5 things teachers want parents to know
October 10th, 2012
04:18 AM ET

5 things teachers want parents to know

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) - During the average school day, teachers are with children as many waking hours as parents are. But many educators believe there’s a short in the communication lines between themselves and parents. When asked what they’d want parents to know about education, not all of the teachers we spoke to wished to be named - but they did share many common concerns from the classroom.

1. We're on the same team

First and foremost, teachers want students to thrive in the classroom, and they could use your help.

Jennifer Bell, a 7th grade social studies teacher in Tennessee, suggests that parents do all they can to ensure that students are doing their homework, exercising, eating well and sleeping. Whether students come to class tired or ready to learn can hinge on parents’ involvement. “We need their support,” she says. “We can’t do this on our own.”

In the words of an elementary school teacher from Georgia, “We are professionals. Teaching children is our area of expertise. Your child benefits more when you support me.”

And while educators expect students to make mistakes, Mississippi teacher Beth Wilbanks Smith asks parents to help them learn from those mistakes. “They will grow to be productive citizens if we all work as a unified force,” she writes.

2. Curriculum isn’t always up to us

One aspect of education that teachers say many parents don’t realize is that there’s not much wiggle room in classroom curriculum.

Forty-five states have adopted The Common Core State Standards. As a result, Bell says that teachers aren’t always responsible for the pace or the material. What they are responsible for: teaching the material itself and the test scores that result.

Parents may not agree with the education guidelines set by state or federal government, and many teachers don’t either. A Georgia educator told us, “Legislators and politicians are not educators; they make decisions regarding education without the knowledge of how it will impact student learning.”

So teachers ask that parents show understanding when addressing issues that educators do not have the power to change.

3. Share the responsibility

Something educators don’t want is for parents to have a combative approach to problems that arise at school.

A pair of Georgia elementary school teachers said that a student tells his side of the story through his own point of view. In order to get the whole story and avoid any misunderstandings, it’s important to objectively approach the educator.

A junior high school teacher from Missouri echoes this. “The national rhetoric lately in politics, movies, etc. has really put teachers on the defensive, and I think parents today are more likely to try and place blame on a teacher instead of ask their student to take more responsibility.”

This educator suggests allowing the student to both fail and take the responsibility to correct the error. “As a parent, I know this isn’t easy, but always trying to jump in and save your student won’t help them in the future.”

4. A track record doesn't guarantee a track star

“Something that has come up in conversations often lately among teachers: Past results don’t always result in future success,” writes a Missouri educator.

Teachers sometimes hear parents say that their student has always done well in a given subject, so there’s no reason why he or she should have trouble with it going forward.

But that’s not always the case, and it’s not necessarily the teacher’s fault. “This year’s concepts are very different,” the educator says, and the student “might be struggling with a more advanced concept.”

5. We know where you’re coming from

A recently retired Georgia teacher told us that 80-85% of her colleagues had children of their own. She says this gives educators compassion and insight into how a child learns. “Parents see a child. Teachers see both the child and the student. They have the ability to see multiple perspectives.”

When discussing success in the classroom, Smith also mentioned compassion as an ingredient, along with structure, order and inspiration. The recipe “makes for a dynamic environment,” she said. “I am not ‘a friend’ to my students, but I am their mentor, their confidant, and their stability while they are in my care.”

And while virtually all teachers would like to give more individualized attention to students, educators are limited by time, curriculum and class sizes. These are challenges that teachers feel some parents don’t understand.

As stated by a woman with decades of experience as both a teacher and a parent, “Your child is unique, just like everyone else’s.”

soundoff (957 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Tell you what. Go on in to pretty much any high school and stay all day for two weeks. Actually follow a teacher around and try to do everything that the teacher does. Then you can talk about babysitting.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Ben

      Your' obvious disdain for teenagers means that you need to look inwards before saying ANYTHING in judgement of the education system

      October 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  2. DC

    Teachers are a lot like baseball managers or football coaches. They are given a 'team' of students and expected to turn out a certain result. The teacher/manager/coach are required to educate/coach the kids/players to the best of their ability but the limitations of the students/athletes holds them back from performing as well as some other students/athletes.

    However, if they fail to turn out a favorable result every year, its the teachers/managers/coaches fault and they get fired. Let's not hold the kids/players accountable for their actions or inability to perform, lack of trying....no, lets throw the teacher/manager/coach under the bus because it's the easier thing to do.

    Sometimes its not the teacher/manager/coaches who suck, its the students and players who suck.

    The teacher is not the sole reason children fail in life. Parents have a lot more control over their kids and if they fail at being a good parent they shouldn't go blaming society.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • John in Western NY

      "However, if they fail to turn out a favorable result every year, its the teachers/managers/coaches fault and they get fired."

      What is this planet that you live on where teachers are fired for poor performance by their students?

      October 10, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  3. Mike G Scranton PA

    Seems skewed to me. A good track record IS INDICATIVE of success, ... that is a proven scientific principle. to try and say otherwise is lame. to publish it is ignorant.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • ryan

      No, it is a common occurrence, it is not a proven fact, it does not occur with a 100% predictability rate, otherwise the kid who was smartest in kindergarten would finish as valedictorian.

      Kids pick some things up, others they don't pick up as well. Some develop faster than others, then the field levels out. I got A's in math every year until I hit calculus, and then the kind of math I was doing, changed, and I didn't adapt with it as well as others did, as an example. Some kids are stronger at some subjects as opposed to others.

      The biggest problem with American education is American parents, now parents make excuses for their children and say "my child just doesn't learn that way, tailor it to their learning style." This is educating the masses, and your child needs to learn as best they can and from making sure homework and studying are done, to the basics of ensuring clean clothes and full stomachs, a child's well-being, which being educated is part of, is the responsibility of the parents.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  4. Jim

    This has some good, if not generalized, points. The bottom line is teachers aren't bad, unions and heavy administration are bad. Parents are mostly good and want their children to succeed. Teachers are good and want their students to succeed. Unfortunately they are the bottom of the public school management chain. You know how you go to work and gripe about the management levels up who make your job difficult? So do they. They get squeezed from both ends with expectations and have to creatively "make it work." I say lets redistribute some school board salary budget down the tree to the teachers and see if increasing their resources makes things function better. Maybe the board salary decrease will disincentive people who don't actually care about the job to move on and ensure the board is "on board" with their team of teachers.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  5. gsnlou

    Look, the entire focus on our own education started because we now know the other countries are doing much better in things that are important in the 21st century...you know, like math and science or even reading comprehension. Then ask yourself, are the other countries have better teachers, better parenting, and better budget? Do you honestly believe that the chinese teachers have more skills than our own teachers that have professional training? You and I both know that our culture is not up to challenge in this day of age when being more progressive means that you start learning calculus at 4th grade....not playing around "experimenting". Say what you want, but in the end, you and I know that this is not 1900 anymore and if you want to compete internationally, be prepared that kids from other developing countries are smarter, faster, and slimmer than your own. Otherwise, bury your head in the sand and argue for playtime for kids.

    BTW, the entire argument that we have more secular (i.e. godless) curriculum means that we have showed sign of progress in terms of civilization. The entire argument can be used to say more and more high school dropouts is also a sign of progress. Or less and less kids to young adults interested in math and science as a sign of progress too.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  6. Lou Cypher

    Public schools primarily specialize in short-term incarceration; education is incidental (accidental) to that role.

    Participation makes you part of the problem, not part of the answer.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Whatteachersreallywanttosay

      Public schools only seem like a prison because we have to deal with kids who have no morals and don't have a support system at home. If the parents would raise their children to respect adults and listen, then a teacher could actually teach instead of dealing with problem children.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • mpouxesas

        Well....there has to be more than just that. Children should be raised democratically, not authoritatively. Respect is a mutual thing. You model behaviors you expect of others. They learn by observing you. You do crap, and you shall receive that.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • parent

        It scares me to think you might be a teacher. Interestingly, you mention to remember your kid is not perfect, yet you have a very high opinion of yourself and an obvious lack of respect for kids and their parents.
        This is exactly the type of personality that is unwilling to judged by others. If you want parents to take responsibility for their kids behavior away from home and their morals (whatever that means in this context), take responsibiltiy for your teaching. Test kids before and after you're done with them. If they haven't learned anything, you suck as a teacher and should be replaced. It isn't your fault? The kids can't be taught. Fine. Let them not be taught, but don't waste taxpayer money paying you, who can't get the job done.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  7. John

    I can understand the teachers frustrations however I feel there is a lack of communication coming from the school and or classroom. As a first time parent my child, who has just started kindergarten, never comes home with any progress reports. We have no idea what is going on in the classroom or what is expected from us when he is at home. We read to him practice his letters and so on but it would be nice if the teachers let you know what to reinforce for the week. For example they are going over the letter P or they are working learning the days of the week and so on. Without communication from the teacher we may be on the same team but we could each be using different playbooks.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • K

      Well said, John. Sounds like you might have a bum teacher though :(. My nephew just started kindergarten and she emails photos to my sister of what he's doing during the day, what he's learning, what books he's reading, etc. She goes above and beyond for sure, but there are some really good public school teachers out there.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |
      • K

        Sorry, by "she", I mean my nephew's teacher.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  8. Whatteachersreallywanttosay

    1. We are not a baby sitting service.
    2. It's not our job to discipline your child.
    3. We can teach until we are blue in the face, but you are the encourager and enforcer.
    4. Sports are NOT more important than education. Having a game on a Tuesday night is not a reason to skip homework.
    5. Parents, please come dressed appropriately to conferences. Respect yourself and the kids around you.
    6. If you have a full week off of school, don't take the kid out the Friday before. They will miss something.
    7. Your kid is not perfect.
    8. Life is about following someone else's rules for the most part. If you help teach them now, life will be a lot easier for them.
    9. Be a parent, not a friend. You can be friendly, but there is a line.
    10. Mom, please don't share your teenage daughter's clothes. You don't look as good as you think you do.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • John

      Hahhaahha I love it! Bravo

      October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Lou Cypher

      Actually, public schools ARE a baby-sitting service.

      The future fat cats attend private schools; the future revolutionaries are home-schooled. The future proletariat does short-term incarceration, to acclimate them to the conditions they will later find as workers in Prison Industries (now 2M strong and part of the fastest-growing industrial segment in the USA, and by law they are non-unionized hehe).

      Public schools were invented primarily to clean the streets of trouble-making imps, not advance anyone's socio-economic status. Nothing's changed.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • parent

      shows a lot of latent hatred of parents (moms)

      This is a simple discussion. The teachers are there to do a job, teach the children. This is an important job and should be paid as such. But like any other job, there must be accountability and this is the rub. The teachers want no accountability through their unions. Is it problematic to judge results for which you are not totally responsible. Yes, but must be done anyway. Ask doctors taking care of the American population. We have been falling behind for years, in education, and it will doom us, unless there is change.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:13 am |
      • Whatteachersreallywanttosay

        A teacher can't be graded on the actual teaching method because we are dealing with little Johnny and Suzie bullying, being disruptive, and overall a bad child. I can have 35 students in one class that are willing to learn and they will be the top kids every time and I will have very little stress or I can have 18 kids in one class with 2 bad apples and no one will learn. It's called the child is B.A.D not A.D.D.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Denise

      This teacher says "Amen to that!"

      October 10, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • parent

        If you can't get the job done, you can't. But taxpayers shouldn't be responsible for no results.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Kimberly

      With a smart but lazy 16 year old boy and 2 smart but sometimes lots 13 year old boys I am offended by the remarks not only in the article but my others in general. I think not being so condescending would be a start on both sides. I work a lot and come home to about two to three hours of homework per day, per child. My husband and I are a good team when it comes to getting the work, homework and house stuff done but it is overwhelming. I realize most teachers don't think down time or sports are secondary to the 'homework' they assign, but kids get burned out. With school hours and then homework they spend about 8 to 9 hours per day learning. Most adults jobs (including teachers) don't last that long per day. I think their needs to be a balance between work and play, but nobody wants to step off the pedestal to work on it.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Kimberly

      1. We are not a baby sitting service. – No, the stop acting like a perfect moral compass. Not everyone is created in your mold.
      2. It's not our job to discipline your child. – Yet, some teachers feel the need to 'fix' my son.
      3. We can teach until we are blue in the face, but you are the encourager and enforcer. – Try and make sure everyone is getting what you are throwing down before moving on.
      4. Sports are NOT more important than education. Having a game on a Tuesday night is not a reason to skip homework. – I agree, but 5 hours of homework when you don't get it done in the classroom is not a good thing either.
      5. Parents, please come dressed appropriately to conferences. Respect yourself and the kids around you. – PLEASE! I have gone to conferences when the teacher is dressed like they climbed out of a dumpster so don't preach to me about dress code and looking appropriately!
      6. If you have a full week off of school, don't take the kid out the Friday before. They will miss something. – Sometimes there is no choice. How about working with the student/parent to make sure they have what they need if it is unavoidable. After all most of the teachers will make sure that you know it is your responsibility for them to learn and understand what is being taught, not theirs.
      7. Your kid is not perfect. – Nope, you go me on that and neither is anyone else! The world would be a perfect place if e all had stepford children.
      8. Life is about following someone else's rules for the most part. If you help teach them now, life will be a lot easier for them. – Not all the time, but I agree that they should follow the school and classroom rules. Only problem is when the rules change based on the likability of the child. Can you say favortism?
      9. Be a parent, not a friend. You can be friendly, but there is a line. – Seriously! Don't tell me how to parent! Teach don't parent.
      10. Mom, please don't share your teenage daughter's clothes. You don't look as good as you think you do. – Not your problem/concern or business!

      October 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  9. chris

    Only religion gets more charity dollars than education in the United States. The people of this country have been behind the education system for decades and the same problems exist today. We as parents are tired of the same template story. Not enough money, not enough parent involvement..hey I"m self employed and spent tons of time K-9 when my 3 kids where in school. Teachers HATED me showing up..I got in there way they said...even when I was a volunteer story book reader for kids! And this was in the Iowa school system which is suppose to be so great. I saw 60% of the elementary kids pushed onto Ridalin until parents nearly had to go to court to stop it. I saw teachers study for their masters in class and ignore kids. I heard the school counselor say we are the advocates for the teacher not your kids. What I have not heard is teachers, school management and the union say...our system is broken and we'tre going to fix it..thanks for the support..we failed.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Lisa

      You need to stop throwing blame on the system including the teachers. The politicians are responsible for most of the problems since they beleive their laws are helping fix it. They make the kobs of the teachers more difficult every year. No longer is the teacher able to inspire when they are constantly testing and looking over theri shoulders to keep the scores up. Be more supportive rather than combative. Sugar always works better than salt.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:18 am |
      • parent

        Stop asking taxpayers to continue supporting this abject failure.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  10. education or parent

    It is the task of the school to EDUCATE our children, it is the task of the parent to RAISE (prepare them to be a productive member of society) the child. Schools are not tax supported day care centers, parents should not consider them as such and most do. Students must be taught to respect and work with teachers, administrators, staff,etc because this how, in part, out world operates. Disciple at home is a must that must carry over to school. If parents and teachers are not working as a team to the benefit of children then eventually society as a whole changes. It is generally a process that takes place over time. Once the damage is evident than as adults we must take action to reverse the trend. It would be better to be proactive instead of reactive but that requires vision. Just the opinion of a parent of an elementary and jr high student.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • mjbrin

      okay now as for teachers pay
      schools need to stop principal meetings during the school hours
      they are needed full time in their buildings during school hours
      teachers who are union reps need to schedule their meetings after school hours, they too are needed full time in the classroom
      if schools need to be closed for meetings then they need to be scheduled for a friday or monday, breaking up the week is not good for the children
      no more half days! biggest waste of money, buses etc

      October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  11. stupidliberalidiot

    Lets do a few calculations to look at our teachers at this point. If your teacher was a baby sitter getting 5 dollars an hour for watching you child, and there were 20 kids in the class, this logically comes to 100 dollars/hour. Teachers generally teach an average of 6 hours per day (with kids in class), so they should get 600 dollars a day, five days a week, or 3000/dollars a week. They teach 35 weeks /year so this comes to 105000 a year. Lets divide this by half to account for benefits, coming to 52500 a year. This is bit higher then the starting wages for teachers in my state (Maine, approx 38000).
    Perhaps we should rethink our system a little more.
    Please note- this leaves out the following aspects of teaching: hours of grading, professional development, and the fact that they have specialized knowledge (a degree, in their subject matter).
    By the way, where can I find a baby sitter who would accept 5 dollars an hours?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • SHANNON

      babysitter you pay for convince of them coming to your home, at odd hours. A better example would be a day worker , how much do you pay for daycare a day oh but dont forget you have to take out overhead cost cause the only funding many get is by you, so food, a building, toys, cleaning supply ect. i mean if your going to do the math do it right.

      But teaching is not like babysitting as much as parents would like to tell you, (yes part of your day is babbysitting) but teaching complex things to 30 some students is much more demanding, requires much more planning (this too counts to preschool teachers ) teachers dont work just when students are there. its a bad example even to just do the math with.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Freddie the Fez

      Naaaaw. Let's play football players $1.5 million to run around chasing a ball and give massive subsidies to the owners to build stadiums. That's a better use of money than paying teachers to watch children.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  12. WhatNow

    Many of my friends quit teaching in public schools in the late 80's and early 90's. The reason they gave me was this: parents. Parents began blaming teachers for their children's failures. If their child was doing bad in math, then it must be the teachers fault. If their child was misbehaving in school, then the school must be doing something wrong. The mentality moved from parents working with teachers to make sure their students were successful and well-behaved in school to blaming the teachers for lack of success. One teacher that had taught for 25 years (by the way, she had a PhD) told me that the classroom had been taken over by so many restrictions, that classes were basically geared toward the lowest level in the class. No longer could they fail students. It's just sad. The US has fallen in our educational standing. Perhaps we should be looking back to see where we went wrong as we were once the best.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • mpouxesas

      As I said many times before, in the world of most mammals, the FIRST and MOST important learning/educational environment is the home. That's where everything begins. Nowadays many kids start school with no, or limited 'entering skills.' They don't know any of the basic stuff, you know, those you need in order to be a...critical thinker. We have been pushing for this abstract idea that we want our kids to be free learners, independent thinkers and good analyzers...Problem is, if you don't have any basic fundamental knowledge of..anything, what's there to analyze and think critically about?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  13. jeff r

    NOTE TO TEACHERS: you will always be blamed until you put more responsibility back on the parents. Wake up and support school choice/vouchers. Your unions are killing you!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • mpouxesas

      As long at the mentality of 'those who can they do, those who can't they ...teach' exists, teachers will always be subpar in most people's perception. After all, teachers are the 2nd lowest paid professionals (better in pay only to social workers, and as you may infer from this, it shows how much our culture values those who contribute the most...). And by professionals I mean those who hold a professional degree (master and above).

      October 10, 2012 at 9:00 am |
      • Just Say'n

        Ever ask the teachers' union why the teachers are "UNDERPAID"... after all we spend more money on education than any other country in the world.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Scott

      WE put more responsibilities on parents? How are WE going to do that? Is there some law out there that allows us to do that? Vouchers that is your solution? Unions killing us, unions are the only thing that stands between us and 35 + kids in my class because of our wonderful Republican Gov. Unions killing us, sounds like you are one of those parents who needs to take a bit of responsibility yourself.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Just Say'n

      That would be REALLY good. But not teachers are servants to their unions.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Kristina

      Can I please hear from some of the teachers in charter schools or private schools who accept vouchers? I only know of a few teacher who taught privately. The one that I was housemates with was making minimum wage with zero benefits, but she wanted to be a teacher, and had spent four years putting herself through school to get there. She thought it might position her better if she were teaching rather than bartending, though bartending paid better. For her, getting a public school job meant a living wage, even though it was a rather low wage, so that's what she was aiming for. I don't want my kid in a school where the teachers are just trying to get out. For other teachers out there, what is your experience with public or private teaching? Are my friends' positions with private schools unusual or somewhat common?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  14. real_personn

    “Parents see a child. Teachers see both the child and the student. They have the ability to see multiple perspectives.”.
    Would this imply the child does absolutely no leaning prior to entering the school system? Does this statement imply the educator does not see the value of the parent/ family unit?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Kreece

      This doesn't even scratch the issue of the child/student IS their own person, and regardless of what the teacher has taught/presented/assigned the student...sometimes the student will just NOT do, what they are supposed to do.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  15. PJ

    Next time: Abortion. Please.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  16. CNN Reader

    The article was not saying that teachers should take sole responsibility, it is asking more of the parents in their involvement in their own children's lives. I am a teacher by profession and parent and it is not an easy task teaching kids everyday trying to get them on the right track when there are lousy parents who looks to the teacher as a 'savior" to redeem the child from their short comings. We will try and try but need the parents' support. I love teaching and it is shown in grades of the kids but often times, we still need the parents support. We are also govern and regulated by laws and policies that often times, impairs our ability to be more effective (not that we arent). SN: There are no good teachers out there and those should be weeded out. Lesson plan planning takes times outside of regular teaching hours as well as marking papers and projects and homework. So yes we do deserve the summer and winter break. give us a break!!! Good teachers are trying because we love what we do and not because of the measily pay check we receive.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  17. rizzo

    START SCHOOL LATER IN THE DAY!!!! Studies show that kids don't learn well until after 9am. When I was in school I had to be at the bus stop at 6:30am just to make the hour bus ride. Combined with the amount of homework needed, I was sleeping from 11:30 until like 5:30, this is not healthy!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • mad_russian

      What studies? Provide a link to these studies so you don't seem like a know-it-all that has no clue about a subject. I can't stand people that mention studies with no direct evidence from the study. However, as a teacher, I do agree that students seem to be less motivated and inclined to learn in the morning. That's eleven years of experience talking, not a mention to some "study".

