As an educator for over thirty years, I have listened to our citizens blame teachers, principals, and superintendents for the decline of American education. I have yet to hear about the parents and the students. The only way education is going to work is if every single aspect of the triangle works together. Only then, will our education system succeed.
Imagine this: Students come to school well fed and prepared to learn. They are neither hungry nor tired. They have parents who ask about homework, what book they’re reading, what math problems they’re working on and what they did in Science lab. They have parents who make sure all homework is complete, game time is limited, and their child gets some time outdoors. They have parents who flock to back to school night and parent/teacher conference. Imagine that the students are excited about education because they have learned from an early age that education is crucial in order to do well and be successful.
For years, I tried to involve parents in my students’ education. I voluntarily set up meetings, so parents could meet counselors, teachers, and administrators. I sent out hundreds of invitations. Three or four parents would show up.
I am frustrated about teachers being graded and administrators being graded. I want parents to be graded. There, I’ve said it. I’ve held my tongue for too long. I’m tired of being politically correct.
Teachers and administrators think, eat, and breathe education. We attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to improve ourselves. Even when I offered to have workshops for parents, no one came. Work? Yes, we all work. We all have someplace to be or someplace we would rather be. But, as parents our children should come first.
I believe with all my heart that our students will do better, our schools will improve, our country will be more successful when parents realize that education is important and it does not mean merely sending their child off on the school bus. I want parents to know that they are the most vital element of the triangle and that without them, an excellent education is unlikely.
© Natala Orobello