Parents and Teachers: We’ve got to stick together!
Nobody knows more about the heart work and hard work of raising
children and what they need, than parents and teachers. That’s why we belong together and now more than ever!
There’s a lot of talk in the news and on social media about the importance of family as well as the consequences of not providing a quality education. The opinions and advice are varied and plentiful, but have a pitifully low amount of action behind them. Parents and teachers don’t have time for the rhetoric, we’re too busy rolling up our sleeves trying to make the best out of a horrific situation and saving our babies.
For too long, parents and teachers have been undervalued and without the supports in place to provide all that children need. We have been expected to make miracles and from the way I see it, we have. Teachers are doing their very best to meet the ever increasing academic, social and emotional needs of children as funding has decreased and criticism increases. Parents desire time with their children and have a vision for their family, but lack support like affordable quality daycare, accessible community health and mental health services and an equitable education system.
Parents and teachers are getting close to raising the surrender flag. The miracle workers have been depleted. This time around, we are fresh out of miracles. Something’s got to give!
Ah, but there is a solution! How about parents and teachers all get in the boat and row in the same direction. Let’s stop scapegoating each other and use our collective voice for children. Can you imagine what a powerful force we can be? Together we can be the biggest and brightest lobbying group for children.
Hey, we’ve never gotten this much attention, EVER!
Parents and teachers are on the national news every day. Let’s use it to our advantage.
Here are a few things you can do:
Schools – Commit to frequent and transparent communication with school staff, families and community. Keep it simple but yet comprehensive. They won’t know the full extent of the dilemma you are facing if you aren’t vulnerable and tell them. Provide a crash course for school staff, parents and community on funding and mandates. Don’t assume that everyone understands how education is funded, the mandates that are attached, and the harm to students when funding decreases. Equally important is how decreases in funding is related to having and maintaining the necessary support services that directly effect students. Lay all the cards on the table, and then ask for help. Make sure everyone knows ways they can take action to support their school and community.
Parents – If there isn’t already a parent group, consider forming one. If there is, make sure parents needs are heard and there is someone monitoring and reporting on legislative issues regarding families, children and education. One call to community, state and federal officials and legislators makes a difference but it’s impact is greater when it comes from a group of parents with a direct and strong ask. Call your school superintendent with any questions you have about education and services for students. Ask what they need and how you can help. Once you understand the situation, share the information through social media. Let’s stop talking about the problems and get talking about the solution. Enlist the support of community organizations and city officials and build a community coalition for children. Schools can’t do it alone and families need more than education for their children. They need quality affordable childcare, health and mental health services and you can fill in the rest.
I know this is a scary time, but as my favorite principal Mrs. Goetz says, “this is not our forever” and it isn’t. But while all eyes are on us, let’s use this attention as a bargaining chip so that our children’s future days will be brighter, better and more promising than ever before.
Barbara Flis, Founder Parent Action for Healthy Kids
I am a mother, a Barbie to my granddaughters, lover of family and teachers. I attribute any success I have had in life to family and teachers…what goes around, comes around! #ValueFamilies