I once taught in an area of the UK that was very muliticultural and quite disadvantaged. It was real challenge because all of the children in my class had English as an additional language and many had special needs. The parents found it difficult to help them with homework because they couldn’t speak English, but many were supportive and grateful for all we did for their children.
The school I have just started working in is very different. 98% of the children are white british and speak English. They come from two parent families who work to support their children accordingly. It’s quite an easy school to work in compared to the latter.
Don’t get me wrong, the parents of these children are lovely and do what they can to help their child succeed. However, I have only been there for 2 weeks and I have already had 3 meetings with 3 different concerned parents. There is also at least one daily message about someone because they have a cold or aren’t feeling too well, so I am asked to keep an eye on them. If they are ill, they will tell me, or just keep them off! One parent yesterday had a meeting with me because her child had anxiety problems about what I was teaching her in English. Surely, she could have assured her own child not to worry. Did it really need a 25 min meeting about it?
I might be being harsh here, but I’m just not used to it. I didn’t hear a peep from the parents of the last school, which I suppose was too much the other way. There must be a happy medium. I know their children are precious to them, but they aren’t doing them any favours by being overly concerned. Now, whenever I ask child to sit down, stop talking or that they can’t go to the loo because they should have gone at break, I am half expecting a complaint. I have already had a parent come to see me because according to her, I had wrongly accused her son of running in the corridor. Seriously? Is it really necessary to fight this battle for your child? Can the lad not just take it on the chin and get over it? He was running, there’s a rule not to run. He was told to walk. It just seems so ridiculous to have a meeting about it.
If I had children, would I wrap the in cotton wool? I hope not. I often wonder what sort of parent I would be. I’d like to think I’d be strict, but fair, loving, but encouraged independence. I will probably never know, but being around children gives me a pretty a good idea. I do know they are crafty and manipulative little people if you allow them to be, and many parents never learn the manipulative ways of the child. They will only grow out of it if parents don’t pander to them. An episode of super nanny will tell you that.
Do you know any over-protective parents?