"There’s evidence that shows parents think schools don’t want them to be as involved as they’d like to be. But there’s also evidence showing that educators think parents don’t really want to be that involved."
Teaching is a lot like parenting. When you become a parent, you realize, Oh, that’s why my parents did this! And you have new respect for them.“I find that the parents who volunteer in the classroom are generally right on the money,” says Kyla Lightfoot, a grade 3/4 teacher in the Upper Grand District School Board near Guelph, Ont. What’s more, they’re enlightened. She feels too many parents perceive teachers from the kidcentric persecuted point of view rather than that of an adult. “Teaching is a lot like parenting. When you become a parent, you realize, Oh, that’s why my parents did this! And you have new respect for them. Same thing with teachers. A lot of what you felt was unfair as a kid was just because you were a kid and didn’t understand. Parents are sometimes unfair to teachers because they still see them the way they did as kids. When they get right in there with us, though, suddenly, they’re adults looking at the scene, and the revised viewpoint is meaningful.” More than that, says Suzanne, you may be surprised to realize the power of the role you have to play in your kids’ educational success stories. “I say to my parents all the time, ‘You are your child’s most important teacher. You may think it’s me, because I’m called ‘the teacher’ but it’s actually you.’ It’s an important message for parents, because they don’t always believe they bring any value.”