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"when you're a mom you'll understand"
Old 05-17-2013, 12:29 PM
 
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I really hate that phrase. I know deep down it's true, but I hate it when people tell me that I'll have a better understanding when I'm a mom. No, I don't understand why you can't read with your kid each night, no I don't understand why homework isn't turned in weekly, no I don't understand why you believe your child can't do anything when they are very very capable!


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Old 05-17-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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I agree with you. Its another excuse that is used to "justify" why the parent is not helping at home.
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"You'll Understand When You Are a Mom"
Old 05-17-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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My response to this parent...

"I do understand!! I am trying to teach your child, and in the meantime, I am trying to teach you to be a good parent. If that does not make me your "mom," then I am not sure what would!!

I understand that you do not want to read or do homework with your child. Unfortunately, who is that hurting. It surely is not hurting me. It is not hurting you either. But it is hurting your child. I just do not understand how you can hurt your child this way. Part of your job description as a mom is to do these things with your child so he/she does not fail. If it is OK with you for your child to be a failure, then I guess I have a lot of work to do to make you a better parent."

or

"It is fine with me if you decide not to read or do homework with your child. I will be glad to do it during my free time which will be your child's recess. I know how upset your child is going to be because he/she needs to miss recess, so I will need to tell him/her that this is the consequence for having a parent who is not willing to assist with reading and homework."

If you were able to contact my friends, family, and staff, you would know this is exactly what I would say...and then walk away!!

Sometimes you need to be the mean girl...or hit parents over the head with a frying pan!!

IMHO, it is way past time for teachers to be brutally honest with parents!!

Last edited by ConnieWI; 05-17-2013 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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I am a mom to 25 children each day, because a description of a mom is a person that loves and cares for a children and makes sure that their well being, emotionally and academically is always met. I do this each and every day with each of my students.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:58 PM
 
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I do understand more now that I am a mom and live that life. I understand that it IS possible to get it all done IF you sacrifice and guide and set time for homework and discipline and, oh, I don't know...freaking PARENT! All the things you listed I am even less understanding about than I was pre-parent. I was the sweetest, most understanding lady you could ever meet. "It must be so hard. So many parents say this. I must not understand how much it must truly take." Now that I do have kids and do it all and I KNOW what it takes , I can smell the bull stank from a hundred miles away.


Until you are a parent, you will not understand how much you actually do understand right now. More than I did.


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Old 05-17-2013, 05:43 PM
 
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I am a mom and a grandmother. I still don't understand their excuses. I managed to raise considerate, hard working responsible kids. I don't understand why they can't. I also worked full time, spent many hours on school related stuff and drove my son all over the state to participate in his sport, 12 months a year, 5 days a week! He never skipped doing his homework.

Understanding does not automatically come from experience, it comes from a desire to listen, understand and relate. Some teachers who have kids understand, others don't. Some teachers who are child free understand, some don't. That's life.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:13 AM
 
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I am in the minority here. I am a mother (my son is grown now) and a teacher. I never understood the big deal about homework. If my child is in school for 7 hours per day, five days a week, why does he need more (an hour or more) work at home? I didn't mind projects, but homework is useless. I didn't improve my ability to read or to calculate at home. I learned the foundations in school and applied them as they were needed. It's called lifework, not homework.

My job as a mother was to prepare my child to enter kindergarten with letter and number sense, to know the shapes and colors, to be able to recognize his name in print and to print his name. I sent him to kindergarten armed with respect. That was my job. He did just fine.

