I recently read an article over at a worldly education website that got my blood boiling. In this article, the author calls today’s parents “helicopter parents” and comments that they are over-involved in their children’s education and lives. There is something that I think the woman who penned this article and many other educators forget. They forget that their students actually are OUR children and that we have every right to be concerned about anything and everything regarding them.
These teachers were not there when I was going through labor pains and delivery. They weren’t there during the sleepless nights spent feeding a crying infant or walking the floor with her while she had colic. They weren’t there when I cleaned up messes from illnesses when my daughters puked on everything, including me, their bedding and themselves. As a matter of fact, they aren’t there for any of the difficult things a parent goes through. They aren’t there when I have to ground one of my daughters for lying or breaking a big rule. They don’t deal with the teenage angst that every parent encounters at some point, especially if you have teen girls.
Sadly, I think this is an attitude that many educators have today. They don’t want to be bothered with the handful of parents left who want to stay on top of how their children are doing and who want to find help when help is needed. If the cheerleading tryouts truly were unfair, because a mother of one girl and an aunt of another were on the panel, they really don’t want to hear about it. Let’s brush it under the rug and pretend it would be tolerated in the real world. If a parent wants to know what she can do at home to help her daughter bring up her grade in a class, they wish you wouldn’t bother them. Heaven forbid anyone would want to help their child improve. A parent can’t possibly teach their child at home (yes, I am being sarcastic here). When other girls at the junior high are calling your daughter names and pushing her in the hall, they ignore the situation, even when your daughter goes to them and asks for help.
While I direct my comments at teachers like the author of this article, there are rare jewels in the teaching profession, who care deeply about the students and teach because they love to teach. They honestly want the students to learn. These are the teachers who send home letters with their e-mail and phone number and encourage parents to contact them. They respond to e-mails and sometimes e-mail you first. They actually care about your child and see the parent/teacher relationship as a partnership to help your student become all that he or she can be. These teachers are invaluable to our children and their futures. I wish there were more of them. My girls have loved several of their teachers and felt encouraged and helped by them.
So, call me a helicopter parent. Say that I am over involved in my children’s lives. Call me any name you want behind my back and talk about me in the teacher’s lounge. This won’t change the fact that I actually care about my children and want what is best for them. It won’t change the fact that I know who the good and dedicated teachers are and I will always request those teachers for my children. Although my engine may sputter from time to time, with or without your support, my blades will keep spinning and I will continue to helicopter over my children so that they can one day be loving, caring members of society who do not look down on others. To all those teachers who wish I would just go away, if you are really lucky, my children may one day be teaching your children and you will see why I cared and what a difference it made.