      October 10, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Just A Guy

      Go to bed earlier!!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  18. American

    First we want:

    The most pay we can get
    The best healthcare insurance we can get
    The most time off we can get
    The shortest school day we can get
    The least amount of accountability we can get

    Secondly:

    Educating your children if we have to.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • rizzo

      Not sure who you're talking about, I know a couple teachers and they both work 8+ hour days and don't get paid much at all.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
      • Angela

        My son's 2nd grade teacher works 12 hours a day! Let's support our teachers because guess what, that means we are supporting our children too! I volunteer in his classroom and with 20 students, it is very difficult to keep them on task (especially at the elementary level) but all of the teachers my son has had so far have the patience of saints and the negotiation skills to handle the ridiculous number of children in the classroom these days. Stop complaining about the teachers and the unions.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • pointless1

      I bet you complain a heck of a lot about what you don't have and can't do....

      October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • jkirk

      You are clueless about the teaching profession!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Rob

      Seriously, I hope you don't really believe this to be the case. Teachers actually work longer hours for less pay than most people can even imagine. A teacher I worked with once compared teaching to Switzerland. She noted that Switzerland looks like a small country on a map, but it would cover a huge amount of land if you flattened out all the really tall mountains. Teachers might only work for 10 months, but if you flatten out all the amount of time they put in planning, teaching, grading, attending workshops, etc., it would take much more than 12 months. (And I'm not even going to talk about the pay!!!)

      October 10, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Matt Miller

      Do you talk and rant about things you have very little knowledge of a lot? Or is this your first time? Believe me, there are your fair share of teachers who fall under this skewed view you have – every career and job field has these types of people – but don't lump all the teachers that devote over sixty hours a week planning and caring for students all into one stereotype. Have some respect.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Erik

      I'll bet you couldn't hack it as a teacher for one day. Stop watching Fox News and go talk to a teacher or shut up.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  19. JustMeMyselfAndI

    I am a parent and I always try to figure out where exactly the problem is if there is one, is it my kid or the teacher...one thing I learned is that some teachers want only the "easy" kids, those who can sit still and look at one point for 45 min. There are so many bright active kids who don't get the proper attention just because they are bored in the class room and instead of the teacher are looking at the window.Both parents and teachers should put their harts in to raising our kids, but sometimes unfortunately both sides can be just to lazy.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  20. Xelanosa

    Teacher to Parents,

    Parents, keep the tax dollars coming and we promise that we'll babysit your kids for "Free" whilst we funnel much of said money to Unions who will then give Democrat politicians their cut. And that will be true no matter how poorly our school is performing. Further, we promise that if your student happens to do well, we will take ALL the credit, and if he/she does not, we will take NONE of the blame.

    Deal?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • pingpaul

      Obviously, you are not a teacher, nor have any knowledge of how a school system works. We suggest you attend some school board meetings, sit in on some classes from K through 12, and discuss the teaching job with teachers and department heads. Then let's revisit this discussion.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
      • parent

        Instead of simply dismissing the statement, please refute it with some fact(s). It looks pretty accurate to me.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Freddie the Fez

      Parents to Teachers

      We promise not to take any interested in our childrens' studies. We promise not to help them, mentor them, oversee their work and make certain projects are done. We promise to make excuses for the kids, particularly their failures, because they are everyone else's fault but not ours. We promise to complain when our Precious Little Snowflake fails to make an A+ for a paper that plagiarizes Wikipedia and was turned in late because there was a Glee marathon on cable last night. We promise to sue for pain and mental anguish when Junior scrapes his knee because you, the teacher, were busy watching 35 hooligans, a third of whom don't speak English and another third are functional idiots. We promise to complain bitterly that you give too much homework. . . or too little. And most importantly, we promise to give you a hard time because you work from 7:30 am until 6 or 7 at night with school sports or extra curricular activities – but you only do it 9 months a year, and have the nerve to seek benefits better than mine.

      xoxoxo,

      the Parents

      October 10, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  21. jkala

    This article is partially right. You need parent involvement to help struggling students. I would argue that instead of hiring more teachers. Have the school hire a person to grade every single teacher's exam and send the scores directly to the parent. The teacher then should have more free time to email the parents of all students. If done properly, the parents and the teachers would be on the same side when trying to help the student. Furthermore, I would argue that despite this idea being more time consuming, students may achieve higher results and ultimately that is EVERYONE's goal. Finally, this process may even help weed out bad teachers. For instance, if a teacher cannot communicate and connect with parents, then how can we expect the teacher to connect with his/her students.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • John

      No matter what your view of teachers may be, the numbers that suggest the U S is struggling in education should sound an alarm. Education in this country will not improve until the parents of students in this country support the teachers. Your children hear you calling teachers greedy and lazy, then you turn around and expect your child to respect and listen to a teacher? I teach at a school district in PA, and we have not had a contract in 3 years. We have been patient, but really, the bottom line is, that the people most vocal are those that have irrational beliefs about what teacher's lives are like. And that is sad for all of humanity. When the people who will build a better future are being disrespected, society needs to look long and hard at itself. I could have done ANYTHING I wanted with my life, but I would rather help kids realize their moral and academic potential than make 200,000 dollars a year. There are bad eggs, but they are few.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  22. Linda K. Smith

    Teachers and their administrators are grossly overpaid and under-worked. That's not an opinion – it's economic fact – witness the Chicago teachers striking for pay because $75,000 per year isn't enough. Witness any major school district throughout this country having to wade through hundreds of qualified applications whenever they post a single job vacancy. Taxpayers fork out more and more each year only to have student performance continue to decline.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • ricanchik

      Are you a teacher? Have you ever worked in a classroom? If not you, then you have no idea if a teacher is "under worked". Go into a classroom and follow a teacher; then come back and comment on your experience.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
      • Marcus

        Get back to us when teachers start working more than 2/3 to 3/4 of a calendar year. And when they stop being the worst whiners in the world.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • snapjak

      1. I only *wish I made $75k for my work as a teacher. I make far less. Please don't assume that every teacher makes that much.

      2. Student performance in the classroom is largely affected by what goes on in the roughly 16 hours that student is not at school. I wish I could control more of that time for so many of my students who have nothing but crap at home, but (in real life), I can't. With the decline in family values and parenting skills that is ever-increasing, comes a decline in student performance in their academics. Sad, but true.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
      • ricanchik

        Exactly, my husband is a high school Spanish teacher and soccer coach. He barely breaks $40k a year.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • realtalker1

      Linda, You have no clue what you're talking about. you see one national teacher strike where they already make $75,000 a year and you assume that's the case everywhere. My mom was a teacher. She's retired now but retired making only slightly more than I currently do. Thing is, I'm young and I have an entry level position in a field that yeilds only moderate salaries. When she started, she made only 12,000 dollars a year. When she retired, she was still making far less than the average income for our area with a masters degree. And she worked ALL. THE. TIME. Yes she had 2 months off in the summer but she had to get a summer job to supplement her income and during the school year she put in at least 70 hours a week between work and home. So I look at her life and others and I can't figure out what the he!! you're talking about.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Jordan

      I find this comment so generalized and stereotyped that it is sickening. As a teacher, I feel so under appreciated every time I read an article's comments section like this. Are you aware that I am making $33,000 this year. My first year out of college I made $29,000. I don't take summers off. I work a full time job in the summer and coach sports. During the school year I stay after contract hours to coach sports for a dollar an hour. I call parents who are unresponsive. They expect the school to fix their 15 years of neglect and poor parenting. Twenty percent of ids treat teachers like dirt because their parents have let that happen at home.

      Chicago teachers making $75,000 is not the rest of the country. I teach Government, Economics, and World History. Due to RISE Evaluations in Indiana, I will no longer get a salary increase from my school. I am stuck at $33,000 every year forward. If the school's Math and English teachers don't get it done, or the kids don't get it done, on the ISTEP graduation exam, I maybe lose my job. The system is brutal and unrewarding right now. Please know facts or talk to a real, hardworking teacher. There are poor teachers out there, but I have never met a greedy teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • Just Say'n

        Than you have to ask y ourself WHY AM I STUCK AT $33K?

        We spend more money on education than any other country in the world.

        ASK YOUR UNION, and DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS, WHERE ALL THE MONEY GO?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:13 am |
      • Jordan

        I don't complain to my school or state about 33,000. I didn't join the union. I talk to my administrators about academic needs, not MY needs.

        In fact, I am pretty sure most comments on this board are about helping the kids and not being so greedy. Now I am getting advice to be greedier. I am confused.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Mike

      Dear Linda,

      How dare you suggest that teachers are overpaid and under-worked. Most every teacher I know puts in a full day with the students and then spends an additional 2-3 hours at home working on student papers, determining what lessons should be revamped and altered to best help students with different learning styles, responding to parent emails, or simply looking to find new ways to reach ALL of his or her students. As for me and most of the teachers in my district my contract hour starts at 830 and goes till 335 each day. However I arrive at school by 7 am and rarely if ever do I leave prior to 5 pm. Not to mention I go in every Sunday for 3-4 hours. Are there teachers out there who don't do this? Of course. However they are the minority and not the majority. So if you want to make a statement such as this you better know what your talking about. Its people like you that make the teacher out to be the bad guy.

      So do teachers and myself a favor... Keep you mouth shut when its clear you don't understand something and when you see a teacher thank them for getting you through school, because without teachers you wouldn't be doing much today except sitting around doing nothing.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Bonnie

      Linda, you are not correct. I work every summer because I have to. During the school year, I work about 65 hours a week; that includes all the work done after school hours for grading, preparation, curriculum development, communicating with parents, staying late to help students who want the help and so forth. After everything is said and done, I make less than minimum wage per hour. Take from that the things I need to buy with my own money for the classroom and the tuition for required professional development classes and seminars. I don't belong to a union and never have. The administration isn't on my side; they are on survival mode, too concerned with keeping unrealistic parents happy so the school system doesn't get sued over a ridiculous claim. And for every minute of the day that I spend on behavioral issues in the classroom, that is one minute NOT spent on teaching academics!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  23. VAMom

    I have two children one who is through college and now working on his second graduate degree (at an Ivy league college) and the other still in high school. Both attend(ed) public schools and are/were at the top of their high school classes. I stressed from the time both were in preschool the importance of education and that nothing was more important than their education. I have a graduate degree and know that in today's job market, a degree can make a huge difference in financial security. I agree with the article, parents must be fully involved with their children when it comes to education. Ensuring homework is done is priority one in our household. It does not mean that my children never did/do anything other than schoolwork. Both were in band and had various other extracurricular activities, sports and drama among them. I have had to listen too many times to fellow parents who complain that their child is failing this or that course and it's all because the teacher does not know how to teach. When I ask if they have actually spoken to the teacher, they usually answer no. Then I say, "how can you blame the teacher without any knowledge?" Every parent should know each of the teachers who teach their children. Our high school has a Get To Know the Teacher night a couple times each year and I am always there, introducing myself and asking questions about what I can do to help my child succeed in each course. I certainly don't think it's just up to the teacher to make my child successful.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  24. Georgia Mom

    Here's a bit of advice for teachers who want parents' help:
    1. Teach my kid something. Don't have him bring a book from home and spend your entire class period reading it.
    2. Don't show Disney movies in class and call that education.
    3. Don't give out candy to the kids every day when the school handbook clearly says candy is forbidden.
    4. If I request a conference with you, make time for it. Don't tell me that you don't have time to meet with me.
    5. Communicate with parents directly. That includes responding to our emails.
    Teachers need to (1) show some interest in actually teaching and (2) ask for parent involvement by communicating directly with parents. In my Atlanta-area school system, that would make all the difference.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • pointless1

      How about showing up for conferences when you are supposed to and it wouldn't be a shocker to at the end of the year to find out why your child is failing first grade.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • Georgia Mom

        Asked for conferences during the first week of the school year. Still waiting for the teachers to "have time". Some don't respond at all. My kid has great grades but has not been assigned any homework for three years. I have questions about that. My point is that some parents are trying to be involved in the way teachers say they want, but we just get the hand - no interaction, no communication.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:01 am |
      • pointless1

        There is no reason why you can't come in before school or just a little after school to meet with a teacher. Sure it probably means you need to take time off work to do such a thing. I'd bet your the type to call a meeting after 6 pm, even though that teacher already put in a 8 hr day by 3:30. Mind you they probably have 18 plus sets of parents too to deal with. Give your kids some homework if you feel they need it.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • involvedmom

      We are lucky enough to live in an area that has a good school system. The one consistent thing I see that may or may not be the same in other areas is that the parents are very involved in all aspects of their children's lives. No, this doesn't leave an awful lot of time for "personal" time, but most feel this is something they are willing to give up for their children. If your child's teacher really does "teach" in the manner you mention, it's time to have a serious talk with the teacher. If that doesn't work, it's time to go to the principal (note the order of discussion). If that doesn't work, it's time to get involved with the PTA and/or start going to school board meetings and send letters with specific examples to the board of education superintendent. The issue is too important to let it go unchecked... your child is at risk of getting bored with school and not succeeding in school and life.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • Spouse

        Are you suggesting that instead of complaining you should get involved to make a difference. Interesting...

        October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
      • Georgia Mom

        This is very good advice, and I have tried all of it. But it can be quite an uphill battle for one person to change the entire teaching philosophy of a school. We can't all be Maggie Gyllenhaal. The solution for my family has been to supplement our child's education with other activities (Rosetta Stone, etc.). But my original post was directed at teachers who complain about parents. Sometimes the parents are starving for the kind of interaction they suggest. I think better communication between parents and teachers is the answer, particularly in the middle school grades when it is critical to get those study habits in shape before high school. I can't help my child if there doesn't seem to be any homework or curriculum to speak of. Parents need information about what is going on in the class in order to become involved in it.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Brenda

      I've had good and bad experiences with my child's teachers. Some have been very involved and great with communication. Others have seen communication as a one-way street that only comes from them. As important as it is that parents make sure their kids are prepared, etc., it's also important for teachers to remember that we have expectations of them. These are our children – the most important people in the world to us. I understand that teachers see children in the school environment and we don't, but they are also in a room with sometimes 30-40 other kids, so I don't believe they get to know these children as well as they think they do. It would help if they treated parents as allies and sources of information.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • 1 day in a classroom

      Teachers have a name for parents like you, Helicopter Parents. Do teachers in your school a favor. Home School them.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • Georgia Mom

        I think this hits the nail on the head. Teachers want parents to be more involved, but when the parents try, they are called ugly names. It's a no-win situation. In my case, I would just like a response to an email once in a while, and one conference per year with each of my 8th-grader's teachers. In my school system that is too much to ask. If wanting these things makes me a helicopter mom, so be it. But according to the article above and many of the other posts, I'm not doing enough.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • HMS

      Well you seem to have it all figured out don't you? If every teacher listened to you we would have the best math and science scores in the world...or at least I'm sure that's what you're thinking.
      1 – To your firsrt point. There are only so many hours in the day and multiple subjects to tackle, with the way childern behave in the classroom do you really think that the teacher has time to get completely indepth in every single subject that has to be taught? No, absolutly not. Learning is a two way street from both the teacher and student, the teacher introduces the concept in class and assigns homework for continued enforcement of the idea. This is the only way to get through the volume of material required.
      2- Watching movies in calss: Sometimes kids and teachers need a break from the routine. You've done it just recenelty by reading some news articles on CNN – I'm sure your employer is paying you to surf the web. If you disagree with me then you have no business posting comments on this article. You heard me, get back to work!
      3-If you see teachers giving out candy as an educational problem at your childrens school, then you truly have nothing better to do than complain. Take a look at an inner city school, I'll bet you'll be wisihng for your candy happy teacher in 10 seconds.
      4-Put yourself in the teachers shoes regarding requesting a conference. Five days a week you have 25-30 parents wanting conferences about why their spoiled child is doing so terribly. How much time would you have after a day of teaching to meet with parents who want to take absolutly no responsibility for their childs education but want to blame everything on you – sounds appealing doesn't it? I can assure you those conversations are not quick, or short. Cut them some slack and teach your kid some self responsibility.
      5-Do you really think teachers have no interest in teaching? Are you just making this up as you go? Sereiously? If they didn't have an interest in teaching they wouldn't be there. This is proven by the fact that the pay terrible, the hours spent at home gradning papers completly take over a teachers life and they get absolutly no help, recognition or empathy from helicopter parents that want to balme everyone else in the world for their childs failures but always forget to look in the mirror. No Georga Mom, they want to be there despite what you think.

      This type of thinkning is exactly whats wrong with the greater educational ecosystem today. Parents want to blame everyone else for the problems they see, when its actually they themsleves creating them. Take some responsibility for your childs education and work with your educators instead of against them and you will see great results.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • parent

        Are you a fool? She says she is trying to be active in her child's education and you complain that she is not taking responsibility. You say parents need to take responsibility but when they do they are helicopter parents and they need to be less involved. Get your story straight idiot.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • 1 day in a classroom

      This is part of the problem, your first response was rude, and who wants to take any parent or adult seriously with that response. Your last post was much more logical, and completely understandable. At the same time, here would be a few hits for you in regards to your over the top advice.

      Here's a bit of advice for teachers who want parents' help:
      1. Teach my kid something. Don't have him bring a book from home and spend your entire class period reading it.
      Really? So students who have difficulty getting through the text, we should just not work with them during class, or even better send them home so they are on their own? I am pretty sure reading is an essential skill in life, so perhaps you need to see if this is happening every single day of school for the entire school year. I find it hard to believe they aren’t learning anything.
      2. Don't show Disney movies in class and call that education.
      I completely agree, but again I would question if this is happening every day. Do students ever need a break? Do you ever need a break from your job? Well, instead of next time viewing a movie, we will have them read. Oh wait, you don’t like that either. Do us a favor; don’t ever complain again when we give your child “too much work then.”
      3. Don't give out candy to the kids every day when the school handbook clearly says candy is forbidden.
      I would love to know what school district you belong to because 1st they are reading too much, then watching movies, while eating candy all day. Sounds like an awesome time. OK, so no more candy, don’t send your child to school with a Coffee, Red Bull, Monster Drink, Coke, and then we will quit offering students something they enjoy. Do you ever need a piece of candy or gum during the day?
      4. If I request a conference with you, make time for it. Don't tell me that you don't have time to meet with me.
      Great idea, I forgot your child is the only student I have. The other 179 students and 358 parents never ask for a conference either. Sure, I will make time for it, normally on the days you are only available, probably right after school, not during the day when I an off period.
      5. Communicate with parents directly. That includes responding to our emails.
      I don’t know how I have time to respond to your emails while forcing my students to read and watch a movie at the same time, the entire day, while passing out candy and making time for conferences. If you lead any of your emails the way you do with these pieces of advice, I would probably not respond either. I have a feeling your emails have never began with…..Hello Mr. Smith, I hope your day is running smooth, I understand you are busy, but when you have time, I have a question……..or when you have time could we please schedule a meeting at your convenience……I would really appreciate it. Thanks again.
      Teachers need to (1) show some interest in actually teaching and (2) ask for parent involvement by communicating directly with parents. In my Atlanta-area school system, that would make all the difference.
      I think you should become a teacher and show us how it is all supposed to be done. My bet is, you wouldn’t last 1 day, let along 1 week.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  25. ricanchik

    Parents and students do need to be held responsible not just teachers. I am a teacher AND a parent and I know the importance of maintaining a healthy balance of responsibility. My sister in law who is a Kindergarten teacher received a note the other day from a parent. It reads as follows(verbatim): "X needs to learn to clean up her room and do her share. Also respect others and there stuff." Since when are teachers the parents of their students?

    Something needs to change and it's not just teachers... To all these negative responses, seriously read the article and put yourself in a teacher's shoes before you comment. It's not as easy as it looks.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Tara

      And "X's" mother needs to learn to spell.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
      • ricanchik

        My thoughts exactly.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  26. lovely

    This article holds truth but some of the comments on here are ridiculous. Talking about pay when you have absolutely no clue is ludicrous. I challenge anyone with little intelligence in this forum to come work a day in the classroom and see how much you have to learn. I do not work in a Union state. I actually make less per year with an undergraduate degree than a trash man in my state with not so much as an associates degree. I do not have these unspeakable four months off that some moron claims we have. I have two children and a wife. When I am not at school, I work a 2nd job at night a few days a week. During the summers, I work every single day or night of the week at another job just so I can give my kids what they deserve. I would venture to say that some of the people talking out of their rear-ends on this forum are people with no job, who live off the government, and bring in more money in a month than I do. So to that, I say you are welcome, because you live off of my taxes they take out of my over-generous check so you can live better than me. You can talk about any other reason why a teacher has it made but to say we are overpaid and underworked is nothing more than a sign of you having no normal brain activity.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  27. MD Hoyt

    Most of you have obviously never worked with children in your life time. Because if you did, you would never say those horrible words. It is a physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausting profession. I have been a Physical Education teacher for 11 years now and believe me it is no walk in the park. Not only do you HAVE to have a masters degree (some states not all) which exhausts your salary for quite some time paying back all those loans, but you you have to be each students teacher, parent, sibling, friend, mentor, psychologist, coach, you name it. They bring so many elements to the table, and teachers are there for them with all of those hats on. So for those who have anything bad to say about us, listen to this "Your job is a piece of cake compared to a teachers, and you probably make more money than we do".