My job as a a teacher is to use the time allotted to me to facilitate the education of young minds, mainly cultivating the three Rs. Infused in what we do is building upon the sense of right and wrong that parents taught their child. We prepare children for real world encounters and that includes consequences for choices. Beyond the time I spend with my students, I hope that when they leave school premises they go home and engage in some sort of physical activity, get some fresh air, and eat a good meal. That is my hope, but it is not my responsibility. The life I was responsible for is now 22 years old and making his own choices, all of which I hope are productive. However, he is now the master of his destiny. I have learned to let that part of mothering go, just as I release homework. My students will learn at school. What they do at home is a family thing. I am not going to penalize a child for not doing school work at home. The county may strongly suggest we assign homework, but a child's grade will never suffer if he did not do school work at home. During my time with them, I know what they can and cannot do.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:32 AM
 
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Kristabel, I can't speak for the other posters. However, I teach in a school that is 100% free lunch, located in the middle of (literally) a housing project. The vast majority of the parents are un- or under-educated. A few can't read at all even though they were born in this country and went to public schools. They LOVE their children, I have no doubt, but often their idea of good parenting is far from what I dream for my first grade students. For instance, many of my students had not held a book until they arrived in kindergarten (or first grade, since mandatory schooling starts at 6). Some came to kindergarten not knowing their full name or anything past a nickname like "Boo." Several could not sing the alphabet song or count past ten. The vast majority have never been read to. Their sense of right and wrong consists of "Hit back and hit harder," cultivated by the gun violence that is rampant almost every night. When our school serves cucumbers or carrots or pepper strips, many of the kids devour them and ask for more, having never tasted these things before (fresh food is not a priority). Many of them have functional vocabulary (Get in bed. Put on your clothes. We are leaving.) but have trouble with conversational vocabulary (What was the best part? Why did you like that part? Tell me all about your mom.). All things I would define as 'poor parenting' unless you have some pretty severe extenuating circumstances (disability, etc.). However, many of these parents feel strongly that they ARE good parents and would be angry if I had implied otherwise. Their children come to school wearing Nike Jordans --Don't you know they sacrificed to buy those? Their kids had breakfast this morning (powdered donuts and a Coke, they threw the wrappers away in my trash)--What do you mean they're hungry before lunch?! Their kids can focus for hours on the two different game consoles at their house--They do NOT have trouble focusing!

Especially in September, but really all year, I am in 'parent training' mode for at least 2/3 of the parents of my students. I have to advocate for my students to receive academic and behavioral home support. The homework is minimal, but it's designed to build habits and connections. For instance, each kid gets to choose an on-level book to take home and read to anyone (adult, brother, sister, dog, stuffed animal). Hopefully the parent WANTS to hear their child read (which is a pretty cool new skill!), but if not, maybe they'll hear it from afar or at least the kid has ACCESS to one book a night after school. No reading log--Parents would just sign it without listening to their kid so I gave up. I also send a spelling list. We practice the spelling pattern all week in school, which should be enough to master it. However, some parents will ask during phone calls/conferences, "Did you see that I had her practice her words?" or "Did he get 100 on his test?" and I consider that a WIN because the parent is invested in their child's success and feels that they had a direct impact on it. The worksheet I send home is usually a 5-10 minute independent task, and is not really the focus, but does give the parents of the really struggling students an idea that they're struggling.

When a parent asks how they can help their child improve, my answer is always around the library. It's free, it's heated/air conditioned, it has computers so you can use the internet, it has games for you to play with your child, and books! Read to your child. If you can't read, look at the picture and tell them a story and that's just as good. Talk about the story--Would you like to do that? Do you feel that way sometimes? Isn't that so gross? Make a time for it every night that you can before bed with the TV off ("Oh, she can't fall asleep/do homework/eat/get dressed without the TV on!") for just 10 minutes.

To sum it up, I give homework as a habit-former around things that more educated parents already do. I'm trying to give the parents a framework for supporting their child's education AND trying to support the child's literacy growth. Homework is a big deal when the child with few education-building experiences is coming in way under the bar set by their same-age peers who are getting the kind of home support that adds to their educational goals even without homework. If the parents of my students were giving their child the same experience that you gave your child, I'd feel the same way you do.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:46 AM
 
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Things like reading ARE a family thing. Homework can be a family thing. My job as a mother is to prepare my kids for higher education and for life. Not teach the ABCs and 123s and then wash my hands of their education. That's just bizarre to me.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:03 AM
 
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OK, I should get on my flameproof suit, since I am going to agree with the statement a little. I completely understand that excellent teachers do not have to be parents to do their job well. However, there really is no way for those teachers to TRULY have the insight of what is involved with raising a child.

