I recently read two pieces concerning educators, parents, and school systems. Both pieces disturbed me for a variety of reasons. Both, Ron Clark's piece "What teacher really want to tell parents" and a guest post on The Innovative Educator blog "What Parent Really Want to Tell Teachers: What You Do Hurts Our Children", deliver harsh, stinging words that contain moderates amount of reflection and a great deal of attacking sentiment. While I agree with a minority of the sentiments in both pieces, I am disturbed that these posts represent what many people dislike, even hate, about the Internet: attack bombs thrown at a group of people. The best that the offended party can do is to comment on the article or blog in response. I plan to blog.
Ron Clark highlights the often frequent tension between parents and teachers. At times, this may be inevitable when two people have different points of view, but I believe that it is necessary that teachers and parents make an effort to know each other and their viewpoints. Not only is this in the best interest of the child and student, but hopefully this behavior would be considered vital in any relationship in a civil society. I realize listening and responding without rancor seems to be in short supply currently in our society, but that's a topic for a different post.
Laurie Couture's guest post on the Innovative Educator blog directly responds to Ron Clark's piece. While there are details that I agree with, concerning lack of recess and rigid classrooms, this post comes off, to me, as a frustrated rant. I have many of the same concerns about this post as I have for Ron Clark's piece. In a time when educators and teachers need to work together more than ever for each child's betterment, attack messages such as these do little to advance much needed reform of the United States educational system.
Josh Stumpenhorst has an excellent post on these two articles as well. I can only hope that educators and parents can work together, not attack each other, for their students' and children's best interests.