The Worst Part of Teaching: The Parents

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Ron Clark was named “American Teacher of the Year” and — more importantly — was anointed by Oprah as a “phenomenal man.” He clearly loves teaching kids. And he hates parents.

Well, while that might be overstating his case, Clark does have some pretty harsh words for a certain kind of problematic parent, the type who cause more trouble than their children.  He recounts a series of stories of parents bringing lawyers for meetings with teachers; parents calling the media to berate teachers who are just doing their jobs; no wonder, then, that today’s new teachers remain in the job for an average of only 4.5 years, and that many list “issues with parents” as a reason they leave the profession.

So what does Clark want parents to remember? Nothing too revolutionary:  that teachers are educators, not baby-sitters; that making excuses for your child’s behavior helps no one; that being grade-obsessed sends the wrong message. All of which sounds eminently reasonable. Not surprisingly, though, he gets attacked in the comment section of his story (everything from “Why should I believe a teacher at face value and not my own child?” to “Are you a moron, or are you trully as ignorant as you sound?”).

So Baltimore teachers, city and county, private and public, give us your horror stories anonymously and we’ll print them.  Consider it a favor to you and to parents! (Hey, we don’t want a bad reputation.)  Contact us at [email protected] or write your story in the comments below. 

Teachers:  any horror stories? Who’s the most frustrating parent you’ve ever had to deal with?

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