I am a veteran teacher and a mother of 3. There are just some nights when there is chaos in the house...trying to get dinner for a family of 5, making sure the kids have clean clothes for tomorrow, getting everyone completing homework without meltdowns, driving to and/or picking up kids from activities, etc. etc. all after I have worked a full day. There have been times when I have written notes to the (childless) 4th grade teacher who assigned 35 long division math problems to say that my DD had a bad night, had a meltdown so I just told her to stop and go to bed. Only to have the teacher not understand why homework cannot be completed.

So, when you say you can't understand why a parent cannot read nightly with their child, or why a parent believes their child when the child says they cannot do something if they are capable...at least you admit that you CANNOT understand that. You have no idea what is going on at home with that child. You have no idea if that child is anxious or sad, the heartwrenching sadness watching your child suffer for a myriad of reasons depending on the age.

Most parents love their child deeply. This quote "I am a mom to 25 children each day, because a description of a mom is a person that loves and cares for a children and makes sure that their well being, emotionally and academically is always met." from a previous childless teacher is just NOT true. The bond between a parent and a child is the strongest one there can be IMO. Just meeting needs does not even come close. I don't care how much you "love" your students.

You simply cannot understand (as you admit) so please don't bash parents whose child is not meeting every ideal objective that you have put in place in your classroom. I am MUCH more understanding of parents now that I have been a parent myself, than in my early teaching days when I did not have children.


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Old 05-18-2013, 07:30 AM
 
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As always there are 2 sides to every story, and this is one of them. Both sides of the argument have valid points. Of course, families should be reading and working and playing games with their kids. Spending family time. But in reality, there are night when things come up, even in the most functional families.

Things we see at school, are not the same things parents see at home. Some of the sweetest, kindest children have insecurities and anxieties that make them different children at home. My own were perfect at school. They can home and cried about the hurt feelings, or not being good enough, or whatever. Taking care of those emotional needs sometimes was more important than some homework assignment. When my dd starting reading just so she could log minutes on a reading log, it broke my heart. When my dd was home crying because if the A student didn't do well, she would have to go to summer school and I had to tell her "I don't care what your teacher said, if you miss every question on the test, you won't go to summer school." Teachers don't always realize the power they innocently have over a child's life - and they don't always deal with the aftermath of things they say and do.

I have a student this year who tells me often that she wasn't able to get homework done because she spent hours at her brother's track meet, or things were hectic and she didn't get this done. I tell her - life is going to be like that. You and your family are going to have to work something out so that you can still take care of your responsibilities. Then, sitting in the lounge listening to the two childless teachers bashing their parents whose child didn't do their homework packet and saying how there is never a reason why that can't be done. You know that there are many reasons why that might have to take a back seat to life. We think we know it all. I have heard teachers (especially on here) who look at everything with black and white lenses - but life isn't like that. There are a lot of grey areas in this world. So many things happen at homes that we are never going to be privvy to. Teachers have to be teachers. Not parent monitors, which is what I see much of the profession thinking they are.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:44 AM
 
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I never really wanted to be a mom. I had the "what ifs" from time to time.

I know it is seen as a selfish reason but I didn't think I could take care of a kid 24/7 365 days a year for the duration of their childhood and then worry about their well being the remainder of their adulthood.


I am 39. I was 18 to 23 when I went to college to be a teacher. I would never say now I know what moms go through. It is interesting now that most moms are younger than me many by a decade.

If someone says to me when you are a mom you will understand. I can smile now knowing really in my heart I don't want to be a mom.

