Each one Teach one!

I was having a semi-heated debate with one of my Kings on twitter (@ me so I know it’s real). He made a comment about a specific teacher he was observing in a Rochester, NY classroom.  For security reasons we will call him Bob.

Bob:  After observing 5th graders this morning teachers need to stop looking at teaching as a job, but as a duty.

I immediately disagreed with Bob’s statement. He knows that I am not a teacher, but because I was so passionately disagreeing with his comment he knew that this was close to home.

Bob: “I must have hit a sore spot. Your boo a teacher?”

Bob now knows that I did not disagree with his comments because of my boo.

Urban education reform and development is near and dear to my heart. My future career will consist of me making huge dents in the foundation and policies that currently exist, but I need help.  I need everyone to realize how wrong the current system is and help make a difference–parents especially.

(No shade–I promise) Our current system plays a huge role in stifling the development of our children– especially those with so much potential. They are grouped into classrooms based on their age, and not so much their abilities. A curriculum is then forced on them.  When these groups of children do not perform as well as their peers in the classrooms this is called an achievement gap. ( Achievement Gap)The very same system that creates these groups also create this term that plays a role in further dividing our precious children.  Those that are devoted to bridging this gap place blame on impoverished conditions that force the students to be separate from their peers.  Teachers are blamed for passing illiterate children; teachers are blamed when students do not receive passing scores on the standardized tests; and the list continues. The blame, however, is not placed on parents who believe that education ceases when children step out of their classrooms.

When I mentioned to Bob that parents are number 1 to blame when it comes to failures that children experience in the classroom he informed me that some parents just so happen to be parents, but teachers choose the job.  As soon as you make the decision to have a child you are mandated by the universe to be a teacher to your child. Some students do not see inside of a classroom until they are about 5 years of age. By that age unless your child has some cognitive disabilities they are sponges that soak up everything in their environment. They are even able to produce better than some of us adults. And while I do fully understand that some parents lack education, and it might be hard for them to be intellectually involved there are other things that can be done:

Encourage educational freedom: don’t let your child feel that because they are in a certain grade their knowledge should stop at that grade level. They should be able to learn whatever it is that will play a role in their intellectual and cultural development.

Feed your child: some parents leave this important task to the schools. It’s not the schools responsibility to feed your child. Food is one of the most important fuels that help in development. If your child does not receive a nutritional meal to start their day they will not function. And if you don’t have the funds to feed your child make sure you find some assistance quick!

Be available: Children ask questions. This is all part of their growth. Please don’t stifle their development because you feel you don’t have time to answer their questions. If you don’t have an answers you can always be honest and let them know. Use resources (Google) to find the response.  And if for some reason you feel it’s not an appropriate question there are different ways to respond instead of shutting them down.

Learn with them

Read with/for them

Give them homework: homework doesn’t necessarily have to be in the books. Teach them how to hang up a portrait or how to paint an object. They will thank you later.  Be as gender neutral as possible.

This list can go on for days, but for time constraints I will stop here. Be creative and have fun when educating your child at home. Don’t be so quick to place blame on a system that sets up students for failure from the beginning. It’s a hard task, but it’s also a necessary task. By no means is this telling parents what they should or should not do.  Barriers do exist- I acknowledge that, but that doesn’t mean anything if you are determined to help make a difference in the life of your child who will in turn make a difference for someone else’s child life.

Be great…encourage them to be great!

What do you think??

En tout cas,



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Just me..
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 17:40:01

    Enjoyed reading..,

    But why do you disagree teaching is not a duty as opposed to it being just a ‘job’? A duty is a moral obligation- teachers do have a moral obligation to supplement our kids brains, future and potential.


    • jbrookec
      Nov 16, 2012 @ 18:25:54

      Thank you. While I do agree that teachers play an important role in educating and taking part in the development of our children I strongly believe that a parents role is first and foremost more important then that of any teachers. I have sat in classrooms where I was just told to read the book and answer the questions at the end of the chapter. The teacher would collect/grade and based class participation on whether or not I showed up and handed my assignment. Administration was aware of this, but made no effort to change. I think if teaching was such a moral obligation more effort would be made to change the failing systems. I trust the education reforms that are working to be placed and maybe once the system has changed i’ll see this as a duty.


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