"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I might as well have a rubber stamp made

I was working with Munch on her schoolwork tonight, and I saw that her "show to parent and return to school" folder was filled with reading test reports that I had already signed. I was a bit confused by this, so I dug a little further through the folder and found a note that said in addition to my signature, I was required to write an encouraging comment along with my signature. Now, maybe it's just me, but when my daughter brings me her papers, I go through all of them with her, and I give her praise and encouragement and hugs in person. I find it a bit offensive that the teacher requires that I write "good job!" or "well done!" or "keep up the good work!" on her results forms. My signature verifies that I have seen the results. The hours of drills and flashcards show my active involvement. And my personal praise and hugs show my love and support. So why should I be forced to write some empty sticker slogan on her papers? How meaningful is that? I understand that the teacher writes these little words of praise alongside the grade because generally they're not heaping praise on each individual child in the class. At least they never did when I was in school. Of course, when I was in school, the teachers weren't telling my mother how to parent me.

Munch's teachers always tell me how she's the happiest child they've ever seen. "She's always smiling," they say. Doesn't that indicate to them that I'm doing my job with her? I've never before heard of a teacher requiring such a thing - and Munch has three older siblings.

I'm sorry, but the way I see it, it's the teacher's job to teach my child the curriculum, but it's my job to raise my child. And it's certainly not the job of a 24-year-old childless elementary school educator to tell me how I should be doing it. If a child is showing signs of emotional neglect or lack of encouragement or lack of educational support at home, I could see calling in a parent for a conference and making some suggestions. Or even offering the suggestions via note sent home for any child. But requiring this kind of inanity doesn't make any sense to me at all.

Any other moms have an opinion on this?


Signe said...

I agree...it's a bit much! I can see how she'd want to see encouragement from a parent who had a child that seemed low or neglected...but on a good kid?
I also need a rubber stamp...yesterday I signed 6 papers and that's pretty average.

Jeff said...

I'm not a mother but I'm a father of a 3-year old son. In my opinion, I don't think that is necessary. The teacher seems to be too paper-work driven.

By the way, please update my url to http://www.aspacio.net with the title Life As Experienced Daily if it's alright. It's listed as Family Experience blog in your link list. I recently bought a domain name. Thanks.

Goddess said...

Sorry, Jeff. I should have said moms AND dads. And I've updated your link.