I was talking to a teacher Saturday who told me the parents of a lot of the children she teaches are idiots. She said her educational philosophy is to teach children skills and help them build character by applying appropriate discipline and giving appropriate rewards.
That means, she said, that not every kid in a class is likely to get a trophy.
Actually, she doesn’t give out trophies. She’s not a coach. But she gives rewards in other ways for good behavior and demonstrations of good scholarship.
And it has gotten her in trouble with some of the parents.
These parents criticize her because their children go home and tell mom and/or dad that the teacher is picking on them. Other kids, they say, get stars beside their names on a bulletin board while they, the not-so-good students, get no stars.
This upsets the moms and dads, who think, “this teacher is not giving us respect.”
In most cases like this, the teacher told me, she already has talked by phone to the moms and dads about their underperforming children.
“They don’t seem to care,” she said.
But they do care enough about their own egos to go to the school, go before the principal and tell the principal what a terrible teacher she is.
“They don’t really care all that much about their kids,” she said. “They don’t really care whether their kids get an education. They just don’t want to have their kids whining at them.”
She said the parents who do care have the opposite attitude. She said they explain to their kids that they need to work harder if they want stars beside their names. It is the nature of the world, they tell their kids.
Actually, this is not a new phenomenon. Not all kids are alike. Some do better than others at various things.
But I remember that I learned about the consequences of poor performances. I am glad I did, but apparently some parents for some reason haven’t learned that yet.