:Dear Abby: “Chaplin, Conn., Reader” (Aug. 16) suggested that teachers should be sharing life lessons with children. Unfortunately, many people in our society believe it — including parents. Students come to us with ever-increasing deficits in many non-curricular areas. But it is NOT the job of public educators to teach them the importance of families, helping grandparents, caring for household pets, etc.
If these things come up in the course of the day and there is a need to address them, we try to clarify any misconceptions. But taking time to prepare and teach a lesson on any of these small but important subjects is no longer an option. The demands placed on teachers today are vast and complex. Just getting parents to follow through at home on school responsibilities is a job in itself. Many of them don’t seem to think they need to help their kids be successful in school.
Seen It All In Michigan
Dear Seen It All: Thank you for your comments. The letter from “Chaplin, Conn. Reader” brought a HUGE number of responses on this issue, primarily from teachers:
Dear Abby: I have worked in an elementary school for nine years. A teacher is a counselor, doctor, social worker and behavioral specialist all in one. Kids come to class dirty, hungry, tired, with no manners or clue about the alphabet or counting. Teachers have halted lessons because a child is in a meltdown. Some kids have never held a pencil or scissors, and don’t know how to share or take directions from an adult. It’s sad to hear them say they have no crayons at home or books to read. As for testing, unless the parents do THEIR job, we will see little improvement in scores. And no, I don’t work in a big-city school district — this is a nice suburban area.