In the Colorado Springs Gazette, David Ramsey’s headline reads: Piling on refs at a crisis point, threatens youth sports. As a teacher of 46 years, here is my own headline: Piling on TEACHERS at a crisis point, threatens EDUCATION.
Who are guilty of the “piling on?” Chronic, complaining parents and non-supportive administrators. In the article, Mr. Ramsey continues “We’re on the brink of an officiating catastrophe. Fans who shout insults and threaten violence are sending high school officials into retirement.” Our country’s educators are also heading into retirement in greater numbers than ever before. Why? As a teacher, vitriol parent emails filled with insults and threats found their way to my computer. On one occasion, my principal sent me home due to a telephone threat by an intoxicated parent stating he was coming to school to “get me.”
How is this allowed to happen? As a performing arts instructor, I found myself the object of parental unhappiness, due to auditions. The administrators were always carbon copied on the emails. How did my administrators react? Hiding in their offices! In my final End of the Year evaluation (where I was terminated), a handful of parent complaints ended my career. Is this simply a poorly run district’s issues or is it a national trend?
In my book signings (Colorado and Nebraska) and social media platforms, I witnessed a national trend of attacking teachers. I was not a microcosm. This is not a local problem. Today’s educational community is facing a crisis. What needs to change?
Parents: stop venting by email or speaking poorly of your child’s teachers behind their backs. If you feel cause exists, please schedule a meeting with the teacher. If you feel awkward about doing this, stop and re-evaluate the true importance of your “problem.”
Administrators: stop excusing parental meanness and stand up for your teachers. It’s just that simple. Long after the disapproving parent and their child leaves your school, you hold an obligation to insure teachers stay on your staff for more than the national average of three to five years.
Parents, teachers and administrators: Purchase “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” TODAY (AMAZON/BARNES & NOBLE) and initiate an atmosphere of positive communication. Today’s trend of losing one of our country’s most valued assets needs your direct involvement. Teachers are a precious commodity. Retain them and know our children will directly benefit.