    October 10, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  28. Brightstar

    I was a teacher beginning that career from 1969 and I ended it in 1975. It was a time of more innocense than now. But the bad was starting to show up with the good and that made a lot of the good apples bad ones. Integration is what I am speaking of. When the classrooms of 1972-75 that I taught in became severly handicapped by mostly bad black kids that had no discipline at home, we began to see what we are seeing today. That is why I left teaching. The first two years of it were fine and I liked it a lot. The last three years in which I taught jr. high (my fist three years were elementary kids) was a whole different breed. Not only were they a little older but by then their true animalistic behavior had become something that I did not want to deal with. NO PARENTING WAS THE PROBLEM AND STILL TODAY!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • MollyBee

      It's good that you left...you never should have become a teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Rachelle

      Well, i am glad that teachers like you are dropping out of the eduation system. We don't need your racist bias in the classroom and neither do our children. These days you have both bad black kids and bad white kids and bad latino kids in the classroom with no discipline at home. Your kind are "bad teachers" whom we don't need in our schools.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • John

      No matter what your view of teachers may be, the numbers that suggest the U S is struggling in education should sound an alarm. Education in this country will not improve until the parents of students in this country support the teachers. Your children hear you calling teachers greedy and lazy, then you turn around and expect your child to respect and listen to a teacher? I teach at a school district in PA, and we have not had a contract in 3 years. We have been patient, but really, the bottom line is, that the people most vocal are those that have irrational beliefs about what teacher's lives are like. And that is sad for all of humanity. When the people who will build a better future are being disrespected, society needs to look long and hard at itself. I could have done ANYTHING I wanted with my life, but I would rather help kids realize their moral and academic potential than make 200,000 dollars a year. There are bad eggs, but they are few.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • The Sic Life

      I don’t think you can compare desegregation to today. You are talking about a time of ultimate racial tension. Why would a student want to listen to someone that had held them and their family down for so long? There is such thing as white privilege and many white people claim it does not exist, but it is still out there today and will be prolonged by people like you that refuse to pull your head out of the sand and look at someone for who they really are...a person. (I am white and I am not a liberal...I am a human) By the way there is not biological difference in whites and blacks and race was a term created in the 1700s to continue slavery in the US.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Wow

      Brightstar you sure are a dimwit.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • yang

      not only are you completely unsuited for teaching emotionally, you writing skills are at middle school level at best. how is it possible that you graduated college in the first place?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  29. nilla

    If I refuse to get my oil changed and drive my car recklessly, can I call my mechanic "lazy" and "incompetent" if he has a difficult time fixing it? Can I blame my doctor if I have a heart attack as a result of horrible eating habits?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • ricanchik

      Exactly.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Varucell

      Because that is an apples to apples comparison. You are comparing inanimate object to a human being. This shows that you are definitely part of the problem.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • DC

        Actually, nilla's example is pretty straight forward. You can't blame the teacher when a parent brings a faulty child to school who is unwilling, unguided and undisciplined to learn and expect the teacher to teach/fix him/her as they would with a student who's parent has taken a responsibility in their childs academic progress and that student takes their education seriously.

        So a person who does regular maintenance on their vehicle throughout the life of the car will have less problems as compared to the person who ignores the warning signs and doesn't maintain their vehicle.

        the growth of ANY child in this world starts at home and all parents should know that.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
      • bubbaoriley

        They're part of the problem because they used an analogy?

        October 10, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  30. Me

    I've read through some of the negative comments and just have one question:

    How in the world can people say that teachers are overpaid?

    The whole Chicago incident has put ALL teachers in a bad light now. Chicago teachers are the highest paid teachers in the country. Most other states don't get anywhere near what they get paid. My spouse has been a teacher with a Masters degree for 10 yrs and now makes 50k. Is that overpaid in the masses opinion? If so, what do you think they should be getting paid? Do you want them not to eat and live in a cardboard box? I've been in the IT industry (the so called "real world" as everyone likes to say) for the same amount of time and make almost make twice what she does and she works WAY more than I do.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • nilla

      Even with Chicago, I find it interesting that $76,000/year is an "outrageous" amount to pay a teacher, but 4 years ago, our focus was on how we can protect the earnings of a $200,000/year plumber.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
      • chris

        Simple, the plumber does his job.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • Debbie

        If my plumber screws up my sink, I can sue him and get recompense through the courts.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
      • Tom

        The plumber has the same materials to work with every day, until they are improved and the materials get even better and more advanced through no effort of the their own.

        Teachers don't get to choose their students and may of them are dysfunctional in one way or another - many of those due to lack of parental involvement, or even lack of parents.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • withoeve

        Fair enough. Teachers must do their jobs.

        So, those making negative comments were/are either home schooled, privately educated, or are declaring themselves to be uneducated because their teachers failed to teacher. Can these people be blamed for only being able to spout the rhetoric of people who get paid to create extreme situations? No. They were not properly educated. Their mental deficiencies are not their own. The teachers are to blame.

        Or is it just revenge for that homework you were assigned but never did?

        October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  31. chris

    Simple illustration: St. Louis public school system has 552 management positions. Archdiocese of St. Louis has 12. They both have nearly the same number of students. Thats where the money goes.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • rob

      those "managers" you speak of aren't necessarily teachers anymore, so I don't understand your argument

      October 10, 2012 at 8:39 am |
      • chris

        The comment illustrates how the public school system, at least here in St. Louis is bloated. It's the whole system that is the problem. If you have to pay 552 management positions salaries and their pensions how do the dollars ever get to the teachers and classrooms? If the archdiocese of st. louis can manage the same number of kids with just 12 managers AND get better results that proves the public school system is over the top bloated and you will get teachers in St. Louis to agree.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • jeff r

      excellent point. we have thrown a great deal of money at education with limited results. Many schools don' t have sufficient supplies. The money is going to too much administration... and in some cases, specialists who try to avoid the difficult cases they are employed to assist. btw. married to a teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Anastasia Shoop

      I think this is an excellent point. Public vs. private school spending structures. My kids go to Catholic school and they school seems to do twice as much with less than half the money of public schools. The Catholic school doesn't waste their resources. I'm not saying everyone should go to Catholic school, I'm just saying it would be nice if public schools could get interested in best practices for running the public schools in a less wasteful manner. Public schools need to look at their business model of running the schools efficiently and frugally. It's too bad they can't carry over their budgets from year to year to help with repairs and big projects. The leadership structure among the teachers and principals needs to improve. There is no one in charge at public schools which makes the entire operation weak.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  32. dave

    Teacher do your job. Majority of you are lazy. Blame parents for your short comings. Easy job. Good pay. Lots of time of and benefits.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • nilla

      Wow, if it's that's easy, why aren't you a teacher?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • ricanchik

      Ignorance at it's best.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • youston

        I agree with you, but the apostrophe you've added to "its" adds quite a bit of irony to your comment.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • R

      Good Pay? Not to mention everything else you said........... you are an idiot. Ha

      October 10, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • rob

      Well Dave, what do you do for work? I don't know many teachers that can sit on CNN.com all day and comment on stories. They are ... get this .... working.

      FYI, you wouldn't be able to type out or even spell your comments (as dumb as they may be) without the help of a teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Andy

      Wow, you're ignorant!!! Teachers do have time off during the summer and rightly so. But during the entire school year, their job doesn't end in the classroom. They go home and prepare assignments and grade homework and exams. Teachers use their own money to purchase most of their necessities for the year. Parents like to complain that they have to buy a box of kleenex to bring to school. when all the boxes of kleenex run out, who do you think pays for more??? the teacher! You have to take all of this into consideration before you say something so ridiculous!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • DR

      "...lots of time OFF". Proofread before you badmouth teachers.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Kimberly

      You obviously aren't a teacher. Their work day does not end when the kids leave for the day. They are there early and stay at school working late. They also take work home to grade at night and over the weekend. If you take their annual salary and divide by the ACTUAL number of hours worked, I'd be surprised if it averages above minimum wage. MOST teachers don't do it for the money, they do it for the love of teaching. Many teachers use their own money to supply their classroom with everyday practical items because there simply isn't enough money in the school budget to provide these things. Perhaps you should try being a teacher for a year and see how you do.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • josie

      Dave, actually I think your a an idiot and uneducated. You have the nerve to say that teachers arent doing thier jobs and have all this time off and make all this money!!! Your an idiot who shouldnt be allowed to make a comment at all. I would imagine that you are very uneducated or a drop-out.

      Grow up and take responsibility for yur own shortcomings. Dumb is the word of the day for you to look up!!!!!!! Your picture might be next to it!!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • exteacher

      I left the teaching field and went into medicine. I told myself that if I were to have that much stress the rest of my life, I might as well get paid five times as much a year. Funny thing is, I now have less stress...

      October 10, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Mike Wiggins

      OK dave, since you obviously aren't aware of what goes into teaching, I will give you an analogy that you MIGHT understand.

      I want you, for 180 business days, to organize and run one childrens birthday party in the morning and one in the afternoon. Holidays and weekends are allowed, but I can almost guarantee that you will be using them to make sure you have all the supplies you need, not to mention making the cake yourself (or ordering one per event out of your own pocket), sending out the invitations in advance and organizing the entertainment (equivalent to having to make up your own lesson plans for school districts that don't order books and having to buy your own material). It's possible to do but it would be a grueling, thankless task where you would be begging for time off after a couple of weeks.

      Except for you, of course, where it would be easy....wouldn't it?......hmmmmm? (I didn't THINK so!)

      October 10, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  33. xeno

    My son is a challenging little guy, so I have always made a point of getting to know his teacher and making sure he or she knew that I am well aware of the challenges he brings and that the teacher has my support. It's not a lot of fun admitting that your child is one of the more difficult children, but it's much more helpful to the child and everyone else to be honest about the situation. You cannot help your child if you are not honest with yourself about who they are.
    As for what parents would like teachers to know, I beg of them to be organized and methodical in what homework they send home. I'm lucky to have time on my hands for sorting it all out, though I worry for the child with the less involved or less available parent. There are so many websites with passwords to visit, changes in schedule, homework that is "pre-work" rather than a practice of what was taught in class previously, etc. etc. When I was in school, even a first grader without an involved parent could get through and turn in homework easily. Now, the routine has become so complicated, I think it's a HUGE barrier to success for a lot of students early on.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Pam

      I could have written this post word for word.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • MollyBee

      You are the kind of parent that teacher's appreciate.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Jeff

      Amen to this. The latest was a 9:57 PM email pointing to an online quiz that was only "open" for 12 hours. It had to be finished by 9:15 AM. If my wife hadn't "Happened" to have checked email, he would have gotten a Zero. The teacher must be new, as email is NOT reliable enough to hang grades on, kids require SLEEP at night or they become behavior problems the next day, with school starting when it does, a simple guess puts his wake up time at 6 AM, and who the heck thinks any of this is OK?????

      Tenure is the evil. Allows lousy teachers to get lazy as well. NO Other profession has something that allows someone to completey drop their productivity and effectiveness and still get raises and stay employed with a PENSION, all the while being exempt from social security.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  34. chris

    I would have more respect for the public school system if they ran an article which admitted the truth..1) we are failing your kids 2) we'd rather the parents stay out of our way 3) Our system is over-the-top bloated in management 4) Our system soaks up 90% of the dollars put into it long before those dollars reach the teachers and classrooms 5) We know the USA is behind the education system, we just can't say that because we need to keep the money flowing 6) It is our fault, but really, whos going to hold us accountable?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Jeff

      AGREE 100%
      I have served on the school board and I am a parent of two children in the public school system. What you've presented is 100% exactly the problem.

      Well put!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Aaron

      Right. And it has NOTHING to do with decline of parenting, apathy of students and parents, or lack of community involvement in what our kids curriculum is. Schools are only as good as the community that surrounds them.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Phil

      Chris,
      You have kids? You read with them at night? You attend all of their conferences? You work on their homework with them?
      Or are you just a critic? Either way I invite you into the school to mentor a kids. Make a difference . Maybe you should teach for a while, see what really goes into it. Otherwise your just as uniformed as the rest of the education system bashers..

      October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • chris

        Sorry Phil, you picked the wrong parent. 3 kids, self employed which allowed me to spent tons of hours in K-9 volunteering and observing classrooms, teachers who pushed Ridalin, ignored kids while they studied for their masters and treated parents as problems when they showed up in class. We (parents) succeesfully fired two third grade teachers (although it took three years) and held the school accountable for the spending of money we raised. My comments stand.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Anthony

      Chris, I completely disagree. As a high school teacher, I could give you numerous examples, but I will stop at one. Last week our school had Parent-Teacher conferences. I have 122 students during the day; I saw 40 sets of parents. Out of those 40 sets, 33 of them had a student with a B or higher. That is 82.5%. Of my students with a C or lower (51 students), I saw 7. (13.7%) Please tell me where I am at fault for the lack of involvement from parents. Please tell me where I am to be held responsible for what happens outside of my classroom. I can't force kids or parents to do anything anymore, because suddenly a lawyer will appear in my school threatening to sue because "Little Jimmy" was held back and it damaged his reputation. I had a mother accuse me of hating her son because I failed him on a paper for plagiarism. What was her response? "You never said he couldn't do it."

      We take a lot of crap daily. All I want is for parents to do their share at home. As a teacher and a parent, I see both perspectives. You think I have a responsibility to my students? Parents have a bigger one to their kids, yet that seems to stay out of the limelight. All that crap makes my job even more difficult. Teachers just want a little support at home. Give us that, and you will see a dramatic difference.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Jeff

      Dead on there. When part of the "school supplies" we have to have our kids take to school is Printer Paper, something is WRONG. School board, etc. is so LOST and all the priorities are SO skewed. Now Montgomery, Al is having a standardized testing scandal like Georgia had last year. Teachers fixing tests so their averages LOOK better.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  35. Mark

    What most people won't admit is that children are monstors. What parents do at home with their children determines if theri children stay monstors or grow up to be productive citizens. There is an inherant crulty in children that only the parents can temper; teachers can't do everything. Let's face it there are many people out there that have children that should not have them. They can't control themselves, let alone their children.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • JT

      What is a "monstor"?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:24 am |
      • Mark

        Go to a playground and watch what is going on. You will have your answer.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Aaron

      I don't think kids are inherently cruel, but there are definitely some forms of leverage that only a parent can apply. One problem with education today is that we have stripped teachers of all power to discipline children in almost any form. That would be alright if parents weren't so apathetic when it came to behavior and education.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Involved Parent

      Its easy to attempt to blame teachers because they are the front lines. Unfortunately, they don't SET policy, they implement it. They are bound by the rules and guidelines set by politicians. Yes, there are plenty of teachers who lack motivation, they are human. They, after long years in the system are affected by the endless distruptive students and behavior. Families are much less involved in their kids upbringing than when most of us here were kids. The system, alot of the time, empowers kids to have too much authority for self direction well before they are capable of comprehending or handling it. Kids are kids and a lot of the time abuse that power. Parents as well as teachers are left to try to reign them all back in so that they have a successful chance of teaching 20, 30 even 40 kids at a time. Not an easy task. It does take multiple people, parents and teachers to make it all work. The system should allow for more effective, corrective measures to be taken. Their is a huge lack of reasonable accountability and consequence across the board.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
      • bubbaoriley

        Two thumbs up to this comment.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • c

      You're the monster with your horrible remark about children. Maybe you need to think about going back to school and learning how to spell. My eight-year-old has better manners and language skills than you.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • DP

      *monsters

      October 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Don F.

      I have worked with many many kids of various age groups in many different settings, some where mine most were not, usually parents were not present. There are/were very very kids few that could be described as monsters/brats/troublemakers, few that would behave outside of their parents expectations. This is not to say that all were perfect angles all of the time, but day in and day out parents would not be not have been unhappy with their behavior. In most cases it has been my experience that kids will more likely rise to the occasion than descend from it. Yes there are "bad apples" out there and yes there are always opportunities for better parenting. Likewise I find that most of the kids parents are reasonable people who function within the acceptable bounds of parenting.

      IN THAT CONTEXT, I am continually amazed at the degree of kid/student and parent bashing that goes on in the context of any discussion of education. In the context of the discussion this position is almost universally argued by teachers. As an adult member of the community with wide exposure to kids, I don't see it, I don't believe it. If anyone doubts this belief ask scout leaders, church leaders, non-educational coaches, anyone working with kids (especially those not their own) on an extended and ongoing basis outside of education and I suspect you will find a view that significantly differences from that of public school teachers.

      If this divergence of "perspective" is true, then it suggests a very serious problem no matter how you cut the cake.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  36. this guy

    It is all one big cycle when it comes down to student involvement and success. Where does that blame belong? The parents. Simple as that. So if parents do not want to be involved and help or the student doesn't want to realize that they don't have the support system of their parents and help break this cycle by wanting to not be like their parents then we will get no where!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Ricco

      It is not always the parents who are the blame. Teachers have to communicate with the parents as well as the children. Teachers have to flexible and creative in their teaching methods.

      I provide my email address to all teachers. I encourage them to communicate with an active and involved parent. The only way I hear from a teacher is when I send THEM an email...other than that, nothing from the teachers

      October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
      • istenno

        when do you wish the teacher to instigate random conversations with you? before or after school? before or after she chats with the parents of her 200 other students? one thing i think that slips past most people is that a teacher's time AT work is not really all that flexible. i have worked in the classroom and in offices. in the classroom, one hundred percent of my day was focused on students. there was no time to write emails to parents or to my husband or to check my non-work email or to do anything that wasn't directly student related. even work email was dealt with before or after students were in the building. there was no time for text messages or checking scores or the stock market. by contrast, working in an office was a great place for keeping up with all sorts of stuff. i could check and write emails easily in moments between more pressing matters. i could have actual conversations with real live adults several times throughout the day, i got to know my coworkers!! the difference in pressure and time was amazing. i don't care that i only had three weeks of vacation each year, i was much less stressed. the work wasn't as VITAL. every moment was n't so very important as it is when you have a whole classroom of little lives depending on you. if you haven't taught, i don't think it's possible to understand the demands of the job. it's truly awe inspiring what successful teachers are able to accomplish with their sanity intact.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  37. quantummoxie

    Four months of vacation? Most schools I've heard of run September to June or August to May. Holding teachers accountable is fine as long as it is done intelligently and fairly. There are plenty of professions, by the way, where people are not held accountable and yet I rarely see as much complaining about them. How about all the CEOs with golden parachutes who get multi-million dollar pay-outs after they're fired for incompetence? Or how about the politicians? In theory the voters are supposed to hold them accountable and yet the same idiots keep getting re-elected.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Pam

      You don't see complaining about politicians? You must not have a Facebook account.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
      • quantummoxie

        I see complaining about specific politicians. What I don't see is a general demonization of the entire profession. In fact, I can't think of a single profession that is as universally disrespected.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • athensguy

      well, you go try to live on 9 paychecks a year

      October 10, 2012 at 8:18 am |
      • quantummoxie

        See my aforementioned replies to replies.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Bill

      Only idiots run for office. Of course they get re-elected. They accurately represent the populace.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:18 am |
      • sqeptiq

        Gross stereotyping is a characteristic of idiots, as well. Take heed!

        October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • AngelEyez

      My mom works at a school and they run from the end of August to mid June. The teachers come in August 1 to prepare for the school year and they start summer break at the end of June. So that leaves ONE month. Not four. Also, they aren't paid for the time they aren't there so it's not paid vacation. A lot of the teachers she works with teach summer school, driver's ed or have some other second job in the summer.

      Also, EVERYONE complains about politicians and CEOs with golden parachutes. Do you live under a rock?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am |
      • quantummoxie

        My comment was in reply to someone who claimed teachers get four months of paid vacation. I know they do not. And I think that while people complain about CEOs and politicians, they are not quite as demonized as educators. Educators seem to have become everyone's favorite bogeyman these days.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Chris

      That 4 months of vacation thing is a very big misconception. First of all it is 3 months which I know will hardly raise sympathy from anyone, but school districts calculate salaries based on the fact that we only work those 9 months. I have been at meeting where it is discussed that administrative assistants without a college degree make more money than first year teachers and the school committees response... The Admin Assistants work all year long and the teachers only work 183 days per year. So really when you think about it, we get NO PAID VACATION, yes plenty of vacation, but not paid for it like every other profession. Plus during the summer, we are planning for the next year, taking courses to keep our certifications (many times at our own expense) or working extra jobs to make up the difference. Full time, no, but it isn't like we sit around all summer doing nothing! Is it great having all that time off... sure but there is a financial cost to us!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:23 am |
      • quantummoxie

        More like two months of not teaching, but no real vacations. At least in my experience.

        October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  38. Jim from fla.

