Blame the Parents — I Do
This happens to teachers and counselors quite a bit. We wonder why a kid is failing in class. We meet their parents — then we know....
The biggest influence in a child’s education is not the school, or the teachers—it’s the parents. If we really want to change education in our country, we need to start in the homes.
This is where I'm not in quite so much agreement.
I guess at the heart of what I’m saying is that we need more social services at our school sites. And instead of having these services spread around our cities, why don’t we put them where they are needed most? Why don’t we take all these social outreach programs, and after school programs, and counseling institutions, and make them an integral part of our public schools? I think that by combining all the great things we have out there with the physical site where the learning takes place, we could improve things a great deal. Our teachers, administrative staff, and counselors, are doing jobs we are not trained to do. Half of what we do is social work, which takes away from everything else we want to get to. If we ever want to get serious about CHANGE, this is where we need to start.
The suggestion of integrating social services into the public school programs sets off all sorts of alarm bells for me. The more responsibilities the public school system tries to handle, the less effective the system becomes at its (theoretically) main objective of teaching.
I agree that teachers should not act as social workers. Teachers should teacher. Students should behave themselves and study. Problem students should be expelled.
What to do after the student is expelled is debatable. There is no easy answer or quick fix. Every option should follow the basic swimmer safety rules: In a rescue attempt, don't create more victims.
Just as someone drowning can pull under another swimmer, problem students can pull down good students. No intervention to assist floundering students should put successful students at risk.
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