HOW DOES A TEACHER HANDLE PARENTS WHO BLAME THE TEACHER?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a junior-high teacher. How do I handle parents that think everything their kid does wrong is my fault?

–Fed up (United States)

DEAR FED UP:

I can empathize with all of the responsibility put on teachers in this era. While you cannot force parents (or the kids, for that matter) to take responsibility for their own obligations, perhaps you can improve the situation with clear communication. Perhaps you could make a clear plan with three sections (parental responsibilities and agreements, student responsibilities and agreements, and teacher responsibilities and agreements).

Create a chart and perhaps you could meet with the parents and student together to come to an agreement about what part each of you will take in improving the situation. That way, you create buy-in from all parties as well as clear, agreed-upon delineation of each party’s responsibilities and obligations. Fill out the chart together and make copies for each party and have everyone sign their name to signify their understanding of the agreement and their promise to do their part.

Try it and see what happens. Let me know if you want how it goes.

Thanks for your hard work. Good teachers are an essential part of a good future.

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