As many of us struggle to balance our own jobs with parenting we now have the added dimension of stepping to teach our own children. Our community is struggling with if/when our children will return to school.
We have had nightly school committee meetings, the teachers union is mounting a campaign to encourage parents to push back on any plans that involve them teaching live via remote (they want grade level pre-recorded videos). It has created a tremendous divide in our community and any parent who has spoken out about the damage done to the children when schools closed in March (we didn’t really offer instruction for the balance of the year just a handful of google meets) is branded a teacher hater. Some parents have had their homes and vehicles vandalized for speaking out for in person or hybrid learning.
One thing that was brought up is the lack of transparency in schools. Parents are not allowed to visit and observe. If a parent wants to see what goes on in their child’s day, they would have to seek special permission and would not be able to visit without lots of notice, unlike say a daycare where parents are permitted to visit.
A vocal parent pointed out that there is little accountability for teachers, some are outstanding and some are terrible but parents are never allowed to know what is going on. Another parent pointed out that unlike a business where a manager is responsible for supervising and managing their staff, that isn’t how schools are set up. A principals job is not to manage teachers but to handle school
My children attended parochial school in another city before we moved and every parent was required to volunteer in some capacity and had a tremendous level of interaction with their child’s teachers and administrators. In our public schools parents are discouraged from volunteering and usually only used for things like the PTA bake sale.
I had never thought about it much before, I trusted the schools were doing a good job. In the spring when they closed it became apparent they didn’t know how to adapt or change and 5
months later, they still refuse. They would rather not teach remotely and this keep schools closed, it makes me
wonder why? Are they afraid remote teaching exposes bad teachers or do the teachers just not want to teach? I hear privately from teachers they do want to teach but they can’t do it remotely, often because their union says it’s not acceptable and an invasion of the teachers privacy to teach online.
Now that I stand back and think about it, why are schools so closed off? Why are parents limited in how much we can know about the place our kids spend 6 hours per day? 1 classroom tour and a mid year parent conference is typically all the interaction parents have with teachers which looking at it, seems strangely limited.