream, and to think. How is that showing no respect???
Many parents, however, especially those who failed to show up at conferences, ignored my pleadings for tutoring help, and failed to make sure their kids did their homework — these parents did not respect me, did not respect education, and did not respect their children.
Somewhere along the way, the concept of RESPECT has become synonymous with Show Me The Money…Give Me The Hand Out Because I Deserve It. Where is the work ethic in this country? What happened to students applying themselves to their education for the intrinsic value of the education itself?
As a teacher, I rewarded students with silly stickers on their papers for good work or stamps on their hands for above-and-beyond great behavior.
But this…I am so dumbfounded and flabbergasted that for once, I’m speechless.
More on this to come…
(and I am soooo grateful to be homeschooling my child in these very wacky, mixed up days)