Parents Are Not Our Enemies

Something I am often asked is how my parents react to all of the “weird” things I do in my classroom, such as limited homework, no grades, no punishment/no rewards.  I am often found without an answer to this question because most parents don’t have a reaction, or at least not an adverse one.  While this may stem from all of the upfront communication I do at the beginning fo the year, it may also be that parents actually like the changes I have incorporated.  (And sure, some don’t, I am not perfect, but 99% will start a conversation then).

Often parents seem to be cast as our enemies or adversaries   Those poeple who think they know but really don’t.  Those people who may think they have the best interest of their child in mind but really are terribly outdated in their notion of school.  I ave found that my reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  The parents I work with are educated on their child and their needs, they are the ones that know them best.  They also know that school has changed since they went themselves, and many welcome the changes that they see.  Many are glad that their child is not subjected to the same drill and kill as they were in their youths.  Many have questions, rightfully so, and start real dialogue with me about why I do the things I do.  Often I walk away with great ideas from these conversations.

It is too easy to cast parents as the bad guys when we are afraid of changing our classrooms.  It is too easy to think that they will be opposed.  We truly wont know until we try, and we truly wont be able to try until we get parents aboard.  It is not as hard as it can look to be, but it does take courage and placing faith in your parents.  Are you willing to do that?

2 thoughts on “Parents Are Not Our Enemies”

  1. Pernille, This is a wonderful post and it serves as a great reminder to me to view parents as resources. Too often, that aspect of the teacher-parent relationship is forgotten, and your post does well to force us all to look at this relationship in a different way.Pontus Hiort@pontushiort

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