    I fully agree with the teachers, we are treating the schools like a baby sitting service. My son spent most of his years in private school. The big difference I noticed is the parents envolvment. And yes it makes a big diffremce.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  39. FayeDunaway

    This article correctly points out what teachers are and are not in control of. It is both parents responsibility to teach their kids to take school seriously and participate in their studies. However, teachers, beware! Your guaranteed benefits will be threatened by us taxpayers who know public servant benefits are breaking our bank!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  40. Mike

    While I was earning my engineering degrees taking advanced calculus etc., I remember the education majors stopping after basic math. The best and brightest do not go into teaching, so we end up with a bunch of union hacks protecting their jobs instead of real teachers. Factor bad parenting and the current propensity to sue schools for trying to instill discipline and the interference from the department of education and you have our current public school system. That's why my kids go to private school.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • FayeDunaway

      You are so right! As a scientist of 35 years, , I cannot teach in public schools because I did not earn a teachers certificate. What bull! Teachers are not always the best and brightest for this reason.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
      • Amanda Guyton

        So... what do you know about education and child development?

        October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
      • Terri

        The worst teacher I ever had was a gifted chemist who had quit her job in industry to have more time with her kids. She couldn't teach at all. Teachers must be able to reach the student with the material, not just do the math (or chemistry) themselves! I think the article gives some very good suggestions for parents.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
      • ccccc

        Faye, knowing the subject matter is just one aspect of what you would do in front of a classroom. Can you communicate it? Will the students take you seriously? Also, if you were indeed the best and brightest, you could "earn" a certificate, but I assume its easier for you to make ignorant statements and make arguments based off emotion. That sounds like the attributes of a terrific scientist. Hopefully you are one of those important scientists that conduct studies to tell us bacon is bad for your heart.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
      • sweetenedtea

        Just knowing the subject doesn't necessarily make you a competent teacher of said subject. I've had teachers of every stripe, from the incompetent who barely understood the very subject they taught (relying on pre-prepared materials) to the extremely-knowledgeable who couldn't educate others if their lived depended on it. I've even had science teachers who retired from a life in the industry without actually knowing more than it took to perform their previous jobs competently. I had a chemistry professor whose competency began and ended at knowing what he was told to do in a lab and which buttons to push to get a read-out he could transcribe for smarter and more capable scientists to interpret. So you might, in fact, turn out to be a brilliant teacher. You might turn out to be a complete hack. The teaching certificate isn't there to make your life more difficult - its value is in establishing that you actually are capable of teaching the subject. Obviously that doesn't always guarantee that a given teacher is good at his or her job. But neither is it an arbitrary hurdle without function or meaning.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
      • ct chemist

        As someone who's wife is a middle school special ed teacher at a school I attended as a child, I am certain I could not be dropped into a classroom and instantly start teaching. It is absurd that you think a chemistry degree means you can teach.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:31 am |
      • joyful

        A certified educator is supposed to know how to teach. But you can't teach what you don't know. Teachers need to be educated in how to teach and also WHAT to teach.
        Unfortunately, teachers have to be diplomats, dealing with kids, parents, administrators, and rules and curriculum over which they have no control.
        Honestly, I don't know why anyone would want to be a teacher. Inspiring young minds has been reduced to such a tiny sliver of the professional duties.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:44 am |
      • Steve

        You can teach in the public schools in Florida. You can become a teacher in Florida as long as you have a bachelor's degree–doesn't matter the field. Certification standards are lax because that's the only way the state can get enough teachers with their very, very low salaries in the state. Having attended public schools in the northeast not too long ago (2004 graduate), I can tell you that lax certification standards and low teacher salaries result in a very poor public education system. Everyone on this board needs to realize that the quality of public education and the conditions for teachers varies significantly from state-to-state.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Pam

      Unfortunately, you're right. I can't believe the amount of grammatical errors I see from my kids' teachers in communications home, homework assignments, etc. It's a bit scary. And this is private school as well.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:14 am |
      • sqeptiq

        And I can't believe the NUMBER of people who can't tell the difference between number and AMOUNT when discussing frequency or size.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • Aaron

        Troll.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:35 am |
      • Pam

        Touche ;).

        October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Hmmm

      Hey Mike, calc 1&2&3, diff eq, intro to abstract, real analysis 1&2, absract algebra 1&2, history of math, axiomatic geometry, abstract linear algebra, theoretical prob theoretical stats, calc based physics 1&2, etc. Required to get a math ed degree. And I took fourier analysis, topology, and cryptography, and computer science 1&2 as electives. With math majors and math phd/masters students taking many as 600 level

      October 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • sedjohns

      Why would someone pursuing a degree in education to teach English or Social Sciences need anything more than basic math?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • J

      Congratulations. Now can you run a classroom? Can you keep a room full of 12-year-olds engaged, on task, and working? Can you make sure the kids who aren't getting it get it and work with them until they do, all the while making sure the smart kids don't get bored? I'm sure you think you can because, hey, how hard can it be, right?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
      • Aaron

        Amen. Most people would walk out of a classroom in five minutes.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • TeachersDaughter

      If they would pay teachers more and give them better benefits maybe you "experts" would take an additional year of school, get your teaching certificate, and teach our children. Until that happens no "expert" in their right mind would ever become a teacher at a public school. Private schools are even worse for pay and dont even think about benefits.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • A teacher

      This is not true at all. Even an elementary school teacher has to take higher order math.

      I wish everyone would stop calling us "union hacks. " For the record, many states (including mine) are non union. We have absolutely no say in anything that has to do with our jobs.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Kathleen

      I am a math teacher. I look advanced Calculus classes, Discrete Mathematics, Physics, etc. in college. Oh, and I was Valedictorian of my class in high school (160 students in my class). I chose teaching because I enjoy being able to share my knowledge of math with others- not because I was "too stupid" to do something else.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Anne

      First, my sons attended private schools and I continue to teach in one...both, by choice. Secondly, your statement reads quite far from a scientifically-based observation. Ed majors preparing for certification in specific content areas (Math, the Sciences, etc.) will be found in advanced level classes. I'm extremely proud of the student teachers that I supervised while I taught at several universities. The requirements to be accepted into an Education program now surpass the basics required for admission to a college or university. Those who you've called less than the "best and brightest" have to prove their academic mettle by means of GPA, portfolio and more prior to being called an Education Major. Continuous professional development plus an earned Master's Degree are the basics of what is needed to maintain State Certification. By the way, I'm curious as to how many professors you endured while you were in college? You know the type...the ones who knew their subject matter (after all, they did have a Ph.D, right?) but couldn't teach.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • CeDub

      It is clear from your post that you have no idea what you are talking about, Mike. I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology and an advanced degree. I made the choice to teach because I love doing it and felt that I had a propensity for it. My math, English, and science skills are not lacking and there is nothing "hackish" or "thuggish" about what I do each day in the classroom for kids. Your job may preclude you from personal interaction by sitting behind a desk – perhaps this is what causes your low level of understanding when it comes to the education field. Perhaps a little more real-world interaction and education on your own part would help you – specifically the lesson of know what you are talking about before you speak.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  41. MollyBee

    What totally disappointing responses to this article. It is astounding how many people appear to consider teachers in an entirely negative manner. Complaints and accusations and down-right disprespect for the teachers of America's children seems to be the norm. Where are the people in defense of our education system? Does everyone feel teachers are the enemy? How do any of you parents expect your children to learn when you so openly express disdain for our teachers and education? Incredible! This is another example of people being brainwashed by right-wing "news" agencies and talking heads whose bottom line is to "privatize" everything including our schools If you think educattion is expensive now...you will be totally surprised should private corporations take over. I, for one, am sick and tired of our teachers being bashed and demonized by people who should know better. We have the best education system and teachers in the world and that is not to say we shouldn't all work together for conttinuous improvement. Until we learn to partner and put an end to the war on public education, we will NEVER do right by the children of America.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • FayeDunaway

      If teachers did not always complain and tow the union line to protect their guaranteed benefits, that would go a long way. Quit your griping!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:11 am |
      • MBW

        Get a grip. Most states these days are right-to-work. In those states, unions can't really do anything other than help you pay for an attorney if someone sues you. So what's your attack line for those places??

        October 10, 2012 at 8:18 am |
      • A teacher

        Yep. No union for us! I make about 30K a year and have absolutely no say in anything that has to do with my job.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:33 am |
      • WhatNow

        This may come as a surprise, but many states do not have unions.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • D

      We have the best education system and teachers in the world and that is not to say we shouldn't all work together for conttinuous improvement.

      Try again.. The United States of America is actually behind in comparison to schools in the UK.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:19 am |
      • Don F.

        VERY interesting. This is the first I have seen this statistic. If this be true it should be deeply disconcerting. In its very best the UK is comparable to the US in terms of social/cultural realities. In fact, in some ways, a case might be made that the UK is more troubled, with significant class divisions, lower overall standard of living, and a much broader lower middle class. UK parents generally struggle as much US parents in functining as parents.

        Given that, if the UK is doing a better job than the US at public education, it is probably not an issue of culture or parenting.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • David

        Define behind, and cite your statistics, please.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • FCSL1

      "We have the best education system and teachers in the world" Perhaps if teachers started to realize that that statement is complete crap we could start to focus on the problem. We are currently listed #17 in the world with the highest cost.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  42. Matt Hill

    Teachers are the most overpaid, underworked people on the planet. They do not teach, they read from a curriculum already in place. They are clock watchers just like the kids are and contribute nothing to our kids or society. Any moron can actually perform a teaching job. You wander why our kids are liberal morons when they get out of school? LOL. Get a clue dumbazzes.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • MollyBee

      You are exactly the type of person I am talking about....wish you could spend 7-8 hours a day sequestered in a roomful of 40 students who have learned your kind of arrogance and disrespect from their parents.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
      • Eddie

        Well put..........

        October 10, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Mr. C.

      I can't help but "wander" why you aren't a teacher, if it is so easy and the pay is so good.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • MBW

      Yes, Matt, you're right....we DO read from scripted top-down curricula.... that CONSERVATIVE politicians put into place. Before you spew the right-wing talking points, why don't take a moment to learn where this kind of crap came from in the first place??

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • CharlieChew

      If it is so easy. How come you aren't a teacher?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Kim

      Learn how to spell before you start bashing. Let me guess, you're bitter because you didnt finish school and make less than someone who completed a bachelors degree and is most likely knee deep in student loans? Considering the amount of time it takes to complete a degree, the student loans associated and the work schedule – teachers are certainly not over paid. Yes, they get 3 months off during the summer and many paid vacations, but they put in much more than a normal 8 hour work day.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • MBW

      Hey, since the pay is great and the job is easy, come join us!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  43. mjbrin

    I agree with everything this article points out. now what a parent would like from teachers. better communication. repeatedly saying "need more parental involvment" does not explain exactly what type of involvement is needed
    I didn't learn to ask at conferences what i can do at home to help him/her be a better student until my oldest was in high school and he had a teacher who actually had real suggestions for me.
    A teacher friend also told me how she aranged her childrens homework time and made it a rule at home......those would be good concrete suggestions to parents......parents would then see that teachers are working parents too

    October 10, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  44. HomeSchooledGenius

    #2 is why I'll do everything in my power to avoid sending my child to a public school.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • TeachersDaughter

      #2 is also true at many private and charter schools as well. My mother was a teacher at a private school and for years the curriculum was her choice, with the approval of the school administration of course. A couple of years ago they changed it so now The Common Core State Standards have to be incorporated into any curriculum used at that school. I could never home school my children because I am not a teaching professional and will never pretend to be, but I will need to take a good look at the school standards before ever sending my child there.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • MBW

      You're fooling yourself if you don't realize that many private schools get their curriculum from a script-in-a-box education companies. Very few schools really write their own curricula.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  45. chris

    I can appreciate any job position which requires effort, but I'm really sorry to say that I do not support the public school system. I read the above and don't believe it. I put three kids through the Cedar Rapids, Iowa system and fought to protect my kids from teachers determined to put kids on Ridalin, ignore them while they studied in class for higher degrees, tried to keep parents from visiting classes, and made teacher parent conferences as meaningless as anything. I was self employeed and spent tons of hours at school volunteering and observing. The school counselors told me they are advocates for the teachers NOT the students, as did the principle.

    One third grade teacher took parents three years to fire. I read these articles every now and then when they come out and I think they are copies of articles in the teachers union media book. Always the same thing. My advice is that parents need to fight to get their kids a proper education and fight to keep teachers on the ball. Especially in K-9.

    I'm not a bitter parent but I do get tired of these articles coming out saying the same ol thing when if you are a parent who observes classroom behavior it's a whole different story.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • want2believe

      Well thank you for actually being an involved parent, which I believe would fall under point #3 of the article...

      October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • MBW

      Great that you were an involved parent. When I was a teacher, I wished there were more parents like you.

      But, for the record, it was more often that I saw PARENTS pushing to get their kids on ritalin, not the teachers. Too many parents who don't know how to say "no" to their kids...and then wonder why the kid has a hard time behaving at school.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  46. Maimonida

    I do think that all the teachers do the best job in the world. However lately right wing politicians adapted bashing teachers into their everyday rhetoric. Sometimes teaching seems like semicriminal activity.
    Teachers as a profession deserve respect. They determine fate of next generation in a big time. They bring piles of homework home everyday to grade.
    Curriculum is the other problem. I think it must be done not on local but on state or even federal level by scientists not by politicians. Locally some things could be refined but core must be done scientifically not intuitively
    I do not know what is supporting Romney's opinion about that class size does not matter (50 is fine) but it does not sound right. Teacher must have reasonable size of class to work with individual students.
    There is not enough parent teacher interruptions. In my daughter's school it is once a year with one teacher. Not teacher of every subject. I grew up in the other country it was 5 times a year with every teacher + extra if teacher or parent felt it was needed.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  47. Bob 123

    I've been out of school for many years now. Looking back, I know I could have done better in school. I now know I could have spent more time on homework and received better grades, but that was my fault, not the teachers.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  48. jonat

    Interesting how the liberal media and liberal teachers refer to the term "parents" when it suits them. They are the same people you say that children don't need a traditional family and that it's perfectly OK to have two moms or two dads. The sad truth is that most of the worst kids when it comes to discipline come from a home with a teen unwed mother. The term "parents" has become an endangered species under liberalism

    October 10, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • JBu

      Agreed. Excellent point!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Sabrina

      @Jonat, first off, I was a teen unwed mother, who is now wed with an non-traditional family. My daughter is not only doing well in school, she's in the top 1% of her class. I have NEVER missed a parent-teacher conference, nor have I missed a play, recital, or awards ceremony, The funny thing is, nor has any other of the non-traditional families that have children that I know. They all seem to rise to the challenge of being a good, supportive parent, while the traditional families can't even answer the phone for a phone conference with their teacher, or show up to chaperone their child's field trip. I'm as liberal as they get, and I PARENT my child. I RAISE my child, and guide her on her road to adulthood. Don't mix your skewed politics with my family makeup, mister. I assure you, you're bound to get it ALL wrong, before you even know it. Perhaps not letting whatever children you've bred and let other people raise see this type of behavior might be best. Just sayin'.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • MollyBee

      Spoken like a person who thinks he/she knows everything. Every single child deserves the best education possible no matter who bears them or where they happen to be born. In America, no one should have the right to pick and choose who they think is deserving of a good education. How do you expect, for example, to end a cycle of poverty in inner cities if you deny education for the children....who do NOT 'choose' to be born into poverty? Your self-centered approach is what is wrong with America today and I'll bet you are passing your biases and judgements on to your children.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • want2believe

      Oh I didn't realize it was up to you, or anyone, to decide who makes the best parent or family situation. I'm sure you feel the conservative media promotes the "traditional family" better? How does the conservative media feel about contraception education to deter that unwed teen? How is the divorce rate in this country? The conservative media doesn't seem to address that for being so concerned with the "traditional family."

      October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  49. JBu

    I cannot think of another profession where as much moaning and groaning go on about how awful it is for them than teaching. What other profession are you not held accountable for what you do? How hard would any of us try if we were never held accountable? In the real world you don't perform you get fired. In the teachers world you get a great pension, 4 months off per year and the ability to blame the students and parents for any of your failures/shortcomings.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Cobalt Cup

      I'm a teacher, and have never heard of the scenario that you speak of. I would encourage you to go to your local school for a day and see what actually goes on there. And as for 4 months off, try 1 month (July) after conferences, workshops, school meetings in the summer.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • JBu

        Well try 10 days off per year like a hard working individual in the private sector. So counting your Christmas break, Easter break, summer time, misc. holidays you have 1 month off. Good for you. You must work harder than the rest. My wife is a hair sylist and has several teachers as customers and has had a few over the years who have taken a day off for a 'workshop'. A workshop to get their hair done.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
      • BeccaLee

        Echo that! The responses on this page show just how much ignorance is out there about teaching and what it requires. Nobody is moaning and groaning but if we don't ALL pull together, schools will never improve.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
      • want2believe

        @jbu You complain teachers are complaining, yet you turn around and argue with one by complaining you and your wife don't get as much time off? Ironic? Why did you pick your professions then? Furthermore a teacher's job doesn't just end when the kids leave. You may or may not have to continue working when you get home, but I'd love to see you grade work all night

        You generalize an entire group, then claim the guy below must be the except to the rule. You really just have no idea about the profession.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • Quimby

        If teaching was as easy as you say, then it would be an over loaded profession. Instead 50% of new teachers quit before their 4th year. Personally, I started teach at a very rough high school, by the end of the first year 4 of 7 new teachers had decided it wasn't for them...main reason, dealing with 150 teenagers isn't easy.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • eviewg

      Teachers should be held accountable, but NOT for things like test scores and how well a student does. Currently, I teach at a school for dyslexics, before that, I taught at an inner city public school. There are so many factors involved in teaching PEOPLE... I think society (and by society, I mean people like you) forget that these aren't just blank minds ready to be filled. These are PEOPLE... little people albeit, but people none the less... with mood swings, different talents, poor families, personalities, and their own unique quirkiness.
      To say that I am responsible for someone's bad day, or decision not to anything in class... that isn't fair. Teachers should be accountable for their content and how present... and all the extra work we do OUTSIDE of class for the kids. Not how kids behave in class. That is the same as asking you to be responsible for your subordinate's mood one day at work.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:06 am |
      • JBu

        When I say held accountable I mean, your salary increase (or decrease) should be based on measurable factors like it is in the 'real world'. When you are guaranteed a salary increase even if you don't improve what is your motivation? Perhaps you are an exception to the rule and your motivation is to make a difference in even one persons life. BTW I worked 26 OT hours last weekend and you don't care about me and how hard I work nor should you. It's life. Why should we give teachers a special pat on the back because they work with children? (not directed at you necessarily just in general)

        October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
      • eviewg

        The problem with your statement is the "measurable" factors. Sure, test scores are measurable, but any data can be manipulated or skewed based on UNmeasurable factors. The point of teachers is to help students learn. Having them fill out a 4 hour multiple choice test no matter what their learning disabilities, skills, IQ, whatever are is IRRESPONSIBLE and WRONG. If teachers were graded based on presentations or student projects, that makes more sense. But test results? How many times have YOU had a bad day in school and done poorly? Or perhaps you just don't do well on SATs or standardized tests. Should someone else be penalized because you suck at something?

        October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • ateacher

      So much wrong with this statement. We get a little over two months off, not four, and nobody is placing blame on anyone. If you don't feed, clothe, work with, and love your kid how can I expect him/her to come to school and want to learn. The burger has no choice to be flipped at your job, in mine I'm only as effective as the student who wants to learn. That is what it is.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • JF

      If the "real world" jobs, workers who do not perform get fired. in a classroom, te teacher can not "fire" their underperforming "employees" (students) they must find a way to get them to do their job. How many businesses would be successful if you were not able to getrid of the employees that do not do the job? I am a teacher,and I work hard to educte all of my students. Do all succeed? No,do i work with them and try to get them to succeed,yes.We spend 90 % of our time working withthe 10% that need the extra help.
      Also, how many of your jobs are based of the performance of a 10-11 year old, that may know the material, but is just not in the mood to take the standardized test? (testing..a whole new can of worms)

      October 10, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  50. Rocket J. Squirrel

    I agree . and because of these tenure teachers who do not want to give up those cushy pensions the younger ones with fresh new ideas get let go and become part of the un-employed. I hope they are proud of themselves for what they have created, maybe they all need to walk around and talk to some of the elderly on fixed incomes. The ones who have to make a choice bewtween paying their school taxes or eating. Most of the teachers I know are obllivous to this and dont seem to care.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • eviewg

      Not all teachers are tenured. There are plenty of us who work at independent schools, who teach kids outcasted by the public school system because of their learning differences... we work contract to contract year to year. We don't get federal funding or anything like that. We are also a boarding school and thus, we work at night too as dorm parents. It's people like you that are the problem... you make general blanket statements about education and teaching... when you don't know all the details and differences within this field.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • ateacher

      Tenure is gone now so stop with that. Also, I love the term "cushy pension". I'm getting 40% of my salary. That's about $16000 pretax a year. If I don't have my own retirement plan going or working to the grave that I'm SOL.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  51. Avery

    Yes, Beth. Teachers spend all that money for summers off. People spend MORE money to work all year. Which one sounds like the better deal? I do have a nice view of the world: The REAL world. Not the one with sunshine and kittens where teachers become teachers JUST to "make a difference in a child's life" *eyeroll*

    October 10, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  52. Abbey

    If you want support in the classroom then don't take away my authority as a parent by telling students that parents have to have their permission to see their report card after they turn 16. That only feeds their desire to be the final authority. I am a parent who is also a teacher.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Doggbreath

      Hmm, I never heard of that. But I agree, that's complete BS. You live under my roof and aren't even an adult, then you will answer to me, especially for your grades. I don't need your permission for anything!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  53. Doggbreath

    How about "I'm not your God-damned Nanny!"

