Parental and Administrative Accountability

If you’re a parent, than many of you have experienced or will experience projects. I haven’t reached that stage with Khai yet, but I am on the other end of the project, the giving end. I have my students a project for Black History Month on January 28, and it was due Feb. 25. So the students basically had a month to do them. Do you know 17 out of 78 students didn’t do them? That may seem like not a lot, but compare it to the fact that the project was worth 4 grades.

Out of the 17, two of them did their projects incorrectly they were to choose a famous black inventor, and one chose Harriet Tubman and the other, Martin Luther King, Jr. prominent figures, but certainly not inventors. Innovators? Possibly.

The other 15 just decided not to do it and majority of the blame falls on the parents because these kids can’t drive to the store or buy their materials. Out of those 15, three told their parents they had a project. I’m my classroom, I set high expectations and I expect those expectations to not only be met by the students, but also their parents.

The number of excuses o received as to why their child didn’t have their project was aggravating to say the least. My principal is allowing them to turn them in by 7:30 am February 26, however, I hadn’t planned on taking any late projects. These parents need accountability.

With working in a low income area, it is to be expected. So many of the parents aren’t invested in their child’s academics and I consider those people to be shitty parents. Parents don’t look in backpacks or folders anymore, which is where they need to constantly look before their child gets on their game console or do whatever else. What happened to parents sitting at the table helping students with their homework?

When it comes to education, parents, you have to be all in for your child and their success, and also be all in with assisting the teacher. You cannot felt aokely in teachers for all of your child’s academic success. It doesn’t work like that. You are your child’s first teacher and they learn the best parts of life from you.

I see it too often in schools that serve low income students that the parents don’t take any kind of responsibility for the behaviors and actions of their child. It’s even more frustrating when administration doesn’t take action either. How is a teacher supposed to uphold these expectations that the administration wants us to have, but at the same time have classroom management when the students know there will be no repercussions for their actions?

Having to constantly correct a student’s behavior during instructional time is unfair to the other students, as well as to the teacher who doesn’t send the child to the office because the child will be sent back to class. It’s almost like a slap in the face. Once the parent gets involved, teachers often times realize that we have no support. Too many parents, in my experience, believe their child(ren) can do no wrong, believing their child first and only.

Then there’s the flip side. You have parents who we explain their child(ren)’s behavior to and their response is, “Oh, they do the same thing at home.” So that makes it okay? Because what I’m hearing is that your child(ren) acts the same way at home so them acting that way in school, disrupting the learning environment, is normal. You don’t think you should correct their behavior?

What these parents fail to realize is that in middle and high school, those teachers will give no second, third, tenth, nor twentieth chances. Their child will be removed from the classroom, and given detention, ISS, OSS, or expelled. If there’s no accountability now, their futures won’t be too bright. This is where the “school to prison pipeline” comes in. Children who don’t receive consequences for their actions, will grow up with the mindset that they can do what they want, and no one will do anything to them or they won’t face any kind of repercussions. Then who will be to blame?

That’s often why there are so many adults who walk around with a chip on their shoulder because they realize that no one owes them a thing. Starting kids off at a young age to be accountable for their actions, begins at home, and can take them a long way. It creates a sense of independence, leadership, and accountability. This is why it’s so important to have black educators in black and brown schools, and to have an administration that has motions in place to handle and nip behavioral problems head on. It’s also important for educators to have the support of the parents.

Black parental involvement in academics is severely low and we as a people have to do something to change that. But, how?

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