Saturday, September 30, 2006

Would the real parents please stand up...

I am officially old fashioned. Yes, at the young age of twenty nine, I accept my outdated belief system. The belief that I hold that has forced me to recognize my lack of relevance is the one I hold about homework. I believe that students, even as young as elementary school, should have homework.
CNN has an article that discusses the homework issue, a new hot topic among educational theorists. Apparently, four out of ten parents surveyed believe their child has too much homework for one night--in fact, the report claims that the average parent provides two hours and forty five minutes of help per week, a whopping 30-35 minutes of help per night.
Forgive me, Mr. and Mrs. Jones; I thought my job was to educate your child; I thought that educational practice at home was at least equally important as soccer; I thought that you, as a parent, might not mind spending 2% of the total minutes in a day helping your child succeed.

I know it is not your problem, this NCLB law that requires every student to be at grade level in the core skills, but could you at least take a bit of interest in you child. I know that you view my classroom as free daycare, and that you view me as a quasi-professional because I can't drive a Mercedes or live in your gated community, but would you please accept the humble assignment as a token of my interest in your child's future?
Sometimes I sit amazed at the current population of parents--so focused on making sure their kid likes them, that they are unwilling to remember the work it took for them to get where they are.


At 9:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a day last year in which I got two phone calls from parents. The first was to complain that I was giving too much homework. The second was to complain that I wasn't giving enough homework.

I want my students to learn as much as possible. I give homework that I think best serves that goal. I don't really think about how much or how little that ends up being.

At 2:13 PM , Blogger graycie said...

Bravo. Well said.

At 2:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it any better.

At 7:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone else feel that parents are more perturbed at the fact that we are requiring them to spend time helping their children?

At 12:06 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Maybe I'm showing my age (some but not much older than this esteemed blogger), but when I was growing up, my parents NEVER helped me with my homework, beyond making sure it was done. "It's your homework and your education." so is it just me that thinks that the kids should do the homework and quit whining. The parents can quit whining as well.

At 12:08 PM , Blogger Stephen J. Hopson said...

I particularly enjoyed this article and would like to share some stories, showing how much of a difference teachers really do make.

My goal is to share an inspiring story of the impact my fifth grade teacher made on my life when I was in her class. She uttered three words that forever changed the course of my future.

Those three words were: "That's Right Stephen!"

I have since written three stories and have provided the links to them below. What I am trying to do is find a central location where millions of teachers read inspiring stories, giving them the lift they need on tough days? Do you know of any?

One of the stories was published in a best-selling book called "heartwarmers" (out of print now but obtainable by contacting the author who complied the stories).

Here are the stories at my blog - it is suggested you read them in the following order:






I hope you enjoy reading these stories to the point where you will be inspired to help me reach many more teachers out there.

Stephen Hopson

p.s. My dream is to go on a national speaking tour, sharing this story with teachers and administrators


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