Finally, the “Who’s your teacher?” question was answered.
Our elementary school released classroom information last week. It had been a question on every parents’ lips. And, for some, it had been an agonizing six-month wait for the answer.
As a kid, I remember having good teachers. I also remember some that were not so good. I had one in the ninth grade who didn’t even know I was in his class. I was being picked on and my mom went to school to meet with him and the principal. He claimed I wasn’t in his class. Then the principal showed him the class list with my name on it.
Some parents want to avoid teachers like this. They want to increase the odds of their student getting a good teacher. They talk to other parents. They agonize over which ones are the best and which ones they hope their children don’t get.
Some contact the principal and ask (or demand) for their child to have a certain teacher.
It’s not that I don’t care about the quality of our kids’ teachers. I do. I just look at it differently.
In a broad sense, the teachers work for me. It is my tax dollars that ultimately pay their salary. If one of our children has a teacher who is not doing a good job, I consider it my responsibility to do something about it.
I would talk to the teacher and the principal. I would meet with the superintendent, if necessary. I would do whatever I could to find a solution that worked for our child.
What I will not do is work to avoid that teacher.
First of all, there is a wide opinion on what makes a good teacher. I like to find out for myself. Secondly, with four kids, the odds are that we will eventually have every teacher in the school at some point. And third, avoiding a teacher doesn’t help make the school better. The overall quality of the school’s staff affects our kids even if they never have the teacher another parent says we should avoid.
With every teacher our children have had, issues have come up that I have addressed with them. Together we found solutions. This is how it is supposed to work, I believe.
So I don’t stress this time of the year. I don’t worry about who our children have for teachers. I will work with their teachers, as I always do, so that our kids have another great year.
Al Watts is an at-home dad of 4 children living in west Omaha and the President of The National At-Home Dad Network. He writes regularly for The Good Men Project and Role/Reboot and is co-editing a book project titled “Dads Behaving Dadly: Chronicles of the Fatherhood Revolution.” Read him Wednesdays on momaha.com.
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