    October 10, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  54. Rocket J. Squirrel

    All I ask is that teachers and school administrators take a step back in pay and benefits and get more in line with the rest of us out here. We are all in this together and to see my school taxes continue to rise because Teachers and Administrators dont want to give up anything is unbelievable. They seem to have no idea on whats going on around them. The poor elderly person living on fixed incomes cannot keep up at this pace. People are losing their jobs and homes, etc.. Lets strive to keep the TAXES flat for awhile and maybe people will start understanding what it is you are saying.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Arthur Friend

      Please tell me where you work so that, when I have to cut my spending because my salary has been frozen but my cost of living has increased, I can stop shopping at your place of business causing financial pain for you.....

      October 10, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • this guy

      So I am guessing you don't feel teachers are underpaid as it is. Do you understand teachers and administrators are a completely different playing field? To group them together in any way shape or form is completel unfair. The amount of work that teachers put in and the amount of out of school time they dedicate to children is astounding. Whether it is grading papers at home because they do not have the planning time they once had to furthering their education in order to stay ahead of the ever evolving curriculum changes, it all boils down to teachers being underpaid!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • WOW

      Teachers don't need to give up anything! They are college educated making upwards of only 35,000 a year.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • teacher

      the starting salary when i started teaching was about $25k as a beginning licensed teacher. while i did get raises some years to account for my increased experience, i havent even gotten that in about 4 years, with days now added to our calendar and a drop in benefits that means paying out of pocket for a portion of my health insurance. granted, i love my job [most days] and knew going into it i wouldnt make a killing financially, but cost of living increases, coupled with the fact that any class materials are paid for out of pocket [even markers to write on my board, scissors, pens, paper, etc], and i still buy supplies for kids that cant afford it. don't assume teachers are all whiny about salaries for being out of line with other professions. i compensate by supplementing my salary with a year round part time job, and two or three seasonal jobs throughout the year. i dont complain to my peers, family, etc about my salary- i live within it. don't assume when you hear the 'national average' is something crazy like $50+ that we all make that- in my state you have to be teaching almost 30 years to clear that mark.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • eviewg

      Cut back on paying teachers???? Are you kidding??? What do you do for a living? Work out of congress? Lawyer? Cause you have no clue how little they pay us. I started out at 28K... now make 32K... that's before taxes. I work over 80hours a week because I also work as a dorm parent. MY JOB NEVER ENDS!!!! It is a continuous marathon from Sept. to Jun. And yes, when the kid pukes in the middle of the night... THAT'S MY JOB to clean it up.

      Quit talking about things you know nothing about.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • TeacherSpouse

      Ok, then this is all i ask of you...I would like you to get to work every day 2 hours early to get your office ready for the day and i would like you to stay at least an hour late every day to clean your office and meet with anyone who walks in. Next, i would like you to purchase your own computer for business use as well as spend a minimum of $2,000/year on supplies for your office (this is on top of what you raid from the supply closet). I used to believe that teachers had it made with their vacations and time off and benefits. After marrying a teacher i see that they put in long hours of thankless work, spend ALOT of their hard earned money on their job and are constantly under attack. i agree that everyone is struggling but lets not go after the teachers, lets go after the government. our teachers spend all day, everyday with a room full of children. I know i couldnt do what my wife does!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • ateacher

      "All I ask is that teachers and school administrators take a step back in pay and benefits" -Robert J. Squirrel

      SMH

      October 10, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • The Sic Life

      Hey if you are so bitter about the elderly paying school taxes move to a state where the elderly stop paying school taxes at 65...like GA. Also in Georgia teachers starting salary is as low as $28,000 in some areas, and I think that’s around the poverty line. So now you will have nothing to complain about. Look I just made your life a whole lot better.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  55. John

    What do parents want?: Points in the classroom – Grades, Honor Roll, ACT Score, SAT Score. Points on the board – Wins for sports teams. What do administrators want?: Points for testing standards. The sum of two questions (Yes) that mark a good teacher: Are the students struggling in class? AND Are the students enjoying the struggle? If YES to both questions, then you have knowledge taking place. Not points – just learning.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  56. bruce

    Nice article but leaves out the fact that because of teacher unions we are stuck with many low performing tenured teachers who don't care about your child like tho described in this article. Unions have destryoed our educational system. Before the got a stranglehold on our educational system the U.S. Educational system was #1 in the world. Now we are in the mid to high teens. Give me a teacher that they describe here rate them on their performance and get rid of tenure. Then watch our eduacaion system soar again as we regain our #1 position

    October 10, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Lou

      The only issue this article is missing is the one about how rotten many of our children have become. Especially towards their teachers. I believe the point was to inform the readers of issues that are beyond a teachers control and those that can be dealt with by parental cooperation and understanding. Tenure is a good thing. Tenure gives teachers something to work towards. The onus is on the system to weed out the "bad" teachers prior to achieving tenure.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  57. Judge Dredd

    I know how to solve the idiot student syndrome. Do not let black people breed. They are responsible for crappy schools and low wage jobs in this country. Snip or tie some tubes on black people and the world's problems are solved.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Denise

      Can you say BIGOT?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:54 am |
      • Judge Dredd

        Can you say DENIAL?

        October 10, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • totalfx

      What is wrong with you?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
      • Judge Dredd

        I read the facts that is what is wrong with me.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • eviewg

      Really? ALL black people? Now, are we counting those who make over 100K a year? I'd love for you to say that to the offensive line of a NFL team. Or maybe an entire NBA team. Why don't you let Oprah know how you feel? Although, she makes way more than you... I don't know why she would bother with a teensy little ant like you.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am |
      • Judge Dredd

        Oh yeah those pro athletes making over 100K a year are super smart. So smart they did not even finish college. So smart they father children with multiple women. So smart they go bankrupt within a few years after retiring from pro sports. Yep they are so smart. Now onto Oprah. She made her dough based on spewing lies to idiotic house wives throughout the country. This is not a tough task to do. I can make a magazine to put my name on so I can spread the same word the liberal media has been saying for the past few decades. Yep that is truly innovative.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:22 am |
      • eviewg

        So based on your logic, we should also castrate white people who are a complete "waste" in society as well then. Why put the emphasis on black people. There are useless people in all walks of life. No need to discriminate.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Margaret

      I am an African-American high school teacher. I am proud of the education, values, and, above all, morals instilled in me by my African-American parents, which they learned from their African-American parents. I work very hard to ensure that my children–who were all fathered by my husband, within the bonds of marriage–treat their teachers with respect and do their very best in school. I can also attest to the fact that the problem in our schools is not confined to a particular race. The students that struggle run the racial gamut. Case in point–a Caucasian student asked me to simply give him the answer to a quiz question, although we had done extensive reviews in class. He did not want to put forth the effort to learn the material. I did not, however, ascribe his poor work ethic and lack of preparation to his race. My response? I called his mother to see what we could do together to help motivate him. I hope my response to your post would dissuade others from adopting your same viewpoint.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  58. Crystal

    Why do school let Students enter when they don't know how to dress! Many of the boys have pants hanging down and thee under wear showing! School should have a dress code or just give that student F for the day. What happen to the class way of dressing up for school instead of trash wear!

    October 10, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Jim

      Because the law says that children must go to school?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Doggbreath

      It's true. They dress like slobs, and that's only a symptom of the problem. They ARE lazy slobs, and that means that they don't put any effort into their education or anything else they're required to do. Who's fault is that? The parents, of course.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Judge Dredd

      Stupid black people I know.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  59. bob

    I am a teacher, and I can tell you since my contact is with the student and not the parent, all i see is a student who clearly has "failed up" into my grade, and the buck stops here, so i won't be passing little johnny who doesn't know how to read, sorry. You either learn how, let me teach you how, or get someone else to teach you how... but you do not pass my class if you refuse to try.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • BenCanard

      You might think about opening a grammar book and learning what a sentence is. What you've written here is a run-on sentence. Someone, it seems, passed you when you did not deserve it.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Proactive Parent

      We need more like you, Bob.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Anastasia Shoop

      Dear Bob, Your contract IS with the parent because they are the TAXPAYER paying your salary. The student is a minor and therefore can't be a party in a contract. The student can't vote so so therefore your contract is with the PARENT and all TAXPAYERS who pay your salary and benefits. You work for the every single citizen of your district and state. No education decisions concerning my children are made without my (the parent) input. If you are failing to reach your student at a even a C level, then YOU (the teacher) are failing too.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  60. Hmmm

    How come you didnt tell me my kid wasnt working hard? Grades are entered at least weekly you can look them up. They are missing homework how come you didnt tell us? I did, they are 0s in the online gradebook. They need help why are you letting them do poorly? Im not, I remind them before school, after school, and the study rooms are available if they dont understand. How is he supposed to know hes not understanding? With all the 0s and low grades on daily warmup questions I figured that was apparent and the reminders to him. Basically, "why arent you treating my kid like hes your only one?" Because then the other parents would be mad.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Pam

      Most of us parents would like a little more communication from the teacher if our kids are struggling/not handing in homework, other than the online gradebook a week after the fact. The online gradebook is good, but if teachers use it as a cop-out and call that "communication", there's a problem. Several times I've emailed the teacher the day a bad grade is posted in the online gradebook to inquire what we can do differently to make sure this doesn't happen again and received NO RESPONSE.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:42 am |
      • Hmmm

        Hey Pam. Limited time, limited resources. If I had time to enter grades EVERY day and email every parent a special note if their kid got a zero, your kid wouldnt have tests graded, lessons worth a hoot, or writing tasks to increase literacy. Which do you want?

        October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
      • Jack

        As the husband of a teacher, I am surprised that you constantly receive no response, as my wife's school has a 48 hr return email policy and most of the teachers I know would not leave you hanging if you sent multiple emails. On the other hand, you may have a bad teacher. Either way, I am sure that in my wife's (and many other teacher's) anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 of the 30 kids are not completing/turning in their homework any given week, and consistently calling/e-mailing that many parents each week would be a huge waste of time. This is one reason that schools went to online grade-books, so that parents and students could check up on this stuff constantly.

        The teacher is there to teach the student, not babysit and call mommy if the kid is not doing his homework. Why don't you parent a little and make sure your kid does all his homework, and punish him if he lies to you when you later find out he wasn't doing it.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:01 am |
      • Pam

        Jack, I do parent "a little" thanks very much. I'm talking specifically about in-class work that was graded poorly. I have zero control over that since I'm not in the classroom and when I receive no feedback from the teacher when asking a question, it's just a tad frustrating!

        October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am |
      • Pam

        Hmmmm, I get that teachers can't/shouldn't be constantly on line entering grades. What is NOT right is not responding to emails from parents. If, in my job, I just didn't respond to inquiries from customers/clients, however you want to compare it, it would be considered to be poor customer service. If the parent is caring and involved enough to ask the teacher how they can work at home to better help their child, the teacher should have the professionalism to answer the question. Just as in any other job.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Hmmm

      And I LOVE when a parent emails and says, "can my kid stay after for help I notice they are failing?" I say, "yes, that would be great!" And the child usually does better. Teamwork people. Its YOUR creation so be a part of the solution rather than blame someone else for your life that isnt centered on family.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • jennyct

      Great idea about the online "weekly" which I assume is some sort of web portal to access a child's grades/progress. You do realize that most schools do not have this?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:46 am |
      • Pam

        All of the schools where I live have this; maybe it's a geographical thing? It is helpful, for sure. But I think some teachers use it in lieu of communication with parents (thinking it's ok not to respond to a question from a parent simply because the online resource is available).

        October 10, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Andy

      So if YOU have the ability to look up the grades why is it the teachers fault for not telling you?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
      • Hmmm

        10 years ago no online grades. Then instant access starts (maybe delayed a few days) and it's still not enough. "how did he do on the test?" Um, he just took it 20 minutes ago, chill out. Can I grade it first?

        October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
      • Pam

        I didn't say that, but it is their fault if they don't provide me with the courtesy of answering a question if I ask it. In any other profession, that is required of employees. Not all parents would take the time to ask the teacher how they could work at home with the child to improve certain things, and since I AM one of those parents who does, I expect a response. I ALWAYS assume it is my child's fault, by the way.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • SHANNON

      not all schools offer this

      October 10, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  61. SHANNON

    parental involvement is key. Both me and my brother had learning disabilities even my teachers attributed our success both in grades, work ethic and future plans (we both went to college which is not so common in our small town) as being not because of some great teachers who helped us along but because our parents took the time to help us at home and fight for what we needed in school. Which was not much but they still had to fight for it. Nothing agienst my teachers most where great, a few bad eggs but that can be sad for anything.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Doodlebug2222

      And sometimes parent involvement should be limited to a point. When my children's grades began slipping, I saw it via online and the teacher let me know. These children of mine were in much higher grades where I expect them to fully understand the logic behind "earning" their grades. I limited their browsing via a application to only specific sites, they had a timer in addition and no perks such as the movies or etc. I ensured they had a place to study, the quiet they needed and more then enough supplies. Gave them the pep talk and the "they can do it".

      But there comes a time when we can do all we can and step back. They can sink or swim. If they sink they will learn the next time to paddle harder. But I do not blame the teacher, because they communicated with me. The teacher, the parent can only do so much. After that it is up to the student to pass or fail. When one of my daughters saw I was not going to storm in > demand they pass her > she understood. With three months to go she barely pulled up her grades. I was very proud of her for the determination she showed, however – I also talked to her at length about how we can tend to set ourselves up for failure by putting things off or waving them off thinking they are not important.

      The thing is – there has to be a balance between fun and work. We adults – okay some of us – even know this. There is a time to step in and a time to step back. I love my children enough to make them struggle when they put themselves into these situations. If I save them, what then. My daughter came around after this, she is in college now and studies hard.. but also puts in an even measure of relaxing and taking time out.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • SHANNON

      true, that was where that good work ethic came in. Our grades never really spilled, our parents installed work ethic into us! Failure was not an option from the start. My parents stepped in when they need to, but by high school we were in advance classes my parents were never in, they could not help us beyond fighting for the little accommodation which we only needed on test not homework.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Sammi

      Reread your post. Check for spelling and correct grammar. Your college would be embarrassed.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  62. Avery

    This article should be called "what GOOD teachers want parents to know". And I can tell you, there aren't many of them out there. Sad, but teachers care more about pay, unions, benefits, and blaming parents more than they care about the kids. Most teachers became teachers to get summers off.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Judge Dredd

      Amen! Teachers spend 9 months thinking about those 3 months off.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:43 am |
      • A Jones

        This is very offensive . I sit by my computer at home each night answering emails, and making a blog to contact my parents. I am a mom and a teacher. This is a 60 hour a week job. I want my students to succeed , but it has to be a home and school partnership.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:59 am |
      • teacher

        3 months off? really? can i get that?

        i have approximately 8 weeks from the time i leave in the summer until the time i report back. i spent at least one or two of those at workshops, and have to revise curriculum, learn new curriculum, try to come up with better plans, incorporate newer technology, learn how to use aforementioned technology, etc.

        i also spend an average of 50+ hours at school weekly, which amounts to an extra 'week' every month [not even counting the work at home- another 10-15 hours per week]. if you just count the extra 'overtime' that we're not paid for, then we really work an extra 10 weeks during the school year- to account for the 8 weeks of summer, week at christmas, and spring break.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Beth

      Well thought out response! Teachers spend all that money on their degrees just for summers off. Nice view of the world.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • LPRodier

      Your ignorance is showing. When is the last time you were in a school? It is my experience as an educator that it is the poor students who like to blame "bad" teachers. And we are NOT in it for the pay, believe me. Most of us would like to work 12 months a year instead of 10, but until our schools collectively decide to abandon this archaic schedule we are faced with the stigma of not working "all year". Are their bad teachers? Of course, just like there are bad doctors, lawyers, custodians, chefs, and mailmen, but most are amazingly selfless, compassionate professionals working hard to make a difference in a society that does not place the appropriate value on their services.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:44 am |
      • Judge Dredd

        How about summer school?

        October 10, 2012 at 7:50 am |
      • Doodlebug2222

        Judge Dread – you ask "What about summer schoool" > Where I live at, summer school for high schoolers cost roughly $175 or so per failed course. For middle school / junior high and high school, they do not attend that school, but rather one selected that is central to most and the students must get transportation or meet at a location that can be 5+ miles away – for the school bus. You still have a registration where parent/student must attend, and all of this takes valuable time. When my daughter had to do this – before we began on this road – (she needed summer school for 3 classes and you get roughly 4 days notice btw). I digress - when she had to do this, I made her sign an agreement to pay me back for not only the cost of the courses, but the supplies, the time I had to take from work using my vacation time, gas and a small fee for it all being a total needless thing to even do. Took her all summer to pay me back doing chores, she lost summer due to summer school – yes she learned.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
      • SHANNON

        i went to summer school one year, to get math over with sooner, i had to drive half an hour to get there, my cousin went to the same summer school her drive was about 45 mintues to an hour. Not every school offer summer school, it might just be one school for the county.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Andy

      It seems you get most of your learning from the media, which is focused on sensationalized stories meant to entertain and thereby sell ads. Congratulations. You just validated the CNN business model.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Ryan

      I will make the assumption this comment has some sarcasm in it. 90% of teachers are good at what they do. Similar to any other profession. Almost all teachers work in the summer in some capacity. And, even if they don't, studies have proven that teachers actually work more hours during the year than your prototypical "corporate" worker.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Retired teacher

      Glad to see that you managed to get your conservative talking points in to an otherwise constructive conversation. Your comments show a total lack of knowledge of the profession. I am sure that you gross generalization can be applied to other professions, as well.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • JEP

      Where do you live that teachers have such great pay? My wife is a teacher and she makes a respectable wage, but we are "rolling" in the money. I think you need to get some facts to back your statement.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • MoreBadParentsThanBadTeachers

      There are many more bad parents then there are bad teachers. All you have to do is walk down the street and listen to childrens conversations to know their parents are jokes.

      And YOU appear to be a primary example of that

      October 10, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Steven J

      Avery,

      Teachers should care about their pay and benefits. All the rest of us do. I don't work for free.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Rob

      With all due respect, Avery, I couldn't disagree more vehemently with your post. My wife is an occupational therapist for a major urban school district. As such, she's essentially required to have the credentials of a teacher and then some. She works similar hours and with similar constraints placed on her by the state. Because of her station as a therapist she works with very low functioning children who would otherwise fall through the cracks. She's scratched, bitten, and hit by her students on a regular basis. Scarcely a day goes by without her crying to me about one of her children, locked in a hopeless situation at home, whom she wouldn't adopt in a heartbeat given the opportunity. And your position is that she's in it for the pay, union, benefits, and summers off? Allow me to tick off just how laughable those points are, one by one.

      -Her pay so incredible that, without mine, she likely wouldn't be able to keep our modest 1500 sq ft home in a middle-class midwestern suburb. If she was in it for the money she could easily make 3-4 times her current salary in the private sector anywhere in the country at the drop of a hat, even in this economy.
      -The union is an evil, but a necessary one when the purse strings are controlled by political hacks in the state house who demonize and mischaracterize their profession for personal gain. And don't kid yourself by pretending that bad teachers would be fired without a union. The first to go would be those whom had lost the good graces of the administration. Cliques exist among the teachers and administrators, just as they do among the students, except that, unchecked, they would factor into employment decisions.
      -Her benefits are so awesome that we declined them in favor of mine. She pays into a pension and a 403(b), but only the money in that 403(b) is guaranteed. Surely you can see how this makes retirement planning a little difficult.
      -And yep, all she can think about during those 9 months of work are her 3 months off over the summer... during which she continues working with those kids and gets paid about 30% of what she could be making in the private sector.

      Your gross generalizations and complete lack of empathy (let alone perspective) are, unfortunately, commonplace in this age of bumper sticker wisdom and sound-bite policy. Maybe you or your children, should you be so blessed, had a disengaged, burned out, or just generally bad teacher at some point. They exist, and I'm not trying to pretend that they don't. However, to say that they represent the majority of the profession is, frankly, beyond the pale.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:31 am |
      • rob

        Rob,
        I have no sympathy for you or your wife.
        Stop complaining, get it together, and grow up.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am |
      • Rob

        Sir, I wasn't complaining. I was simply stating simple facts... something that seems to be in short supply these days. I couldn't be more proud of my wife and her life's passion. If you can't make a well reasoned argument and add something substantive to the debate, it's best that you sit on the sidelines.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
      • Anastasia Shoop

        Why does a school need an Occupational Therapist on staff? Administrative waste. This is a duplicate service which can be provided elsewhere on a contractual basis or at City, County or State services. This is the whole problem with public schools. If teachers want more pay, let's cut the "fat" in the budget. Occupational Therapist provided in the school system? Really? With benefits and salary coming out of the education budget for the the municipality? Completely a duplicate service.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  63. Lou

    Their ar lotsa grate points been maid hear. I no I wood do much more better in skool if my momma an daddy wood help me somemore.
    I like my teachers and the curriculum seems to be challenging. Not over the top challenging; just enough to enhace critical thinking and get the intellectual juices flowing.
    Shur wood bee happy if momma an daddy wood take much more intrest in my edicashun. Well I gess I will stop now I got som texs to anser than me an the guy are gunna hang out for a wile.