I can tell my life is different though: this year I have been getting my hair done, buying clothes, and reading celebrity gossip. Where before I had "non-mommy sadness".

I see on "social media" how different my life is and sometimes get comments. Even been unfriended by "friends" and family. I am at peace though. Take care.

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Old 05-18-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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I don't let my kids pull anything like that so I wouldn't understand the meltdown excuse. I can see a special needs kid getting away with that I guess. I will never understand not getting reading done now because I have four kids, two in college and two in middle school now. When they were all at home and I had big kids and little kids, I did a lot of pre planning to get it done.I used my slow cooker a lot. Frozen pre made casseroles and sometimes take out if we could afford it. Cooking dinner and doing it efficiently is all planning and never an excuse imo. Kids had clip boards and supplies so that when we were at one activity for another kid,they can read with me and do homework. I was a single mom for a big chunk of the lives of the older two and still did it should never be the reason and kids should be trained not to throw fits.That is a parenting issue and my kids tried it a few times but after being disciplined and not allowed to quit they stopped trying. I have an anxiety disorder and I do receive medication and it does okay, but I would never be allowed to throw a fit and not do my job and still keep that job. Kids with anxiety need ways to settle it,techniques to get through and attack and some time away but letting them get away from it by quitting is such a bad idea. Avoidance is a huge issue with GAD and SAD people and the mmore it is used the more it is relied upon. If I avoided all my triggers without applying my techniques and get through it I would not have any kind of life at all, unless you consider the life of a bedridden invalid a life. School work is important, education is important and I wouldn't have been well off enough to support my two kids ad provide a normal life without it and my oldest two are successful and we didn't have to pay a cent to Texas Tech, if that says anything to anyone. They got scholarships and jobs and are able to be self sufficient. I see a lot of parents whose kids are grown and still so dependent on them for everything, have problems that require mom and dad t drop everything and revolve around th em and wondered the parents even realize how much they have contributed to that neediness.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:50 AM
 
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I would first like to state that I do agree the bond between a mother and her child is a bond that is unique. I have seen this bond with mothers that in my opinion do not know how to mother. They allow their children to control them. They send their children to school in the winter with no coat or socks. Their child is always hungry, and yet I have to believe that they do love their child and I know their child loves them because I hear the child speak about the love he or she has for his or her mother. This power also holds true for a father and his child and the child and the father.

I also know teachers that have met the needs of their students where the students look to them as a second mom. Many stay in touch with each other for years and years.

I work in a district where often the only kind word a student may get is from a teacher. Some of my students are "starving" for attention, a kind word, a hug, encouragement, etc. Please do not discount the "power" of being a teacher and how it impacts a student and a student's needs.

Please note the quote you used in MY quote about being a mom to 25 children each day.

I wonder if your thought of that quote would be different if you were aware that NOT ONLY am I AM MOM of TWO grown children NOW, but also an actively involved grandmother. IN ADDITION I am an aunt, but not just an aunt, but an aunt that for eight years raised two of my nieces. I am also a sibling of a very large family, female and male.

Therefore, when I made the statement about being a mom to 25 children each day, I totally get what it is to be a mother. I understand everything that you wrote about having to go home after working all day and taking care of my own family. I know what it is like to be tired. I know what it is like to have to deal with children that have their own personalities, and still try and be a "wife." I get it all.

What I don't get is why anyone would ever make a statement like, "You'll understand when you are a mom yourself."

I'll take my point a little further and maybe you will see where I am coming from.

I have a son and a daughter, therefore I have first hand experienced the genetic differences in how males and females OFTEN (not always) do the same thing differently.

Example: If I were to call both of my children to the living room to have a conversation they would come. My daughter would sit down. My son would climb up the arm of the couch, crawl across the back of the couch, climb back down the other arm, crawl back across the back of the couch and drop down into the seat part of the couch. Both have sat down, but one took a different approach to finding his seat.

Now that I have set the setting.

