A message to teachers…

by Rod Smith

Make neither the child you teach nor his parents into your enemy. Contempt, even slight contempt, for your students and their families, will not further the honorable goals of a good teacher, but infect the classroom environment to the detriment of all.

No matter how poorly students or their parents might behave, you will not be capable of effective teaching if you engage in conflict with members of your school’s community. There are many, and complicated, reasons that children (and their parents) misbehave.

Teachers, being as close, and as involved as they are to families, can frequently become the most convenient of targets for the frustrations of both the children and their parents.

Don’t take it personally. Don’t allow a child’s or a parent’s aggression to succeed in engaging you in conflict. Fighting with the children you teach, or their parents, will not do you or anyone any good at all.

Aggression, like anxiety, is contagious. It immobilizes, polarizes, and has no redeeming qualities for the classroom teacher. You, the teacher, are the professional in your field. It is hard to learn from an enemy (real or perceived) or in the presence of one. You are called to be above engaging in conflict with your student and parent community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s