When I picked up my first grader from school today, at five o'clock because I work late on Fridays, he told me a gut-wrenching tale of what happened today. Here is our conversation:To all of you bad-mouthing teachers: understand this is really happening. It's not yet pervasive, but you can't expect the continuing demonization of teachers not to have some effect in the classroom.
"Mom, you won't believe what happened today. [Jimmy] got in trouble because he was running around the room, and when [the teacher] told him to sit down, he said, 'My dad says I don't have to listen to you. He said teachers are stupid, lazy, and greedy, and I don't have to listen to you.'" (from the mouths of babes)
"What did your teacher say?" (His school's teacher of the year, and someone I greatly respect.)
"She said, 'It's very sad that your father thinks that.' He got sent to the office. Mom, why did he say that? Why do people hate teachers?"
(Now what? How do I respond? How do you explain anger and hate to a child?)
And not just some of the kids; some of the parents are taking a different attitude with teachers as well. It's disturbing, but altogether predictable.
The good news is that Teacher Mom has joined the Jersey education blogosphere: check her out!