    Oh, Brian you are an idiot!

    October 10, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  64. JP

    My wife is a teacher, going on her 17th year. She would agree 100% with this article – it touches so many areas that dead on. And dear Lord, the Common Core – Common Crap is more like it! And CC says that your students MUST all be at the same level at the end of the year, never mind that some of her 2nd graders come in completely unable to even write their names, unable to solve 2+2, and many with problems (ADD, ADHD, Asberger's, etcl) that haven't been addressed or even acknowledged. It breaks my heart to see her stressed and exhausted at the end of her day. She talks of leaving teaching, even though it's all she's ever wanted to do – she doesn't know if she can cope with it for another 25-30 years. And she is one of the golden ones – it's a rare occasion that we don't run into current/former students and their parents when we're out, and they come running to thank her for what she did for them. We're killing the good ones – only the crap ones will stay. Sigh. I'm glad my 3 children are done and out!

    October 10, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  65. liz

    My daughter is a Teacher and the above is all good and well but it leaves out the poverty factor, the kid has to run a gauntlet of drug dealers to and from school factor, there is not enough to eat in the house factor so the kid is hungry in school factor, the kid can't afford notebooks and supplies factor, Mom and Dad each work sixteen hours a day at low paying jobs factor sometimes seven days a week factor. I could go on and on but just once I wish a report would tell the truth about Teachers and schools where the majority of the population is brown, black and poor. No other profession in the world requires what is routinely demanded of Teachers.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • nguyen

      what kind of brown are you talking about here? did you ever visit a normal routine of an Asian family with their children after school? try it sometime if they allow you to come to their house...LOL

      October 10, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  66. michelle

    Apathy in parents runs rampant, it rubs off on the kids who get by with amazing misbehaviors at home and think they should at school....schools are a reflection of society, not a reflection on teachers, and our society is in a sad state of spiritual poverty...all social programs provided by the government that attempt to correct this apathy is just a Band-Aid....the real issue is not physical poverty, or social poverty, but, spiritual poverty.....I used to teach, and I went to their homes twice a year. I used to think, every year, that I'd seen it all....then, the next year came along, and I was unpleasantly proved wrong....I could not visit their homes alone.....too dangerous....that says it all......

    October 10, 2012 at 7:24 am |
  67. Parent

    Let's all acknowledge there can be a break down in communication – from both parents and teachers. Let's also acknowledge that the parents have the greater responsiblity here. They're our children – it's our job to be on top of everything going on with them, including school. Please accept that how your child does in school is up to you, and not up to the teacher or the school. The schools and the teachers are only one of our tools to help develope our children. Stop looking at the rest of the world to do your job. Kick them off the TV and the electronics unless you want a loser sitting in your house when he/she's 21.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • x

      AMEN!!! Thank you for saying it!!! Lord forbid parents actually take responsibility for their children!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  68. Jay

    I ask anyone of you whom are bashing teachers to visit a school for a day or TWO and see what really happens in the life of a teacher. I welcome parents to my classroom, before and after school as well as during class ANYTIME. I have nothing to hide, i work my rear off daily. We don't have days where we can just sit at our desk and punch keys, we have to engage, teach, laugh, support, feed, clothe, bandage our students DAILY.

    I really wish the people would take the time to see what REALLY happens in the schools, I welcome any of you anytime to visit my classroom in Mid-Michigan.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • CBA

      I used to live in mid-Michigan but am in SC now. I thought all my teachers were so great growing up, and was so glad that now that I have children of my own, we live in a school district that has wonderful teachers as well. I go to my younger child's elementary school when I can to help. Each time I am there I am truly amazed at how talented the teachers are at keeping kids on pace and learning and being engaged. It is a very difficult profession, but I know it's very fulfilling as well – especially when you have parents working with you as a team.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • rob

      Jay,
      You are so bitter. Man, how sad you chose to be a teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
      • Jay

        How do you figure i'm bitter? I love my job, i'm just sick of being unappreciated. I'm sure you work in the private sector and make much more than i ever will, and work less. Yet you still belittle teachers while you have no clue as to what they really do.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  69. Big Man

    How to improve our children's education? For starters, have a longer more fruitful academic year by ridding ourselves of the three fall Jewish holidays (benefiting only 2 pct of our popn) and reduce summer break by one month. Our society can no longer afford these frivolities – the focus should be on OUR nation's future generation and not on a selfish few.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Andy

      Well now that protestants make up less than half the country I also propose eliminating christmas and easter.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • GeorgiaGuy

      Big Man, I'd go one step further. Eliminate all religious-based holiday. Instead, craft a holiday schedule that fits best around the way kids a learn so that the impact is mitigated and the benefits maximized. Also, I agree, year-round school would be a good idea.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Ruby

      Big Man, ten years ago I returned to teaching after working in television graphics for 14 years. I predicted then that 1)tenure reform would happen to some degree and 2) the school year would be lengthened. I have no problem with either one. I work hard, day in and day out, as I should. I still work during the 8 weeks during the summer, either teaching summer school or working at a camp. I also take classes, not for a higher pay scale, but to stay informed and to continue MY education.

      The question about a longer school year is 1) can the district/cities afford it? and 2)can the buildings handle it? I teach on the east coast and school budgets are heated discussions every year. Longer school year means more more costs to operate schools. As for the buildings, a lot of the facitilites in my district are old, in constant repair and unable to handle air-conditioning. We have had to dismiss students early because it is a hazard working in a classroom that is 98 degrees or more. Kids do pass out, THEY can't handle the hot, humid classroom and teaching time is lost. The 8 weeks in the summer are when the custodians do massive cleaning and the repairs are made to ailing buildings. When will that work get done and can it be done in 4 weeks time??? Lots of questions and no one wants to answer them except to say "teachers have it made...they get the summers off".

      October 10, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Lifelong Learner

      So many of these posts are disturbing on so many levels. As much as we need teacher and parent communications to improve, we also need to remember that we are dealing with kids, individuals, all with their own needs and levels of intellect. But we are pressing down on these kids, pushing them more and more... we all need to remember that they ARE kids and they have the rest of their lives to be on the spot and under pressure. I think we have all forgotten that kids deserve time to just be kids.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Mom of 2

      Add hours and days? Sorry, but I"m not buying it. The time in school needs to be used better. All fundraising activities (including the little gifts and pep rallies) need to be done outside of school time. Core Curriculum? What a load of crap. It just lowers the bar for all students. If you have a smart kid, be prepared....you'll be doing alot of educating on your own. The schools are only interested in passing the standardized test and the smart kids won't be given the opportunity to excel and learn to love school–they will be kept back in the "common core" so everyone is the same. Adding more days/hours of this serves no one.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  70. Ugh

    My daughter's teacher actually told her that she would not be available either during recess or after school to explain a concept she was having trouble with because it was "me time". She let my daughter fail, told me a tutor would not be able to help her because it was a maturity issue (did I mention my 8 yr old daughter asked for help on her own?) didn't allow her to bring the textbook home so that we could teach it to her in a way that was consistent with her lessons and then had the gigantic gall to tell us that my daughter wasn't trying. Nice.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • JB

      If that was their district assigned prep time, they were absolutely correct to call it 'me' time since that time is assigned to them by the district as unassigned/student free time to conduct preparation for their job. Again, simply because you do not understand the reasons for why a teacher says something does not make the teacher wrong.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:31 am |
      • Ryan

        Since I am a teacher JB, I want to agree with what you just said, but I can't. If this teacher truly did all of the things listed, then the fault lies with this teacher. Books are always available, even if it means checking them out at the end of the day. If you are using a book in class, the student has a right to the book at home. Second, there is no such thing as "me time" (which is a horrible term by the way). There is no reason the teacher couldn't have talked with the student and scheduled some time for tutoring and/or extra help. Now, if the student only wanted help during that prep time, then that is a different story. But if an 8 yr old asks for help, you help the student, regardless of the fact it is your prep time. That is still true in my high school. If a student comes for help during my plan hour, I help them and then we talk about how to schedule tutoring.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • mg

      Here's the translation: "Me time" = mandated meetings that the building was requiring your teacher to attend, so the teacher gave a developmentally appropriate answer. "No book to send home" = there are not enough books, try the internet. "She let my daughter fail" = you've absolved yourself of responsibility, since it is always easier to blame the other. "Had the ... gall to to say my daughter wasn't trying" = probably the truth, since your daughter has learned from others to blame others for her failure, and if you think the little girl you see at home is the same little girl at school, hire a P.I., it is almost never the case.

      It is not the teacher who makes the student a success, it is the student. It is not the teacher who makes the student fail, it is the student. We have free will, which includes the will to learn even when there are tremendous obstacles to it, whether it is a "bad teacher" or something as easy to overcome as not having a book. If you blame not having a book for your child's failure, then you were not trying hard enough as a parent, and it is likely your daughter is also not trying hard in school.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:38 am |
      • Janey

        ...powerful stuff right here. Bravo.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:56 am |
      • x

        mg – BLESS YOU! You give me hope that there are people out there who understand what we face as teachers, and don't buy into parent's excuses about why it's the teacher's fault their child is failing. Of course your child is going to blame everything and everyone else for their failure, they copy what they see from their parents! I am a GOOD teacher. I LOVE my students. I want them to have the best chance in this life that they can get. Your children may leave my room at the end of the day, but I go home and I worry about your children. I cry about your children. I obsess about what I can do to give them a better fighting chance, both to make it through the next day and to make their way in life. I invest hours and hours and untold dollars to make learning as accessible to your child as possible. All I ask is that you respect me. Help me. I want the BEST for your child! Why don't you??? There is no room in any student's education for the blame game. I am a proud teacher. I love your children. I am BEGGING YOU: Help me help them!!!

        October 10, 2012 at 8:06 am |
      • Ryan

        As stated above, if teachers require the use of a textbook in school, that book has to be available to the student to take home. Many students do not have the internet at home. If the 8 yr old did ask for help, that is enough initiative for a teacher to not turn away. I absolutely agree that free will to learn exists, but when dealing with elementary school children, we have an obligation to do the best job possible, and if the original post is true, this teacher did not do the best job possible.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
      • teacher

        He, he..I took it as "me time" = my 20 minute lunch break and I have my own children that expect me to show up for them "after business hours" i.e.- the end of the school day.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Don F.

      There are a couple of problems with this situation. 1) "Me time" gives the impression of self preoccupation rather than interest in the needs of the student. 2) This is underscored by the fact that no suggestion was made for a time that would work. 3) It is further underscored by the teacher's unwillingness to facilitate outside help (tutoring). The three of these together strongly suggest that the teacher is not interested in supporting assistance for this child, directly or indirectly.

      THAT is A/THE problem.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  71. Laureth

    My husband and I have always been involved and very hands on where our children's education is concerned, but we've run into issues where communication broke down on the teacher's end. Our oldest daughter has Aspergers and went to a public school. In one instance she had to go to a different classroom for science a semester(this was in grade school). She would go to the class, then duck out and hide in the bathroom, then come back right before they had to return to their main classroom. She wasn't doing any of the work. The teacher would call us on the last day of the semester(when they were done with science) and tell us this when there was nothing we could do about it. We asked her main teacher why no one bothered to tell us about this so we could've done something sooner and she told us she thought the other teacher had spoken to us. We ran into this situation a lot when she was in the public school. Once we moved her to a private school specifically geared for students with learning disabilities, our daughter did ten times better.
    When we were filling out the forms to put her in the private school the information that the public school provided stated our daughter was on target with her learning, had no issues and all this other stuff, but her report card said differently. The administrator from the private school called me and asked me about the report from the public school and I asked her what she was looking at. I told her to look at my daughter's report card, which said something totally different. I can remember having meetings with the school district after she was in the private school(the private school was in a different district) and they were supposed to have a report from the autism team and it wasn't there. They were missing other information as well and my husband and I walked out feeling like we were back at square one. We got an advocate and things started happening. Then the law changed and the district where the school was located made the decisions and that's when we got better results.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • JB

      So, let me get this straight. Your daughter would sneak out during class, and therefore miss class. The teacher who was working with probably 30+ students was fooled by her ruse. You sent her to a specialized school for her special need that likely had smaller class sizes and a better chance of catching activity like your daughters and you want to blame the public school teacher and district rather than simply accept the fact your daughters actions were irresponsible and inappropriate. Yeah, the problem with education is parents want to blame teachers and schools rather than their little ones.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:34 am |
      • Cait

        Um. If my child is not attending class? You bet your fanny it's the school's job to let me know that – and if it went on for a MONTH? It's absolutely on my kid for sneaking out (and she'd be getting in some serious trouble at home, believe me), but the fact that the school either A) didn't *know* that my child was gone the whole class period, or B) didn't *care*, is completely unacceptable. What if said child was off school property? Would it have been OK to wait until the end of the day to inform me that my child had just disappeared?

        October 10, 2012 at 8:04 am |
      • Don F.

        Let me get this straight, you think it is unreasonable/impossible for a teacher with 30 kids to take role at the beginning of each class period. It used to be that was SOP in every Jr and High School in the nation. After a 100 years of students migrating from class to class multiple times a day we still don't know how to keep students from sneaking away? I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

        October 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • JB

        "Let me get this straight, you think it is unreasonable/impossible for a teacher with 30 kids to take role at the beginning of each class period." I guess you are not considering that roll was taken and then the kids slips out. That would be too simple to consider, wouldn't it. Just get angry and rant if it makes you feel better.

        October 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • JB

        I guess you are not considering that roll was taken and then the kids slips out. That would be too simple to consider, wouldn't it. Just get angry and rant if it makes you feel better.

        October 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • Cait

        "I guess you are not considering that roll was taken and then the kids slips out. That would be too simple to consider, wouldn't it." I was a teacher. It's not that hard to realize that you started out the period with 17/20/24 kids – and you're missing one, and said one has been gone much longer than a bathroom break should take. It's also not that hard to realize that said student vanishes every class. This is elementary/middle/high school. These are minors, and they are the school's responsibility while on school property. Is there something about this that I'm missing?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Don F.

      My apologies JB, I misread the response. I actually read it correctly the first time and reread it and changed my response. My original response was, assuming that the student had slipped out after role (which I find harder to believe) was that I can not accept that a teacher can not keep track of the coming and goings of students in a 30 student class. In any school I have attended teachers keep close tabs on classroom comings and goings especially during a class (as opposed to a study hall). Also there has been close monitoring of the number of bathroom breaks a student took during the day. Also control of hall passes granting permission to leave a classroom or study hall. While I can understand an occasional sneak away, the habitual sneaking out once class has begun (i.e. after roll) and returning just before it ended just begs credibility and is much harder to fathom than skipping out and back end before and after class.
      I have never encountered a teacher who has not maintained control over the door to their classroom while class was in scession.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Michael Branca

    While I am sure there are perfectly wonderful and competent teachers the bottom line is this:
    Since the 1970's we have been spending vast amounts on K-12 education while performance and graduation rates have either stayed flat or decreased.

    In short: We have an under performing system that is costing us a kings ransom.

    Something has got to change and it certainly is not funneling more money to school systems and teachers salaries.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  73. ipmutt

    1. most of them can not teach
    2. All of them are afraid of being held accountable
    3. They want more money for less work
    4. They don't care that your kids are the worst educated in the developed countries
    5. More time off

    October 10, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Arlen

      You're an idiot.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • JM

      That is Chicago you talking about. lol. I think teachers make an effort but the real effort has to come from the kids and the parents. Parents need to take more responsibility. Teachers are there to teach, not to kiss ass or motivate these kids, although I think motivation is a good plus but it should not be expected. I wish he had the days where teachers could hit you. Kids were so disciplined. Now parents have become failures at parenting and try to blame it on someone else.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • CBA

      Wow...do you have any children? I am the parent of both an elementary school and middle school student. These teachers are with 20-30 students (in elementary; more in jr/high school), all having different learning curves and personalities. One of your items was more money for less work??? How is it less work? We're lucky to live in a great school district. I see how much the teachers care and how the students thrive. I would love if they were able to get paid more, because they certainly deserve it.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Darth Cheney

      6. ipmutt quaffs deeply of the Kool-Aid

      October 10, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Nikki

      Another clueless person commenting about teachers.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Andy

      So how does making them work harder, longer and under more stressful conditions improve their performance? Would you work better if we cut your pay, increased your work time by 1/3 and threatened to fire you if you weren't perfect?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • David

      1. most of them can not teach – what do you base this statement upon? Some certainly can't teach; most can.

      2. All of them are afraid of being held accountable – most teachers are fine with being held accountable for their ability to teach. Most find being held accountable for a student's grade on a test ridiculous. Students are responsible for what they learn, teachers are responsible for providing the environment and tools for students. A test tells very little about the first and nothing about the second.

      3. They want more money for less work – No, they want fair compensation for the work they are already doing that requires a lot of education and time to do well.

      4. They don't care that your kids are the worst educated in the developed countries – I take exception with this for a number of reasons, but I will point out that the United States also has the largest percentage of children living in poverty.

      5. More time off – everyone would like more time off, including you I am sure, but I don't remember ever seeing this as a serious issue for teachers in any negotiation or discussion.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  74. Memo2

    School District and Politicians bad mix for any School.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  75. rick1948

    If you really are a teacher and you actually believe that on-line classes are more effective then the ones you teach, then you are one sorry teacher.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  76. Brian

    We need LESS teachers and MORE computers in schools. Kids do not use pencils and textbooks except in school. Not even in the workforce when they grow up. Teacher tenure is killing education, as well as old-school methods. I am a teacher, and every teacher knows there are people in every school, big or small, that do not really want to have that job they are doing. They are doing it for a paycheck, and depend on the union to keep their paycheck. Good teachers don't need unions, they can carry their own weight with skill and love for the profession without some mob. The education system can SAVE money by firing crappy teachers, keeping those that know how to design an online curriculum-based course, and provide a class set set of computers for EVERY class. And each school should have a required course about CAPITALISM and MAKING MONEY AT WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Jenna Hanson

      @Brian,
      You're an idiot. Shame on you for being a teacher and writing this garbage. If you feel you can be replaced by a computer, then perhaps you should re-think your teaching career.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:08 am |
      • Brian

        Idiot? A competent teacher that KNOWS how to design interesting, computer-based lesson plans that teach to the individual child instead of some old hack still giving boring lectures and passing out worksheets? Yes, I do have an agenda. I want to be in a profession where people LOVE what they do, not walk in to the teacher's lounge and hear whining and moaning DAY after freaking DAY about "how horrible these kids are", "They have idiot parents", "I DESERVE more money" et al....I am tired of the discussion being about how much more money the government can fire-hose into education with still minimal results. I'm sorry you can't wrap your mind around what is actually going on in the real-world.....businesses and more and more of the private industry, which we are TRAINING these kids for, from plumbers to CEO's, is they are using things called....are you ready? ....C O M P U T E R S...

        October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • JC

      Boy you have it all figured out, don't you? You are clearly very smart. Wait, actually you are an idiot.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:11 am |
      • Brian

        Thanks for such an illustrious elucidation of your absolutely baseless opinion of my intelligence.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Katie

      Computers will help only those who are willing (or able) to learn on their own. Not every student is self-motivated enough to put in the effort or to take the time to figure out what the online curriculum needs from them. Not many subjects are conducive to being taught through a computer program. In this scenario – computers are NOT toys! Far, far too many kids want to be entertained by their surroundings, they was passive instruction that they can just sit through. Well it doesn't work that way. Instead of blaming teachers (who put in a LOT of effort to earn their paltry paychecks and who deserve a LOT more respect) and their unions, start thinking about what YOU can do to help.

      If you can read this, thank an elementary teacher. If you can understand it, thank a middle school teacher. If you can come up with a coherent argument that doesn't include personal attacks and that is backed up with logical statements, thank a high school teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am |
      • Brian

        What you say is absolutely true. Kids and computers don't make it on their own, a teacher still needs to be present. A teacher well-educated in the use of computers and technology who can oversee a class using the computers-priceless.

        And I appreciate the "coherent argument" statement....as you can see with the other responses, there is something definitely wrong with the system.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • e.d.sped

      I truly doubt you are a teacher. How can a teacher possibly provide computers to all of her 150+ students. Teachers are given limitations. It is through their hard work and dedication that these limitations, imposed by state and local levels, are overcome to meet the needs of their students. Your mantra must be, "teach to the test" . How sad .

      October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am |
      • Brian

        The limitations are economic, absolutely. How much money is WASTED on old-hack teachers who REFUSE to change their methods, but CANNOT BE FIRED because of stupid union-enacted tenure laws. An example, A 20-year veteran teacher w/master's degree makes over 50K a year.....while he/she still is passing out worksheets and giving boring and uninspired lectures from the 1970's and before......there is where the money is locked up. There is where you will afford the computers we need in education. I guarantee a 40-student class all engaged on computers being served INDIVIDUALIZED education with one teacher and an assistant will do MUCH BETTER than a 25-student class in Grandma Yardstick's class.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Wizeguy2000

      From your sentence structure and language, I can observe that you might be one of those "crappy" teachers you are referencing. Perhaps it is time to go back to English class?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:16 am |
      • Brian

        Sorry dude. Pre-calculus teacher. Tell you what, if you can tell me the parametric equation of a projectile, 2-dimensional in regards to time, I'll give you a point.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • P.C.

