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Dear Parents, It’s Not Always the Teacher’s Fault — It’s Your Child

It was Tuesday morning, and Teacher Jessa was walking at the hallway to meet her first class. Everything’s normal, but today, there is one (extra) errand that she needs to finish before attending her class: a visit to the principal’s office. Today, she will face the grim-faced parents of one of her students who got a failing grade from her. Indeed, it is evident that the parents are demanding an explanation from her. Honestly, it was a typical day for Teacher Jessa, and for all the teachers out there who have faced this similar situation.

Whether teachers like it or not, it will be part of their job to deal with these kinds of situations where parents demand an explanation about their child’s not-so-good academic results, yes, being a teacher, is not for the faint-hearted and hot-headed ones.

Some parents see teachers as the only liable person on their kids failing grades. It appears that we are a quick and easy target to shoot on in these circumstances. But as teachers know, we only play a part on a child’s whole learning ecosystem. We are not the world; we don’t and can’t hold everything.

There are other factors that directly and indirectly affects the students’ performance at school. Everybody must be aware that parents also affect a child’s academic performance. Indeed, it is a delicate thing to discuss when facing grim-faced parents. Though we should also understand why parents see the way they see, it will be vital for us teachers to clearly explain the role of everybody in a student’s learning ability and good performance at school.

A teacher’s perspective and outlook must not be confined inside the classroom; these things must go beyond there. Having a foresight is one of the many job descriptions of a teacher, that whatever she does inside the school, she must ensure that it will be a big help for her students’ future, and not just to merely survive the day.

Setting a standard and fostering discipline inside the classroom has a potential to send most of the students’ grades down the line, and face the ‘wrath’ parents just what like Teacher Jessa had experienced, and these are the risks of truly fulfilling a teacher’s job – something that parents should understand.

When teachers start acting like babysitters, tolerating the whims and wrong attitudes of their students, they will inevitably face less risks, but they will certainly rip-off their students’ future.

A student’s failing academic performance is a clear sign that something is going wrong. It will be a great chance for teachers and parents to tackle and discover the real problems that loom behind. It could be an environment at home that discourages a child’s motivation. The problem could be a distraction or something from the student’s past experiences. The difficulties can come from anywhere. Issues can also arise in things where parents are not looking into. It is not necessary for teachers to dip their fingers on their student’s personal lives. What matters most is a discussion between parents and teachers, for them to see the real problem. It is essential for the parents to understand that teachers should not be blamed (or not carry all the blame) for the failing performance of their child.

Whenever we finish our students’ final grades, it won’t show us the whole story behind every pupil, but it will surely give us a glimpse of what’s happening behind these students, especially those students whose grades are swooping below the average. Yes, there is a problem that must be addressed.

Parents might say that they are working hard and paying a premium to fund their child’s education. Indeed, it’s an unarguable fact. Teachers should expect that this issue will be raised, and must know how to elevate the child’s issue above monetary things.

It is crucial for teachers to clearly explain that a child’s learning ability is not solely dependent on financial means. It must be emphasized that aside from money, there are also three critical things that parents should provide for their kids: an atmosphere of learning at home, values, and discipline for their children.

Yes, we all know, even for us teachers, that these things are easier said than done, but that’s how everything should work, that teachers, parents, guardians, and institutions must play all their respective parts on a child’s learning ecosystem. We have a role to play, whether we think we can’t do it or not.

With these problems and arguments that teachers are facing, it seems that their role in teaching expands outside the walls of the classroom. It has now become their role to “teach” the importance of parents’ participation. Parents must take part in ensuring their child’s excellent performance at school. It is not through nagging, forcing and pressures–things that will be counterproductive for the child in the end. It is through providing the right values that, first and foremost, the parents must have. Emotional support for their children must not be taken for granted. They must also make an effort in providing an environment at home that is conducive for learning. It seems too much for parents with round the clock schedule on their careers, but these responsibilities come with raising a child.

In the end, the child’s welfare must be the top priority; both sides (teachers and parents) must cooperate to truly see the problems that affect the child’s performance at school, to shoot down the real issues and not dwell on the wrong ones.

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

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