Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Parents just don't understand

Today I got an email from V's mother. Apparently, V had come home saying she'd added a penis and vagina to her human body project during health class. Her mother wanted to know what, if anything, she'd distorted in the retelling. (Also, she made up some crap about V acting up during the observation, which the two administrators with her at the time saw no sign of.) I asked Ms. Blah, the K teacher who runs the Health lessons, and she said they'd added a kidney and a bladder to their anatomy posters.

Well, really. Is V's mother an imbecile as well as an attention junkie? Does she really think that we're going to take it upon ourselves to tell five-year-olds about the penis and vagina, much less have them attach paper models of same onto an anatomy project? I mean, what the hey, am I right? (Words fail me.) It's as if the moment a person has kids, the previously dormant Stupid Gene kicks in and they suddenly lose all rationality. (No offense, Churlita.)

Also, one father said he wished the school would let him come watch me at work when I didn't know he was there. The Vice-Head told him that would be unethical, and assured him that what the parents see is what happens daily; if that weren't the case, the students themselves would loudly point out the discrepancies in their routine during observation times (of which they are unaware).

So gee, how nice that some kid's parent thinks I need to be watched on the sly, and that it would be totally okay to watch people at work without them knowing it. Makes you proud to be an educator and an American.


Yankee in England said...

1. I would like to point out in Norway or Sweden or Denmark or maybe all three they do teach there children about penises and vaginas at the age of five. However in bible belt America I think not. On a side which ever country it was has the lowest number of unplanned teen pregnancies in Europe they must be doing something right.

2. If it is unethical to allow parents to watch you while you teach with out your knowledge is it not unethical for the children not to know. I understand the whole not being mature enough to make certain descision as in the case of beer or driving a car but why is it okay to spy on children but not adults.

3. How many of these parents who are willing to come and observe you unknow to their children to make sure their children are getting a good education are also willing to come in once a month or so for the same amount of time and actually interact with their childs class in such ways a reading a story to the class, telling them what they do for a living and why the chose it, teaching them a fun skill or sharing knowledge they have. It amazes me that they are perfectly willing to come in hands off behind a glass wall to make sure their children are getting a good education but don't want to participate.

Chance said...

Good points all, though it would be absurd to tell the children they'd be watched, as they would act completely differently and the whole point is to see how they act naturally in the classroom. I think as the parents of very young children they have a reasonably moral expectation of watching their own kids unawares.

daveawayfromhome said...

"It's as if the moment a person has kids, the previously dormant Stupid Gene kicks in and they suddenly lose all rationality."I think most of the time it's always been there, it's simply found a easy channel in which to indulge itself.

Michael5000 said...

All I can say is, if I was paying $5,345,000 to send my child to a prestigious elementary school, and I found out that they'd been pasting a penis and a vagina to the same paper anatomy model, I'd be firing off an angry Email too. Not that there's anything wrong with hermaphrodidity. I mean, yeah, I read Middlesex. I don't judge. But really. Kids that age are really only ready for one set of genitals. That's what I think.