Parents, Nothing More Than an Untapped Resorce
School has started once again and now comes the pile of forms to be signed. Every year, my child brings home something called the “student, teacher, administrator, parent compact”. This pointless exercise in political correctness has a section where the administrator, the teacher and the student basically pledge to make the school a safe, respectful learning environment. These are not bad objectives, but it is silly to have students, parents, and teachers sign a nonbinding agreement. Here is this asinine waste of paper for your viewing pleasure.
There is a section of this compact where there is a list of things that I, as a parent of a student, pledge to do. I do not disagree with what the compact contains, but I do find it particularly insulting that the school board feels it has to remind me what my duties as a parent are.
Signing this paper is supposedly voluntary, but in the past, my child was denied a locker until he brought back the form. When I pointed out to the teacher that it stated on the form that it was voluntary, she said that she did not have the authority to make an exception and would take it up with the guidance councilor. Apparently the guidance councilor didn’t have the authority to apply what was written on the form either, and it took about two weeks before the principle called me and agreed that my child could have a locker. By then, all the lockers had been assigned.
If the school district is going to require us to sign a paper like this, it should be to explain what the school promises to do for the students and parents, rather than the emphasis being the other way around. Here’s what I would like to see this compact contain:
That the administrators promise to:
• Weigh the input of parents highly when making policy decisions, and choosing curriculum
• Recognize the parent as the final authority in decisions about what is best for a student.
• Understand that the school exists to meet the needs of the families it serves, not the other way around.
• To support teachers in their efforts to educate students by giving them the resources necessary to do the job, and by not burdening them with needless programs and procedures that may seem novel and innovative, but reduce the amount of time the teacher has to actually teach.
That the teachers promise to:
• Communicate regularly with the parents.
• Make themselves available in the classroom to answer questions.
• Suggest helpful resources for struggling students.
• Make sure that all students, who put forth the effort, understand the subject matter before moving on to the next thing.
The parents promise to:
• Communicate regularly with the student’s teachers.
• Pay attention to the educational materials and curriculum provided to the student.
• Be an advocate for their student to insure that the school system meets the individual needs of the student.
• Encourage the student to take advantage of tutoring, and other help offered by the school.
The students promise to:
• Respect the persons and property of other students.
• Respect the authority of the teachers and school officials.
• Ask questions when they don’t understand.
• Be prepared with the proper supplies.
• Discuss disagreements with school rules with their parents, then together approach school officials about it rather than simply breaking the rule in protest.