Let me start by saying this, I think we can all agree that teachers should be nice. As human beings, we can all be nice to others. But as a former teacher myself, I don’t think “nice” is enough. I keep hearing the measure of teachers (from parents) by how “nice” they are, and I’m sick of it.
I don’t want my kids to have only have nice teachers. Yes, of course I want their teachers to show kindness and be fair. But I want so much more.
I want my kids to be pushed academically. I want them to grow and learn. Academics. Life lessons. And more. I want teachers that truly care and want my kids to be successful in life. I want them to be pushed to their fullest potential – whether that is learning the current grade standards, needing some help to re-learn something they forgot from a previous grade, or pushing them if they are needing more of a challenge.
In high school, the most strict teacher was by far my favorite. She taught high school English, Journalism, and occasionally other classes as well. She was respected by the students, staff, plus parents and community. She was often NOT the favorite teacher – but you could count on her to ensure everyone learned the material, to be fair and consistent, and to know what to expect from her.
My son’s 1st grade teacher was pretty strict. But she introduced him to a love of reading and helped him grow more than any other teacher he had before. (And I liked plenty of his prek/k teachers – his 1st grade teacher just gave that “extra”.)
It drives me crazy hearing parents talk about how “nice” a teacher is, like their kid won the jackpot of the school, when you know their teacher isn’t pushing the child as much as they should be. But apparently being “nice” is good enough to many – but not me.
The solution? I have some ideas, but no definite answers. Hold teachers to high standards. Go into the profession yourself. Homeschool. Keep open lines of communication with the teacher – asking for help where your child needs it or requesting they be pushed more, as appropriate. Stop bragging about the nice teachers and brag up those who are truly pushing your kids and helping them reach their fullest potential. Fill in the gaps at home if you can tell your child isn’t getting as many academics as they need.
What do you think? Am I wrong? Or is it ok for me to want more than just nice? Let me know in the comments below!