The issue of education is a major concern to everyone, especially parents. So much, that writers out there are addressing the issues at length. This week we speak with Suzette Clarke, the author of I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother candidly on the issues of failing students and what parents can do to turn things around.
Polite On Society: What was your motivation for writing “I’m Your Teacher Not Your Mother?”
Suzette Clarke: I actually wrote the book over a decade ago. I just got around to publishing it. Being a teacher is what motivated me. Most people have no idea how much our children are in crisis. Becoming a teacher exposes a person to a harsh reality. Many children are left to educationally fend for themselves. I started to realize that many parents expect children to be completely responsible for their own educational progress.
Because of this common practice among parents, many children do not do as well as they should. As the years crept by, it became clear to me that children who did poorly in school did not take their work seriously. They were disorganized, they didn’t study and they did not hand in required assignments. Constant calls and conferences with parents made no difference. It is very common practice for parents to leave the responsibility of education in their children’s hands. Parents expect that their children will do their work and meet their requirements. This is the problem. When children have no one at home monitoring them EVERY DAY, they slack off and fail. This practice continues and parents seem to have no clue what they should do. I decided it was time to tell it like it is. Children who fail in school, have parents who allow this to happen because they are not doing their part to ensure their children are successful students.
POS: This is a pretty controversial message. How do you make the point about holding people accountable for their children learning without antagonizing the parents?
SC: I’m telling the truth. There will always be people who are not ready to hear the truth. Or, those who will take offense when the truth reflects badly on them. I can’t worry about that. Education is the way out of poverty. Education builds knowledge and understanding. Education keeps people out of jail.
Education opens up opportunities. I can go on for days! It should not be acceptable that 7,000 children drop out of school EVERY DAY in America. If your child is failing, then you’re failing as a parent! You’re setting your child up for failure in life. The role of parents is to do their best to prepare their children for an independent life. Enough tip-toeing around the topic. It’s too sad and frustrating to see how many children are educational abandoned by their parents. It breaks my heart.