      If you truly believe what you just said, then I concur...You ARE an idiot!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am |
      • Brian

        Another clearly elucidated and intelligent response. I heard Kool-Ade is on sale down at the Piggly Wiggly, you should check it out

        October 10, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Sarah

      Do you work with special education students? Those students need MORE teachers, not fewer. Computers are great tools, but you still have to be able to do your job if technology fails. A CEO should still be able to run his/her company even if the computers are down! Children today rely way too much on technology, I know lots of students who can't even do basic math without a calculator. That's a serious problem! Technology is great and needs to be utilized in classrooms, but books, paper and pencils are still here and students need to know how to use them.

      Yes, I agree that there are teachers in every school who need to be fired or retired because they are not providing the quality of education our students deserve. However, the teachers who are doing their jobs and providing a good education should not be punished because of a few bad teachers! Unions protect teachers. Tenure is not a clear cut issue and needs to be seriously discussed in ALL levels of the education system.

      Brian, If you want to teach students via computer, then go teach in an online school and leave the classrooms to those of us who actually want to see our students and interact with them as human beings.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:19 am |
      • Brian

        A) Technology fails a lot less than some hack in the classroom wasting students' (and parents') time doing worksheets and cutouts.
        B) Yes, my lesson designs are already in the home-school market, and I am doing quite fine, thank you.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • glcorp

      While I will agree with you that the education system badly needs a retooling, and most certainly will benefit from the inclusion of modern technologies that play to the students' strengths, your assertion that schools would benefit from having less teacher's is false. The larger the student to teacher ratio, the greater the behavior problems become, making it much harder to get any meaningful learning done. Schools with larger student-teacher ratios preform poorly on standardized tests and have higher drop out rates. Having as much one on one time with a professional educator is one of the most important factor in education.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:22 am |
      • Brian

        I appreciate your well-worded opinion, in other words, thanks for NOT calling me an idiot! But I must disagree. I have the fortune of trying out my computer-based course because the computer-lab teacher has planning during my class. ANd, from my experience so far, having a computer for every child actually REDUCES the discipline problems in the classroom, and when there are, it makes it MUCH EASIER to spot and deal with directly. If students are given an assignment, and completion of that assignment is EXPECTED, then the cut-ups really stand outfrom the crowd. In other words, seeing all the other students engaged puts peer-pressure on the screw-ups, and they realize quite quickly that they are being left behind at that very moment, and they begin to try harder. Success.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Molly

      you mean "fewer teachers". do you teach ela?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:36 am |
      • Brian

        Si si, frauline. Just kidding. math.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
      • glcorp

        Damn, I said "less teachers," too. Oh well, thankfully we are never short on condescending, passive aggressive commentators.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Molly

      ..... you mean "fewer teachers". do you teach ela?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • clem

      Brian, you obviously have a hidden agenda here. Why dont you just apply for that Principles job

      October 10, 2012 at 7:39 am |
      • Brian

        How can something be hidden, but be obvious at the same time Clem? Crunch your brain on that one

        October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • onionskin

      Brian. I like your idea.
      As a parent of grown children, I wish something like this would have been available for children that went to school when my son did.
      I was considered a problem child in school. I was far from stupid, I just could not grasp the teaching method that was the standard in the 70's. Then, there weren't excuses and teachers weren't to blame.
      Ignorance was to blame. There have to different modes of teaching in place to reach kids that can't sit in a chair all day. 5 days a week. And today, that ability exists.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
      • Brian

        Thank you. There are many of us "technocrat" teachers out there. We are being drowned out by the obvious mob of "stay-at-our-level" old-school lecture and worksheet teachers. Make your opinion heard, you are the true stakeholder here.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • JF

      Precalculus ? Sounds like an advanced ability class...advanced classes are a different animal that regular classes. I feel you have the top level kids, whereas the teacher that is teaching basic algebra to seniors see the real world kids...

      October 10, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • brian

        I am actually at a small school with only two teachers in the math department, so I am responsible for teaching all subjects at all levels. This semester I am teaching Pre-Calc, Geometry, and Algebra Study Skills (<– not advanced, to say the least). All levels of kids benefit from using computer programs.

        With all the attempted character assassination going on I would think this was Faux News or something........I have yet to hear a better idea, only "you're an idiot", "You don't know how it is to teach REAL kids" "you are not really a teacher"...etc. Where are the ideas?????? Oh yeah...lost in the ditto machine/overhead projector days.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  77. Sheesh

    A good example of education gone very BAD? Youtube "Detroit in RUINS! (Crowder goes Ghetto)"

    October 10, 2012 at 7:00 am |
  78. rick1948

    Unfortunately, many parents look at their kids teachers as not more more than free babysitting and at their kids as if they are perfect. Therefore, in their minds, if their little angel is failing in school, it must be the teacher's fault and why do I have to be bothered with this when the teacher is supposed to figure it out. Parents have to be more involved with teachers and, when the teacher tells them something about their kid, believe it and take action on it rather than asking their kid for their version of what happened and always taking the kids side.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  79. Shmuel

    4) teachers push a Gd less program, with condoms for 13 year old kids. Evolution OK creationism not ok

    October 10, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Miss Kat

      No we don't. That never comes up in the classroom. Doesn't jive with the Common Core Standards. We don't have time to focus on that. The Standards don't give us room for that.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Katie

      Spoken like someone who has never set foot in school.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Darth Cheney

      Half of our country has lost the ability to assess cause and effect, like the hapless twit above.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  80. Miss Kat

    I'm getting really battle-worn this year; I feel like I"m beating my head against the wall in my attempts to teach. I have a 2/3rds failure rate in one class. I have a website with assignments, a calendar in the classroom, retests, daily verbal reminders about upcoming assignments, progress reports, etc....But what do you think will happen when report card time comes around...it'll suddenly be MY fault that I didn't do more to assure these kids' success. What else can I do? I already spend my own money on paper, which is limited b/c I haven't received any child support since June and I'm working on a teacher's pay. I spend upwards to 10-12 hours a day at school. I attend parent-teacher conferences every other day. And at the beginning of the year, we got virtually no planning time b/c the district had us attending meeting after meeting after meeting b/c it makes them look good, so we are all flying by the seats of our pants trying to plan lessons. I'm burning out really fast, and after 17 years, I am finally and seriously considering switching careers. Teaching no longer rewards any of us, it seems, and as long as non-educators are trying to tell educators what to do, this kind of crap will continue, and I really don't want to be part of it any longer.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Pam

      Hang in there, Miss Kat :(.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Let It Be....

      Thank you for all that you have done for education. Not all parents are dedicated to being involved with their kid's education. That is a fact. However, my daughter has been a straight A student for the last 4 years. This year, already, she is struggling. Nothing has changed in our home. My daughter is 10 years old. I have a 21 year old that is in her last year of college and went there basically free because of scholarships. My point is my husband and I expect excellence from our kids when it comes to education. We are involved in their homework, helping establish good study habits, and setting goals for them. I now need to question her teacher as to what is taking place during next weeks parent/teacher conferences. Not all teachers are as dedicated to their jobs as much as they are dedicated to that paycheck.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:14 am |
      • e.d.sped

        Perhaps you should not be comparing siblings. What a burden for your 10 year old. Look at school and ask questions, but I suspect you shpuld look also at home.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Lisa...mom of 3

      Miss Kat,
      It's heartbreaking to hear how challenging and less rewarding things are for you. What you do is incredibly important. I totally agree with the article, that parent involvement is key. I have two children in prestigious private schools, and one in public school and witness the differences in parental involvement first hand. If this is your passion, please hang in there, for the students' sake. I am a physician, and am constantly bombarded by paperwork requirements, insurance restrictions, skeptical patients and families. I still get the incredible reward of helping people who are in their scariest life event. That keeps me going... Of course my pay grade is different. hang in there. It may take a lot of gusto, but those children need you.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  81. Anne

    I propose a segment called "here's what parents want teachers to know"
    We are on the same team
    Don't "practice" something new on my kid. He will be an adult before you get it right. Don't subject her to student teachers all year.
    Don't come up with stupid field trips because you are bored. Yes certain field trips can be valuable but a trip to the pumpkin patch and multiple zoo trips and library trips for kids that go ther with their family are a liability and a distraction.
    Don't come up with homework for me. I already did third grade. You have my child 7 hrs a day use them –evenings are for dinner baths a family walk and music practice.
    We have a nice children's book library. Don't send home book buying fundraisers in the guise of reading experiences. We have been reading great books forever.
    We will participate in one fundraiser. Not six. My child is not an unpaid salesperson for a big corporation even if the school makes money on it.
    Don't place my well behaved introvert between two troublemakers. She is a person not a spacer.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Miss Kat

      For your last request, ok. I won't place your child between 2 troublemakers....when class sizes are reduced enough to provide space for better seating in the classrooms.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • JC

      Why don't you try spending some more time helping your kids learn outside of school so that teachers don't have to teach idiots.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Arlen

      Once again its all about your child and not the community. Got it. Oh and I get it now, people in the community pay for field trips because they are bored.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Josh

      As a teacher I can appreciate your concerns but your child isn't the only one in the class. You sound like a great parent but not every kid is getting to go home and read books and take trips with their families. We can't just cater to the kids who have been raised the right way. As for fundraisers, that's not a teachers call. In fact, most of the time we hate them too but that's a district call that comes from above our heads.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Katie

      Ok, I'm just going to point out some things from the article – teachers have very little control over the curriculum. Therefore, they can't promise they won't teach your kid anything new. They can't promise there won't be meaningless activities like field trips or movies that your kids isn't interested in. If they send YOU homework it's because they are asking for you to help do your part at home. If there are multiple fundraisers ask yourself WHY CAN'T THE SCHOOL SURVIVE WITHOUT THEM??? Perhaps you'd prefer your school not to have a library or a band or art class or sports, etc?? Think about this – the majority of the school's funding goes to special education, and the special education needs are hardly met. It's a wonder your school is open at all. As for placing your kid near or with trouble makers – where do you want your kid to sit? Maybe you should come in and arrange the seating chart and see how many kids are in the classroom and where the best places for them all are. Don't expect miracles from your teacher. As the article above stated, many things are out of her/his control and yet far too many people think she's paid too much, works too little and it's her fault the system doesn't work for your kid.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Mike Wiggins

      Re: "Don't come up with homework for me. I already did third grade. You have my child 7 hrs a day use them –evenings are for dinner baths a family walk and music practice."

      Are you really saying that it is wrong to give your child homework? Really? If you are the one who ends up doing it, then your child is learning nothing. Make the CHILD do as much of the homework as possible with occasional help or guidance you can provide.

      "I already did third grade." Sorry, no sympathy from me or from millions of parents who DO reach back in time to help their kids with homework.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  82. Sheesh

    I graduated, got a HS diploma, and look where it got me.. JOBLESS!! Cant or couldnt afford a college education or tuition and niether could the folks. Again, money talks bull**** walks. Other than that, quit wasting time teaching these kids for NOTHING!!

    October 10, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Miss Kat

      I rest my case.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:00 am |
      • Arlen

        I second the motion.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Really?

      No job? There are plenty of jobs out there for individuals with no college education. Try the hotel, or fast food industries. How about in a grocery store, large retailer, or a factor. They may pay low, but at least you can get health benefits at most. What do you expect with no education? Some education BTW is better than NO education. This is one thing that separates us from the lower primates.
      Also- if you REALLY want to go to college and have a high school diploma, why don't you join the armed forces? You can earn a GI Bill. You can also find many companies that give their employees allowances for school. If that doesn't work, live with someone (like your parents) and work while you go to school.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:09 am |
      • Sheesh

        Thanks for the advise, but im 44 years young and cant pass a physical for a job of my choice around here much less get in the armed forces. Im certainly am not going to waste more tax payer money on disability. Im looking to be a welder helper. :-)

        October 10, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Jay

      You can spell and type, you obviously can read as well, so don't sit behind a computer and say that we teach for no reason.

      What other job are you forced to have a masters degree, and then get paid under $42,000 a year? I make pennies compared to the private sector, but people want to take it out on the teachers because some kids AND PARENTS don't want to take any accountability for the lack of their actions in school their own kids? PLEASE!
      I get to work an hour early everyday and stay an hour late, as well as most of Sunday spent on curriculum and grading. Give me one other job where you put in an average of 15-20 hours extra a week and not get paid for it? I'm sick of all the teacher bashing, just wait until the enormous brain trust of highly qualified teachers with decades of experience are forced out due to cuts and lower wages. Then you'll all be complaining again about how the schools aren't performing.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:14 am |
      • GeorgiaGuy

        Jay, Music, Social Work, Counseling and Theater come to mind. Also, the median income for a teacher is about $60,000. Also, how about moving to a district with better pay? I have family who teach in Maryland, just outside of DC, who are all making $90,000 or higher with a Master's Degree and 15 years experience. Moving isn't fun, but it's doable. I've moved 4 times (twice internationally) for professional reasons so I know.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |
      • rick

        Jay,
        Don't try to describe what you do to us... you make it sound like you deserve something.
        Your "work" sounds intriguing...wasting your life away.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Arlen

      Just because you have a problem asking me if i want fries with that, does not mean you have to be jobless. Get a life and stop complaining. Stop blaming teachers for your lack of success.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  83. Shmuel

    3) poor teachers, typical Democratic liberal machine. They Fight any reasonable pay increases and don't want any teacher evaluations, no accountability. But get a day off to vote Democratic

    October 10, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Eeyore

      You're an idiot.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Arlen

      Idiot!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Jay

      HA! Nice sterotype Shmuel!
      Moron

      October 10, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Sarah

      I'm happy to be evaluated and held accountable as long as the standards and expectations are realistic and reasonable.

      Why don't you try teaching for a day, a week or even a month and then tell us if you feel the same way.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Katie

      Wow. THIS is why education is so poor in this country. We have far too many voters who don't take responsibility for their own shortcomings and who would impose their ignorance on the rest of us.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  84. Ann

    If I had to do it over again I would let my child fail English in 9th grade instead of sending him to summer school. The teacher said let him do it over. I couldn't. That set the precedent for his high school years. He spent 3 summers in summer school to fix the class he didn't want to be in. He knew I would bail him out. Now he is in the Marines and it has changed him completely. He loves it.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  85. Shmuel

    2) teachers average in north America 75,000.00 salary, work 185 days a year, 20 sick days, 2 % pension contribution and 8% pension return

    October 10, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • LahdeeDah

      If you've got information about one of those $75k jobs, I'd love to hear it. I work 70-80 hours a week for a third less than that, pay for all of my own additional training, funded my state-required master's degree, and put in at least 20 hours/week during my "summer vacation." Where is this easy, uncaring life so many think I've got?

      October 10, 2012 at 6:55 am |
      • x

        I also want to know about these teaching jobs that pay over 60K! I make HALF of that. He is truly, truly...delusional. And a perfect example of people spouting off about something they know nothing about.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • GreaterDetailGreaterUnderstanding

      You fail to acknowledge the cost of earning college degrees and the cost to maintain a license. You assume teachers are overpaid and have it easy. If you assumption were so true, you would see droves of unemployeed seeking positions. Not so, The truth is it is a challenging profession, and it is not for everyone.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • LivinginVA

      Teachers are hitting retirement age – about five years ago the average teacher had more than 15 years of experience. Name me any other job where you are required to have a Masters degree for your profession and after 15 years are only making 75K (note- we are talking about places with average cost of living, not places where you can buy a house for 40K). Teachers in Loudoun County (average home price is over 300K) make 55K with 10 years experience.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:02 am |
      • LivinginVA

        That's 10 years experience and a Masters.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • Miss Kat

      Really? Where do you live? I want to move there!

      October 10, 2012 at 7:03 am |
      • Motorgrrl

        The suburbs in Michigan. Average salary: $79,900, average school days worked: 177. Let's face it, the taxpayers, many of whom do not have children, will not tolerate a public employee earning six figures while only working half a year. Yes, teachers work hard – that is what adult professionals are supposed to do.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • wootdude

      I am guessing you flow to the right, so maybe you will believe this figure since it comes from probably your favorite information source, Fox News.
      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/14/teacher-union-bigs-rake-in-dough-despite-budget-cuts-across-education-sector/

      And I do agree that something should be done about the union bosses, but that is not the point of this CNN article. You said average salary is 75K and that is just not true.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Arlen

      Moron! I guess now you're mad because they took my social security away.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • SHANNON

      that Stat you used was for Chicago only, and said they were the highest paid in the nation. i assume you learned that during the strick

      October 10, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Mr. C.

      you not only failed statistics, but geography too.

      get off the computer! you shouldn't be late for home room. now run along

      October 10, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  86. Lea

    With out parental involvement, schooling fails. It is that simple. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule, but urban schools fail because the kids have no discipline and love at home and basic needs are not met. Our suburban school is excellent, but there are students who are cursed with uncaring parents. It is amazing how these kids can throw of the dynamics of a classroom and create a distracting environment for others. Now imagine having a bunch of these kids in every classroom.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:47 am |
  87. Miss Kat

    My son told me that one of his friends, who has uber-Christian parents, goes to school wearing Amish-like clothing, but when she arrives, she changes immediately into the clothing she wants to wear. Note to parents: your kids present themselves to you one way but may take on a whole different personage when away from you. Don't blame the teachers!

    October 10, 2012 at 6:47 am |
  88. Shmuel

    Ridiculous article. 1) teachers are controlled by the unions, part of the Democratic party machine

    October 10, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • LivinginVA

      First error – the idea that all states have teacher unions – many don't.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Miss Kat

      WHAT UNION????? Where are you getting your information? Fantasyland???

      October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Bonnie

      Shmuel: I've taught for nearly 30 years and NEVER belonged to a union! Please get your facts right before posting.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Mark

      Man, my mom, wife, and sister are all teachers...I 'd better ask them how great their unions are...wait, they don't have them in their states.

      Do some research next time before you throw out uninformed statements.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  89. Chris

    I work at a charter school in the Detroit area. When I call a parent 95% of the time nobody answers and 80% of the time nobody calls me back. Email is even worse. It is hard.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • Sheesh

      Call them about what? To hassle them about their child? Maybe they dont want to deal with anymore BOSSES besides the ones they work for. When you call THEIR HOUSE on THEIR TIME they shouldnt answer.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am |
      • Sarah

        We call because we are often required to by our districts. Also, most teachers want parents to be involved in their child's education, which means calling and letting them know when there are problems with grades, behavior, attendance, etc. I've also called home to tell a parent GOOD NEWS! When a teacher calls home they are often trying to get a parent involved in order to help a student be successful while there is still time to make up for bad grades.

        If you don't want to be bothered at home by your child's teachers, then don't complain when a report card comes home with F's or your child gets suspended for unacceptable behavior.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:34 am |
      • Mark

        But they can call my wife at all hours of the day and night to complain about little Johnny getting a "C" on their test...

        My favorite story is when my wife was ASKED to call a parent at 9:30 at night to discuss the child's poor performance (the kid was in 4th grade)...so my wife calls, and the mother says she can't ask the kid about the issue because he's not there, and doesn't know where he is...yes, a 10 year-old, out at 9:30 on a school night...

        This is the teacher's fault how, exactly????????

        October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Sheesh

      I think you too need to look at this video on YouTube because it speaks the truth about how screwed up Detroit is ... "Detroit in RUINS! (Crowder goes Ghetto)"

      October 10, 2012 at 7:19 am |
      • Jason

        Sheesh, I taught for 6 years on the south side of Chicago and in Sedona, AZ. Parents would get mad at me when their students would get failing report cards because they didn't do their homework, projects, or study for tests. I allowed students to use notes on quizzes and tests because I feel that the ability to find information is important as well plus it teaches how to stay organized and creates accountability with the students to take notes. I would call parents and email parents to set up meetings to talk about their student. I would get only a few responses back from parents and then they would get mad at me for letting their kids fail. Well sorry but you can lead a horse to water, but you can't force the horse to drink. One example of a bad situation does not mean that all systems are bad or that all teachers are bad or don't care. You know what happens when you make grand assumptions, right...

        October 10, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Motorgrrl

      The parents are probably working two shifts, meaning the child is home alone. Best solution for discipline problems: The principal. I gave my son's principal permission to make my son scrub toilets when he misbehaved, so long as she HANDLED it without constantly calling me at work.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
      • GeorgiaGuy

        Motorgrrl. So, to be clear, you were unable to teach your child to behave and instead asked the Principal to handle it. Instead, may I suggest what worked for me. My daughter (11 years old) screwed up – 4 weeks straight home from school to bedroom – no TV, no phone, no computer, no friends on weekends, had to quit the soccer team. Since then, now 17 years-old, no problems that I know of – (of course there are some I don't).

        Remember, your kid kid, your problem, you handle it.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • GeorgiaGuy

        Motorgrrl. So, to be clear, you were unable to teach your child to behave and instead asked the Principal to handle it. Instead, may I suggest what worked for me. My daughter (11 years old) screwed up – 4 weeks straight home from school to bedroom – no TV, no phone, no computer, no friends on weekends, had to quit the soccer team. Since then, now 17 years-old, no problems that I know of – (of course there are some I don't).

        Remember, your kid, your problem, you handle it.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  90. a slozomby

    what do you mean my little angel isnt perfect. it must be your fault......

    October 10, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  91. Craig

    6. You would be stunned at what your children do when you're not looking.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • kj

      Amen!

