Parenting Anxiety ~ What Are They Teaching Teachers?
My son ran into the house last week yelling: “Mommy! Mommy, I found a snake!” I slammed the door behind him before I confirmed that his running was prompted by news of a snake sighting and not a snake chasing (I now know snakes don’t really chase people). When my husband found another snake in the backyard the next day I declared that I, nor any other child in the house, could wander outside until my husband secured the premises with Snake-A-Way. I figured that if I could stand at our mailbox and smell the potent vapors of mothballs from our backyard the premises were secure. The kids played outside, rode their bikes and I didn’t give so much as a second or third paranoid glance at the ground. And then my husband said, “What if the snakes come through the neighbor’s yard? The Snake-A -Way won’t help then.” Suddenly I didn’t smell mothballs anymore. I could only hear my false sense of security shatter into pieces, buckling under the force of a full body weight chop from reality. I hate when that happens. I’ll admit it. Most times I allow taking precautions and following the rules to lull me into a false sense of parental security. It provides an anti-anxiety effect for dealing with more than snakes wandering around our house. Taking precautions for my children keeps my false sense of security from cracking when I think about issues like the achievement gap or the vortex-like impact of social class. Much like the Snake-a-way we hope to protect our children by surrounding them with:
- access to an abundance of pencils, papers, books..tutors even.
- support and encouragement.
- visits and contact with teachers.
- opportunities in magnet programs, charters or school choice
- It is far too easy to get into a teacher preparation programs.
- Less than 10 percent of rated programs earn three stars or more.
- 7 out of 10 programs did not adequately teach candidates how to teach reading.
- Training in classroom management and the use of student data was lacking.
- a revolving door of substitute teachers.
- a teacher with no classroom management - at all.
- a teacher on an improvement plan.
- a teacher that has a record of disproportionately disciplining students of color or boys.
- a teacher who has not been able to get the majority of their students to pass the standardized test in five or more years (while others on their team have)
- a teacher frustrated or unsupported by leadership (or lack thereof)