I understand the frustration a loving and involved parent might feel when they don’t get the response they want at the time they want it. It can make you wonder if the school or the teacher “cares”– because caring is a very personal thing (not like test score data)…and don’t we want that for our own children as well as others- to be cared for no matter what setting they’re in?
But often, the stories and condemnations of uncaring, unresponsive schools and teachers come from those very loving, involved and caring parents that have a high standard for the care they give and the care they expect to be given. Their children have likely experienced a level of care and involvement that a growing number of children are not experiencing. Again, I understand being frustrated with responses that do not match my wish list standards for care for my child. I have experienced this feeling.
But: imagine a phone that is never answered; a conference that is never attended; parents who hand over their responsibilities to grandparents…or have those responsibilities removed by court order.
Imagine the need for the teacher to stop by on the way home to drop off the third copy of that progress report that hasn’t found its way back. Imagine this is ongoing, common or pervasive. Imagine knowing that there are many hearts and souls needing to be fed in order for the minds to be fed. Imagine a child coming in first thing in the morning or reluctantly leaving to go to wherever “home” is at the end of the day and saying “forget the hug, please raise my standardized test scores so I can be in a school labeled as something other than failing!”
Imagine having to exercise your duty as a “mandated reporter”- many times.
Imagine that the most involved parents are provided an escape hatch to go to a tightly controlled school where other very involved parents will be sending their children. Can’t really blame them or the entrepreneurs taking advantage of this growing market.
Now imagine the children that are “left behind” and the teachers who will continue to serve, teach and care for them.