      October 10, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • Elizabeth

      You are exactly right, Craig – some parents would be stunned (and in disbelief) if they knew how incessant misbehavior and disregard for others impacts the educational process for the other students in the classroom. It blows my mind what some children from very good families say and do when they are at school. Teachers desperately need parental support. Even the best classroom management techniques are ineffective with the kids that do whatever they want, whenever they want.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Motorgrrl

      If the child is an angel at home, but a demon at school, then the problem is the school. Schools need to stop being so afraid of lawsuits. You don't think parents talk? We know which school districts fight and win, and which ones hand out money out of fear. Children can smell fear too, and they act accordingly.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • Amanda

        Not true at all.... what makes a student an angel at home and a demon at school is very often that the teacher is imposing limits and boundaries on a student who has previously been allowed to run the show at home and has a very tough time understanding that he or she might be the boss at home but isn't at school. If a student is allowed to do what he or she wants when he or she wants at home, then as soon as we get to school and I set expectations of "we're doing this now," I get pushback because suddenly I'm taking the freedom to do what they want away from them. How many adults would LOVE to get to do nothing except what we WANT to all day? I have kids every year who have obviously never had to do anything they didn't want to do, and unless you have a naturally compliant child, it almost always results in an angel at home/demon at school situation while they adjust to their new limits. And I'm not talking about unreasonable limits.... I'm talking about things like "You don't roll around and do cartwheels in the classroom."

        October 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Don F.

      Sorry, but I don't see it and never have. With lots of contact in and out of school. I have NEVER witnessed a case of angle at home and hellian at school. Now I may have missed some along the way, but never to the extent that this radical dichotomy. From the way folks speak one is given the impression that this is a rampant problem. As a leader in a variety of these settings I can also say that the primary responsibility for establishing and maintaining authority belongs with the leader not the parents. The parents are there for backup but teachers have the primary responsbality. If teachers expect that parents have that responsibility then parents need access to the classrooms on a regular basis and should be summoned to the classroom to monitor when issues arise.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  92. Involved Parent

    I think one thing teachers need to be aware of is that even with an involved parent, we don't know everything that goes on in the classroom and we since we're not there, we don't know what or how ideas are being taught. Especially with younger students, they come home with homework and can't explain how they are being taught and we don't necessarily 'teach' the same way when we help them with their homework. Its been decades since we were in a classroom learning these concepts and helping our kids with today's work is much different. There is a large gap between what we know as adults and what our kids are learning. Even being an involved parent has its challenges with helping our kids.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • a slozomby

      no one is asking you to explain calculus or organic chemistry to your children. you should be able to teach your children how to read and basic math skills. if you cant do algebra then sit down and read the book with your children.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:23 am |
      • Involved Parent

        Actually we do have to explain those things are more. And you clearly don't have kids in school because there are no books anymore. Everything is online. Furthermore, book knowledge rarely captures the concepts being taught. To expect a parent to sit and relearn the concepts so they can teach theire kids is an unreasonable expectation. There are other avenues and assistance available, but its not always available or convienent. And no, teachers rarely bend over backwards to help individual kids during or after school.

        October 10, 2012 at 6:51 am |
      • catonaperch

        Involved Parent is correct. The methods have changed significantly during the 35 years since I have been in second grade yet I am required – I do it happily and willingly but am required nonetheless – to sit and do homework with my child. I have repeatedly asked her teacher to describe the method to me so I can help my child but have never received any answers. So, I work with my method and fortunately I am capable of doing that. It often leads to confusion and frustration, though. And there are really stupid things like they are not allowed to write in cursive so my child now spends more time than before because of having to print. Or, they are not allowed to use pens. How the heck are we, as involved parents, supposed to know these things?

        October 10, 2012 at 7:07 am |
      • JR

        Honey, they don't teach'basic math concepts' once you're past one column addition and subtraction.

        We learned by rote, by drilling the same type of problems, over and over. Now they have all this math theory and it's a whole new world for a parent, who learned it a completely different way. If the child doesn't get it and the parent has never seen it before, it means that the parent has to figure it out before they can teach it to their children.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • BJ

      If a student is IN CLASS and PAYING ATTENTION every day, he or she should be able to keep up. Teachers cannot re-teach a lesson to a student who left for a 2-day vacation or who took the whole day for a one-hour dental appointment or even for justified strep throat. My school has some tutoring available that would be a parent's job to seek out via an email to the teacher. I would never turn down a parent-arranged after-school meeting in the library to explain a missed concept; most teachers would agree. WE LOVE student SUCCESS! :-)

      October 10, 2012 at 6:38 am |
      • catonaperch

        And what if they are in class but still can't keep up? Or even WORSE – what if they actually have questions or want to discuss the material? There is no room for investigation or out of the box thinking in public school anymore. You are simply not allowed to derail the train with further inquiry.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • ajbuff

      As a parent and a high school teacher, I think one of the most helpful things schools can do is provide all teachers with a class website and REQUIRE them to use it. All my homework, test information, grading information, and even note outlines are posted on my website. I find that parents, even those that do not agree with my teaching style, find it to be very transparent. Likewise, I don't have students saying they did not know about homework (even when they are absent), or about tests, etc. I can justify every bit of work I give them, and my tests are completely aligned with my state's curriculum. Because of the transparency, I can explain which areas any student is struggling with, and I can help direct them to studying methods. I also tell parents and students exactly what is expressed by the comments here – that everyone's brain processes information differently – some students simply sit in class and can absorb everything I say and score very well on state and class assessments. Some students work and work but the verbal decoding and thematic processing is very difficult for them (the way math, or music, or art, or sports, are difficult for some kids) and they do poorly. Not everyone is an A student in every area. When children are not "good enough" to be concern master of the orchestra, or qualify for a sports team, or win a medal, it seems easier to accept. When a child cannot achieve a high grade in a class (although others do) it is very difficult for parents to accept. Add to all of this the pressure of college admission and advanced placement achievement which has made parents believe that if their child is not ready for college material in 10th grade, then they (or the school) has failed them. So I think a combination of factors makes the situation worse and needs to be addressed. Transparency helps parents accept or find constructive ways to improve a child's achievement level.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:50 am |
      • Pam

        I would love it if all of my kids' teachers maintained a web site like you describe! It would make it so much easier for us parents to help our kids and make sure they were on track with everything! Just posting one or two sentences to the "main web site" that the school uses for grades, etc. is often not enough if you have a child that struggles with organization and keeping track of everything. You sound like a great teacher.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:00 am |
      • Motorgrrl

        Having assignments and grades posted online is an essential tool for parents. Teachers who say, "I don't use computers" have no business complaining about parental involvement.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Pam

      I totally agree! My 11 year old has always struggled in math (and gotten help for it at school) and it's been really tough to try to help her at home, especially when she was in the lower grades. The way she was learning multiplication and division was not at all the way I learned it and I was so afraid of confusing her if I helped her with "my way". But I did not know the new way! Now that she's started middle school the challenge is just keeping track of everything since she struggles with that in a big way herself. We try to stay on top of her homework assignments but when some assignments are posted on line, some are just handouts stuffed into her notebook, and some are handwritten in a planner, it is difficult to make sure we got it all. It seems so unorganized and not all in one central location; no wonder she gets confused. A month into the new school year and it is getting better....fingers crossed.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  93. James H

    Starting back with "No Child Left Behind" Americans were fed a bunch of half truths and incomplete facts when it comes to education. In most European countries when you have a discipline problem, it is dealt with regardless of whether it's a dangerous weapon or a disruptive students. In the United States, disruptive students are automatically blamed on the schools. We are ranked 25th in industrialized nations for education. We are also ranked in the 20's for the number of days students go to school and the amount of teachers pay. These industrialized nations in Europe and the rest of the world don't have charter schools, we do. Most teachers want to help children but there hands are being tied by over zealous politicians, standardized testing, forced curriculum's that are illogical, and politicians who claim to act in the best interest of educators but absolutely have no clue what a school is really like. Until there are major shifts in the way we approach education, our school system will continue to disintegrate and fall apart.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • a slozomby

      nothing they teach in high school varies from state to state ( unless you have bible thumpers). so why should a standardized test matter.

      the problem is that the standards arent strict enough. if you cant do basic math and read and comprehend at a 8th grade level then you shouldnt be in the 9th grade.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:27 am |
      • ajbuff

        And we have to wonder why there is such regimented movement between grades? Would it really hurt anyone (other than taxpayers) to retain some kids in 8th grade for a year of remedial or bolster work if appropriate? I think the same thing about high school – why not let kids out after 3 years if they are ready and offer 5 years to those that need it? My older child passed everything and did ok on his SATs, but he really would have been better served by a 5 year track – where he could proceed a pace that would allow him to learn much more and spend an extra year on fundamentals. Likewise we know so many kids who are "A.P.d Out" by junior year and are really ready for college level work (if they are mature personally.) These middle school and high school frameworks are not flexible enough for real learners.

        October 10, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • LivinginVA

      "nothing they teach in high school varies from state to state ( unless you have bible thumpers). so why should a standardized test matter."

      Wrong – each state has its own standards, each state decides what is taught which year. If you were to take, say, Earth Science in Georgia, then took the state "end of course exam" in Earth Science in Georgia, Virginia and New York, you'd get very different scores. The depth and focus can be very different.

      Additionally, I assure you that students who move from, say Alabama who were A/B students tend to spend at least a year as B/C students in Virginia, while students who are B/C students in New York tend to become A/B students in Virginia. The standards vary wildly.

      Furthermore, unless you changed the law, you cannot create a required federal standardized test as education is largely a state issue.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  94. Larry

    I am tired of these liberal pukes indoctrinating my children into mindless democrats.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Craig

      We're tired of conservatives sending us mindless children.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • kj

      Maybe you should home school–I'm sure the teachers wouldn't mind.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • shannon

      I thought my teachers were a good mix of both parties. My social science teacher taught never vote a streight ticket though.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Elizabeth

      All educators are not liberals.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Katie

      And I am tired of the ignorant. closed-minded GOP trying to lower everyone's IQ with their lack of understanding and refusal to learn.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:29 am |
      • parent

        I have 17 years post graduate education, and am a conservative. Are you saying you're smarter than me, or more accurately better educated, because you're a liberal?

        October 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Motorgrrl

      All you teachers who just equated "GOP" with "mindless" just illustrated the problem. You have insulted half of your district's parents. While teaching children both political views is good, classroom discussions tend to stray toward indoctrination. This should be avoided.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  95. Sam

    I've had personal experience teaching in an urban school district. Urban school districts hold the majority of students in this country, which is why the issue should be the state of our urban school districts, not American schooling in general. I'm sure if the academic levels of suburban school districts was measured we would be one of the top in the world. But the behavior of the students in this urban district as well as the environment that their behavior resulted in was absolutely shocking. I wanted to throw up before going to work for the first month, and I couldn't eat breakfast because I couldn't hold anything down. There was a LOT of talk about classroom management and technical pedagogical lingo, but at the end of the day I don't get how reasonable people would not throw their hands up in disgust and simply state that they could not begin any substantive work unless there was a dramatic change. The problem is NOT the teachers or the schools. I gave up teaching when I found that I couldn't seem to find one teacher that after a few years did not degenerate into a bitter yelling wreck of a human.

    October 10, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • teacher

      Very true, I have had a similar experience. I left the city for the "cushy" suburban school system and haven't looked back.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    • Polly

      Yep.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Amanda

      In my "cushy" suburban school I get 3x the results with much larger classes and fewer resources because no children are throwing desks at me and calling me an"evil ugly-a$$ white b!tch." In third grade. If the parents aren't parenting, then I can't teach until I've done their job first. Stop BLAMING every failure on a teacher and HELP instead by teaching your child self control.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • Dan

      There you go, blaming the victims again.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Joe

      Sam, you're wrong. You are repeating a stereotype, and maybe did not spend enough time in these schools. I'm at a 2300 student urban majority black 99% free lunch school. 9 years. Before that, 5 years in NYC. There are a few bitter cranks around, but more because they're holdovers from the 1960's expectations of how a teacher should behave. The rest range from average to great. Sure we're beaten down, and maybe too tired to sweep the halls on a given day. But its nothing like you describe. Poverty is hard to fight, but at least WE'RE DOING IT! :)

      October 10, 2012 at 6:42 am |
      • Chris

        Joe, you're wrong. You haven't spent any time at Sam's school. You may be lucky to teach at an urban school where success and hard work are engrained into the school's culture...or maybe you were instrumental in making that happen. But calling Sam a bitter crank isn't fair and you know it. It is not his fault that his school is not like yours. He alone cannot change the mentality of the students, faculty, and administration. He could try to work his butt off to transform his school, yes, if he were truly 100% committed to the idea, but you cannot fault him for not being so. When politicians ties our hands behind our backs, when parents send us juvenile delinquents and then have the nerve to say we are the problem, when the public chimes in to berate teachers despite them not having been in a classroom in decades and not having the first clue what they are talking about, when class sizes spiral out of control, when school funding is cut, when school lunches suck...well people are just going to get burned out, and it is not because they are bitter cranks or holdouts from the 60s. It's because the education game SUCKS.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:26 am |
      • Judge Dredd

        Black people are what is wrong with this country.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  96. BIZNESS

    I agree...Parental involvement is key to the success of our children. Teachers alone cannot make "all" kids learn because it's a proven fact that, ALL children learn at different paces. That is also a problem with how things are done now a days in the class...Teaching to the test seems to be the normal practice and our government has something to do with that. Understandable to hold teachers accountable but to have kids learn through test packets instead of the basics, is making it harder for teachers to find inspiration now, and thus, making it harder for kids to understand concepts like "Brainstorming." All the work I have seen my son bring home is of the multiple choice type. I remember when we used to have to write down everything and the only time we would see multiple choices, were on test, not on all the homework that was given to us.

    There is no one way to make teaching any easier but I do believe that parents are key to help achieve the goals our teachers set for our children.

    October 10, 2012 at 5:50 am |
  97. orlop

    There is a fine line between supporting teachers and worshiping teachers. When you expect me to worship a teacher, then I have a problem. Some teachers I have encountered do not like being questioned or criticized. If you push an issue the administration and teacher immediately gang up on a parent to make the inconvenient truth go away. This has happened to me both as a child and now 30 years later as an adult in a different school system. This fortress of inflexibility and unaccountability that is called public school needs to be reformed. Don't get me wrong, my daughters have had many great teachers and are at the top of their classes. But honestly, I have found that teachers do not want to hear from parents unless it is praise for them and their efforts. They are an egotistical bunch.

    October 10, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • teacher

      Then take them out of school and teach them yourself, problem solved.

      October 10, 2012 at 5:47 am |
      • harmonypafford

        So the choice is agree with you or we don't get the publicly funded education we have a right to? Sounds reasonable.

        October 10, 2012 at 5:55 am |
      • dad

        That is why we home school. The school system has been broken for quite some time. School system in my area is a bigger pain then it is werth.

        October 10, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • shannon

      agreed, SOME teachers are like that, but that can be said about any proffession and people in general. I had a teacher who was tenure been there for years, she did not bother to stay very current on her subject and often had students correctiing her, and refused to accept the new information. (it would be differnt if she allowed for change as some subjects are hard to keep up with the change) These you must worship me, you could not do my job, i do not wrong kind of people should not be education. They need to be weeded out. But to often unions protect them for whatever reason and it is the students who suffer.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Don F.

      In my experience teachers want parental involvement as long as it is docile. Once parents begin to question some of the way schools run (ususally in situations in which it is plainly obvious that there is ample cause for questioning) then things take a sour note. There is NOTHING that will destroy parental trust and confidence in teachers and administrators than to have both ignore or, worse still, argue against well funded parental concern. Schools are really good at that. If you have any doubt, try raising a well founded complaint concerning very inappropriate teacher behavior (and in my experience there is plenty).

      Yes after many years of public schools we finally threw in the towel and left public education. Best educational decision we ever made. I wish all parents had that opportunity. One of the most striking results were that teacher complaining (other words come to mind) about students, parents, administrators disappeared. Teachers were actually happy with their classrooms and enjoyed their students.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:10 am |
      • steve

        Great typo in the third sentence. Fruedian? There are well funded complaints that seek to shape public educaiton into a particular vision. Typically these shifts favor the well funded.

        October 10, 2012 at 7:30 am |
      • Motorgrrl

        "Educaiton?" Just saying....

        October 10, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Sid

      If this keeps happening in different settings....it just might be you!

      October 10, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • emory gayle

      "My daughters have had many great teachers and are at the top of their classes."

      At least, despite your belief that we are an egotistical bunch, you get the cause and effect.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • BJ

      Absurd. We don't want a mailbox full of empty praise; our biggest pat on the back is a student who has completed their homework and brought in the parent signature showing that mom and dad have seen his nightly readind journal or reoport card.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:44 am |
      • BJ

        Sorry for my typos! I'm in a hurry to get to my classroom two hours early so everything's set to maximize every learning second. :-)

        October 10, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • John

      Orlop – you may be confusing egotistical with defensive. Every time I turn on the news I see some politician scoring easy points by blaming teachers for the ills of the country (ironically). It gets tiresome. Judging by your tone on here, I bet you approached the teacher in a tactless manner and they responded in kind.I know everyone wants a robot, but we are still humans.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Bonnie

      Orlop: As a teacher I will tell you that, like anything in life, it is all in the presentation. Combative, accusatory criticism from a parent would raise the hackles for ANYone, teachers included. When a parent comes to me with a problem, sits down to really listen because they don't agree or don't understand, we are able to come to an understanding and move forward. The parent who approaches me with 'blame' in their heart creates an enormous challenge for us to overcome – and overcome it we must for the sake of the student. Hard as it may be, parents need to understand that it's all about the student, that parents and teachers must finds ways to work together for the benefit of the student. Checking ego at the door is a tough requite for mature, ameliorative and proactive communication with the teacher.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  98. Joyce

    I agree wholeheartedly that parental involvement is probably more important to student success than anything else. Kids who come to school tired, because parents don't set a bedtime, or kids that come to school hungry because they can't even give their kids some cereal or a bagel....and most of all, parents that don't check homework or even ask if their kids have any.....probably causes the most problems for teachers who are trying to teach.

    But this statement, " What they are responsible for: teaching the material itself and the test scores that result." referring to teachers, indicates that test scores do matter, and can be an evaluation tool.

    As long as teachers have the excuse of uninvolved parents, they can claim that it's not their fault that kids don't learn. I'd like to encourage parents to take away that excuse by becoming involved. Unfortunately, uninvolved parents probably aren't reading articles like this, while the involved ones already know the contents.

    October 10, 2012 at 5:24 am |
  99. miscreantsall

    Here's an idea:

    How about parents taking responsibility for raising their little monsters instead of expecting the teachers, government and electronics to do it.

    How about creating only the number of offspring that you are capable of supporting and nurturing?

    Yes, teachers should be held responsible for the limited time they have custody of your kids, but they did not make them and they should not be expected to raise them.

    October 10, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • Judge Dredd

      Now we all know black people cannot do that. Their ancestors where slaves so they personally should not have to work anymore.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  100. James Mulhern

    These are some great messages. Teachers and parents are on the same team. Together we need to brainstorm ways to re-vision education. We need a revolution in education. In the 21st century our educational approach should be synthetic, incorporating "open" pedagogies that are holistic and encourage an awareness of the interconnectedness and simultaneity of ideas across domains, time, media, and disciplines. An overarching concept of our teaching should be "I link, therefore I am" (S. J. Singer, as quoted by Edward O. Wilson in Consilience). As educators, we need to help students synthesize what they are learning in all of their classes by linking ideas among subject areas. We also need to incorporate other non-traditional domains into the classroom experience (those from everyday life), so that students will make connections to "real-life" happenings that are occurring contemporaneously with their lessons. In doing so, themes, images, and ideas will achieve a resonance that is not possible by curriculums that are "closed"–restricted to one discipline, classroom, or setting. A synthetic learning experience reinforces content, encourages the sharing and development of ideas, and facilitates critical thinking skills. Learning is enhanced, especially the ability to synthesize information and make meaningful connections. Student metacognition increases as discussions of relevancy become par for the course, literally. Our students will become the innovative “creative creators.” (Friedman, That Used to Be Us) that our globalized world demands.

    James Mulhern, http://www.synthesizingeducation.net

    October 10, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Don F.

      Pedagogy, now that is a novel concept in public education. Whenever I have attempted to open a discussion fo pedagogy with public education teachers they have acted as though I were talking about some concept beyond their ken. One teacher said they structured their approach because that is the way it came out of the packet. Another said they couldn't be bothered with using testing to gauge concept mastery. Many had no clue as to educational process especially when it relates to writing. One teacher thought that if you gave an assignment that did meet expectations one could simply reassign it and expect significant improvement without any remedial effort to address the expectation/skill/mastery gap. Another could not understand why a rubric was an important assessment tool.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:20 am |
      • Steve

        Whenever? Really? How absolute. You could have stopped after your second sentence.

        October 10, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • akis lak

      if we are talking about elementary school what kids need is to play more and study less. and by "play" i mean all sorts of activities from sports to theatricals and get in touch with nature etc. stuffing up kids with knowledge is a burden. just teach them the basics (maths, languange) and let them free to play. no computers, no piles of books, no assignements outside school. the new era demands balanced individuals and not efficient proffesionals.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:11 am |
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