On Friday, the TODAY show posted an article on their social media accounts.
Tip #3 caused outrage among parents, with some commenters deeming it “terrible advice.”
What was it?
“Don’t ask to change your child’s class for the “right” teacher or the “best friend.”
This seems like solid advice to me.
And the family physician who wrote the piece laid out these three arguments to make her case:
- The school knows what it’s doing and has a lot of practice in placing children in classes.
- While there are standout teachers in every school and in most grades, your child may not need that teacher at that time.
- Kids can learn – and grow stronger – by being in classes with children who aren’t their best friends, and with children that they haven’t particularly warmed to before.
Now, I am certainly no parenting expert, but isn’t it our job as moms and dads to raise self-sufficient children who are equipped with the necessary skills to become independent adults?
Here are some of the indignant comments from parents:
“I requested a different teacher and it was the best decision I could have made for my child. A parent knows when their child won’t mesh with a certain teacher.”
“I wish it didn’t matter, but I will get my child in the right class with the right teacher. The alternative is a year of frustration for both of us”
“#3 is HORRIBLE advice. I have seen immense damage done to the educational well being of young children and high school students at the hands of bad teachers. It is your child. Do EVERYTHING possible to make sure their teachers work for the best interest of the student.”
“Every parent has the right to the best teacher for their child! If it means changing teachers so be it! And not every child can “handle” a teacher they don’t click with and shouldn’t have to!”
Give me a break.
Sorry to the above poster/commenter, but NOWHERE is it written that a parent has “the right to the best teacher for their child.”
What comes next? Do you have a “right” to guarantee that your child be allowed on the varsity sports team of his/her choice? Do you have a “right” to guarantee his/her entry to whatever college he/she wants?
Will they grow up thinking they have a “right” to a certain job? A “right” to ignore the rules of their workplace because they think they’re unfair?
Because guess what? They won’t. And that mindset is setting them up for failure.
I will advocate as much as the next parent for taking action if there truly is a problem in the classroom.
But as parents we shouldn’t preemptively pick which teacher our children get or which kids get to be in class with our children just because we think it will be easier/better for them.
Adversity makes us stronger. It teaches us lessons, including how to adapt and adjust.
Last year my son ended up in a kindergarten class without any of his best buddies, and we knew nothing about the teacher. It was rough some weeks – he had to learn to make new friends and deal with an educator who was fairly strict.
But we trusted her to run her classroom, and our son ultimately learned a lot, and did just fine — both socially and academically.
Stop micromanaging your kids’ lives. The best lesson you can teach them is how to stand on their own two feet.
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