Where does teaching end and parenting begin?

In my day to day life, I see many strange and unusual things.  I know that the majority of the strange and unusual things I see are only strange and unusual to me.  I have long since accepted that my brain doesn’t process things the way most people’s do.  However, one thing I saw a while ago (and has been festering ever since) I would hope would make others think about it the way I do.

I have mentioned before that I work at a school.  I won’t say which, but if you dig just a tiny bit, you will know which one.  All around the school, they have posters which list expectations of the students in the various areas.  Most are common sense reminders.  One, however, I am saddened to see.  It is this one:

Img0001_11-30-2012Now, the first time I saw this sign, I was a little shocked.  I mean, do we really need to have the school install these ‘traits’ into the kids?  I would think  that the parents should have taken care of this.  These signs are very large (I cropped this one for ease of reading and to prevent the school being known in the photo) and they are laminated.  A decent amount of time and money went into these.  Is this really necessary?  Has our child-rearing skills deteriorated so far that we need to rely on the schools to give half-grown children these simple, basic life skills?  Should I really be shocked by this?  I still laugh at the touchy-feely liberal mentality of the last one….What are we expecting?  Do we want the kids to feel like #1 while they go #2?

I have been hearing for years about and from the teachers that will have a class of 22 kids and only have 2-3 show up for conferences.  Is this the result?  Do we now have to spend time and resources teaching our kids in school things that they should be learning from their parents?   Is there any wonder why our schools are so far down?  I have seen a picture online shared by some liberals that think that all of our school problems would go away if we paid our teachers huge sums of money.  That is irrelevant to the problem.  You can pay each and every teacher $500,000 a year, but if they have to waste time teaching these simple things instead of the parents doing it, we will still have a low quality education system.  There are several issues with teacher’s unions that are a strain on the public sector, but this one falls squarely on the parenting. This is not all parents however.  Unfortunately, it is a larger and larger percentage of parents every day.  Until we find a way to hold parents accountable for their lack of parenting skills or their unwillingness to teach their kids even basic lessons, it doesn’t matter how much the teachers make, how much recess time they have, or if they have to take standardized tests…Our schools will continue to decline.  These parents may claim that the school has failed their children when in fact it was them that failed their children.

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