Sunday, October 22, 2006

Failing Our Children: Get Off Your A## and Stop Being Lazy

I was at parent-teacher night at my daughter's middle school last week, and for the most part, the ignorance was kept at a minimum. However, as I was waiting to speak with my daughter's math teacher, I overheard the conversation he was having with the parents of one of her classmates. Apparently, the boy has an F in math, and had an F in the first reporting period also. I couldn't hear exactly what the mother was saying, but I could tell she was getting indignant with the teacher, and I could tell he was extremely frustrated; while the father sat there quietly, looking disinterested. I felt like smacking the "ish" out of both of them for being so damn ignorant.

Before questions about whether the white teacher was being fair to the black child arise, let me say that this teacher provides the parents with every opportunity to stay informed about their child's progress. Progress reports are sent home weekly; homework assignments are emailed to parents daily (or, if email is not an option, parents can call into the Homework Hotline to get homework assignments); and the teacher is readily available to provide extra one-on-one help to students before and after school.

Why is it that black folks think its okay to just send their kids to school, and do nothing to ensure that their children are performing at their best level? Teachers are there to provide our children with the information they need to be successful. Parents are there to act as advocates for our children to ensure their success. If we don't advocate for our kids, no one else will. We have to ensure that our kids are not only doing their homework, but doing it correctly. That means we have to take the time to check their homework. On any given weeknight, I spend at least 2 hours checking and helping my daughter with her homework.

I understand the difficulty associated with doing this in the many single-parent households in our community, being one of those single parents myself; however, we set our kids up for failure when we don't take an interest in how they are performing at school. This is where the importance of family, or some other support system comes into play. When I was having to work or go to school at night, I was fortunate to have family and friends who helped raise my child, including helping her with her homework.

It was just plain ignorant for that woman to be giving the math teacher a hard time for her son's failing grades. It was even more ignorant for the boy's father to be sittin' there looking like he couldn't care less how his child was doing. Unfortunately for this child, neither one of his parents appears to be engaged in his success, relying solely upon teachers to educate their child. These types of reticent attitudes need to change in order for our kids to avail themselves of the many opportunities presented to them.

By the way, this poor child also has an F in his science class, which I overheard as I was waiting to speak with the science teacher. His parents ought to be ashamed of themselves.



Notta's Sista said...


Chuck and Garland (What Are Men Thinking?) said...

Hello Notta'

Parent interaction is so crucial in a childs education, that it amazes me when people treat teachers like daycare providers.

That's not a knock on daycare of course, but teachers are - like you said, giving the information. The parents have to reinforce it and help the children digest it.

Sadly this problem is so incredibly widespread throughout our community, that it will take generations to correct it. And this is even worse for our people because the higher paying jobs are going to have higher technical and educational requirments that go along with them. And kids bringing home D's and F's are just not going to going to be able to cut the mustard.


ronnie brown said...

as a Special Education instructor, i can speak to this subject (unfortunately) with first hand experience. special ed has become the dumping ground for many black children, not because of any mental or physical lack...just the lack of academic preparation and parental oversight. seemingly parents are more interested in outfiting their children in the latest Nike "Air Force One's" then cultivating their educational prowess.

Hathor said...

I think some parents still have there own phobias they had in school. They are not confident enough to think they know how to guide their children. I think sometime the reaction like you saw is because the parent(s) don't want to admit their ignorance. In some families, teacher are much like doctors, and they are thought to do best, and shouldn't be interfered with. Unfortunately others just do not value education or understand its value.

Chuck and Garland (What Are Men Thinking?) said...

HATHOR has an interesting point. Maybe some folks are still intimidated by a teacher or by a classroom.

But, these people have to really get past that foolish mindset. Their weakmindedness is going to be truly detrimental to their children.

This kind of stuff makes me wish that people had to pass a written test to be parents! Yeah - that's just a joke - nobody beat me up, please. But this "scared" mentality along with the folks that want to keep their kids blingin' and flossin' (like RONNIE BROWN said) only proves that a lot of folks just aren't qualified to raise children.

The worst part in all of this is that there are a lot of kids that are not getting prepared intellectually for the harsh realities that life is going to bring them.


Notta Golddigger said...

I'm not totally against the idea of requiring people to be tested before they have kids -- which is completely adverse to my liberal views on the right to privacy! But some of these fools who shake their kids to death, use them as weapons (like the woman who swung her baby at her man like it was a bat), or abuse them in some other kind of way really make me think that testing is not such a bad idea.

However, in all seriousness, this is a huge problem in our community. Our children are more often than not already at a disadvantage when it comes to the quality of schools/instruction and the facilities in which they learn; they need that extra support from their parents to overcome those shortcomings. And if their parents haven't gotten over their own shortcomings, then hell, we need to help them get over their shortcomings. It definitely takes a village...


inciquay said...

What big ears you have! LOL
No really, this is an excellent post. My mom was on top of my ass to make sure my grades were up and she never missed a parent teacher night. I've had a few teachers and principals in my family and it's heartbreaking to hear how upset and guilty they can come home feeling, after being chewed out by parents who don't do anything on their end to help their own child.

Golden Silence said...

Too many parents bring children into the world and they just don't care. They then want someone to blame for their shortcomings so they take it out on the teacher. Tell a parent they're a bad parent? The response will be "F*** you! Y'all don't know me!" Anyone calls them out on their bad parenting and it causes them to think it's an insult to them.

More productive adults can be brought into society if we had more productive parents raising them!