"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

Parents as Partners in the Classroom


“Is the start of school always like this?” one of my interns asked this week.
Short answer: no.

First week down…and what a week it was.
Classroom management has always been my one of my strong points, but times are changing in the schools these days.
I’m trying to hold the line, but
I am appalled at the lack of respect for adults as well as other children…from children as well as some parents.
This week, I have been cursed at (by a four year old!), received three rude notes because parents didn’t like the district approved school supply list, had a desk pushed at me, and witnessed a variety of responses including eye rolls, smacking, and muttering.
Am I mad? Yes. I’m mad because about half of my class acts beautifully. They come in, interact, are polite, and they should not have to witness this day after day. None of us should.
So. I decided to let go of some teaching time and get on the phone the minute an issue came up today.
My interns and I had a fair day–not great, but better. We accomplished a lot with our students. We even ended the day with poetry…a good way to say goodbye on a Friday afternoon.
However, we also stopped instruction several times to redirect children, to practice routines and procedures, to call parents.
This has become the “normal” of teaching for many of us. I don’t like it when my teaching is interrupted.
Luckily, most of the parents I talked to today agree. They don’t like it either. Some vowed to take care of issues this weekend. Others came to the school and took care of it then and there. We need more of that.
One parent informed me her child was not having an issue at all. Someone else was causing the problem. Funny how she could know that without hearing the story or being here.
Parent communication is critical in today’s teaching world. Teaching truly is a partnership.
As I often remind my interns and students, “I do not have time to make up lies about little children.”
I know this: I am a good teacher and I will have a great year with those children who choose to be respectful and follow the expectations of our class.
The others are welcome to find another place to go…and no teacher in my hall is a taker. We are united in fourth grade and we are calling our supportive parents to join us.
There is strength in numbers, and we are determined to help one another so that our children can learn in the best setting.
I dare anyone to get in my way.


Author: agnestirrito

I write. Make art. And in between, I do the best I can. ✌🏼️

2 thoughts on “Parents as Partners in the Classroom

  1. Well said. Children need parents to be parents.

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