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updated sat 3 jan 04


Susan Setley on fri 2 jan 04

In a message dated 1/1/04 10:05:59 AM, melpots@PCLINK.COM writes:

> i think the best idea yet is to do both.
> and, that is what is missing in most homes
> here in the old u.s.a.

I don't agree. I think most parents are good, responsible parents. Many have
no interest in the parents acting in their stead. It's so easy to make
negative generalizations about a group of people, whether it be parents, students,
teachers, or anyone else. I taught for many years -- special education. Because
of the kinds of students I served, the parents were easy targets. I only had
two instances where the criticism often heard about the parents in the
teacher's lounge was accurate.

In one case the father of a boy was clearly unbalanced. In the other, the
mother of a girl obviously had very low intelligence. In the case of the boy,
there wasn't much we could do about it, but in the case of the girl we made a
tremendous difference. Even though she had a fairly low IQ herself *and* a
learning disability, she graduated from high school and went on to a technical
school to get a practical nurse's license.

School intervention accomplished some good in that girl. In fifth grade she
came to me and told me she wanted to enter the science fair but her mother
couldn't help her, so would I?

Her classroom teacher found her a box. We found a book of simple science
experiments. Her project was rudimentary and not attractive so the art teacher
sent up some materials to dress it up a bit. She did all the work, including data
collection -- with guidance -- on her lunch hour. She gave up recess for a
couple of weeks to do this.

I certainly had parents of children who were flawed in some way, but that
only makes them human. The GREAT majority were caring, kind and compassionate
parents doing the very best they could, and I worked with the most-challenged
parents in the school. And yes, we had students from multiple ethnic backgrounds
and from a few upper-middle class to a significant number of very poor