Ron Clark is an amazing educator who really gets children and how to reach them. He knows that respect, manners and an encouraging environment must be in place before anything academic will stick. Google his name and you'll find accolades from multiple sources, clips of his students performing for the president and countless teachers telling how they've used strategies of music and student interest to create better lessons. Or better yet, for his whole story, watch the made-for-TV movie The Ron Clark story starring Matthew Perry.
In case none of that is ringing a bell, I wanted to give you a little background to be sure you understand the credibility of the article I'm about to post. If you've been an educator at all, even if this is still your first month of your first year, chances are good that you've already encountered a parent who doesn't respect you as an authority figure or who has already challenged a rule or consequence their child has faced. Please hear me say that there are many good families and parents out there and that I am not at all stereotyping every grade school parent as disrespectful. The unfortunate truth of it is, though, that as educators in the current school system, our credibility, authority and basic perception as professionals goes down every year. Not because we aren't doing our jobs and not even because we're bogged down with paperwork & other things that are so prevalent in the education system. No, the credibility of teachers continues to go down because how we're perceived by society continues to drop.
Ron Clark had the opportunity to talk about this issue with CNN and I think he made some clear and valid points. Click on his picture for the article.
Now, how do we get parents to read this with an open heart and mind?