Year: 1998-1999
Month: February
Leader: Group F

Situation/Case Study:

How can teachers get greater respect as professionals from students and parents?

Parents believe that since they were in schools they know how they should be run. Press and media has focused on the negatives of educators and educational practice. (“We are failing.”) Parents perceive that a lot of dollars are going into schools with few or poor results. Parents are depending on teachers more, they are too busy, stressed, don’t know what to do. Students reflect parents’ attitudes about schools and teachers. Middle level students are trying to “test” teachers, impress their friends, fit in. Parents view teachers as their employees. Parents perceive that teachers do not have “real jobs”. Some students prioritize school after sports, friends, family. Parents feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children, want to make everything right. Control issue with parents. Parents are not asking students to be responsible for their actions. They expect that the teachers are to blame in some way. Teachers lose the respect of students when parents blame them for the student’s problems. Students are aware of their rights but their responsibilities are not so clear to them. Are teachers projecting a professional image? Do we need to market ourselves better? Is school a priority to this family? Students challenging, ignoring teacher’s instructions. Not being responsible for their work and their grades. Parents challenge the assignment of grades. Demand conferences, changes in policy or rules, forgiveness. Although parents are notified of policy they question the competencies/ professionalism of even experienced teachers. Lack of recognition of the time/effort on the part of teachers.

Theories behind practice:

Impact on others:

Sometimes their lack of respect is lack of self-esteem. They view themselves as failures already. Lack of professionalism in dress and casualness in behavior in the schools on the part of teachers may influence perceptions about teachers. Image issue at times. Need to build ourselves up as professionals, support each other. COMRADERIE. Lack of accountability or consequences for disrespect. Have open houses, team presentations on expectations. Attend student events, be seen outside school day. Introduce ourselves as professionals, part of a team, agreed upon expectations for students. COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS. Market ourselves better, newsletters from the classroom or the school. Try to figure out how to get kids to get things home, messages, reports. How do we get parents responsible for following up, seeking information? How do we encourage parents to read information from the school? Let parents know that you will be sending newsletters home on a regular basis (e.g., quarterly) Hang your diplomas up. Characterize education strategies. Identify key values for your classroom/school, communicate and teach to them.