My questions are:

Do you think teachers that ONLY have male children can understand what it is like to raise a female child?

Reverse this question for the teacher with the female child only raising a male child?

Or, what about the teacher with twins?

Or, what about the teacher with a child that has physical limitations, or has an IEP?

Or, what about the teacher that has a child addicted to something?

I do agree that our own personal experiences do impact everything we do in life, because they make us. BUT I do not agree that these personal experiences are the ONLY experiences that can make us.

Just because I was lucky enough to have a female and male child does not necessarily make me a better teacher. NOR does the fact that one of my children had a different learning style than most of the other students make me a better teacher.

Being a parent is hard work. We can all agree on this, I'm sure. Being a teacher is also hard work. Once again, we can all agree on this, hopefully.

I suppose the bottom line, for me, is just because I may have raised children my personal "insight" may not help me nor hinder me when I am addressing parents when I am wearing my teacher hat.

As a parent, etc. I still do NOT get it when a parent tells me they don't have time for their child. This statement actually makes my blood boil. Our sole purpose when we become parents, whether planned or not, is to make sure we always make the time for our children. Even when we don't feel like it, which as a working mother is often.

Even today, after working with students all week long when my grandchild comes to me and wants to read to me I have to stop and listen to this child read, even though it is the very last thing on earth I probably want to do.

As a parent we sign-on for preparing our children, from the moment we know we are pregnant, to get our child ready to leave us. We need to prepare our children to be able to take care of themselves. We need to make them independent souls. We need to give them all the necessary tools we can to take care of themselves, to like themselves, to be willing to try new things, to be successful in all the definitions of that word, "successful."

So, when a parent tells me that they didn't have time to read with their child, but then wants to know why their child isn't getting good grades, I have to bite my tongue and not tell the parent that the parent isn't doing their job.

I will admit, that parenting changes as our children grow older. In some ways it is easier and in other ways it is harder.

For example: When my children were younger I controlled their environment and friends. This took a lot of my time. I worked with them daily. I checked their book bags. I checked their homework. As they got older and more independent I wasn't as vigilant to check their homework. I allowed them independence. I had less control on their friends, but I still did things to make sure my children knew I was their mother and would be watching them. I assisted where needed. I worried all the time, differently than when they were younger, but I knew I had done the best job I could to prepare my children for their live journeys.

I am very proud of both of my children, but especially my daughter. she is an excellent mother, and she is preparing her children for their own life journey.

I don't think any teacher was "bashing" a parent. The original post was from someone that a parent said, "You aren't a parent so you can't understand." This is not a true statement.

Parents have to understand that as teachers we are often required to send homework home by our districts. They also have to understand we aren't trying to trick the children. We are trying to reinforce what we learned in school. Believe me when I say I would prefer not to have to send homework home at all. It would mean much less work for me, but I see the importance of it.

I also see the importance of parents reading with their children nightly. I see how a student that is reading out loud starts to get fluent. I see how a student that reads with an adult at home feels treasured and valued and special while also using knowledge learned in school.

I can see it from both sides. I see the value of being a parent in that it does bring experiences to my world as a teacher, but I also see the value of being a "childless" teacher to.

No one should ever put someone down for their lack of experience, in my opinion. Telling someone they can't possible understand because they do not have the "parent" experience is a put down and a way to shut-up the teacher. I don't buy this "excuse" for one second, especially as every one of us can find an experience that we have that someone else may not have.

One final note. As a teacher I do accept the occasional missed homework assignment or note from a parent that a child couldn't do the assignment because .... What bothers me are the chronic missed assignment students and notes. As parents we need to help set up routines. Are these parents going to be calling their child's boss and telling them that their child didn't meet a work deadline because the child was having a melt down or was too tired? If so, how long would that child be employed with the same company?

It is my job as a teacher (and when I was a parent) to help set up routines and rules and expectations for my students because it is my job to prepare them for the next grade and eventually their future employment.
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