Don't take home-study stress out on teachers, Detroit-area educator urges parents

April 02, 2020, 10:46 AM

Educators trying to hold things together from home aren't villains, a Detroit-area assistant principal reminds frustrated, demanding parents.

Nick Gregory: "Please show some grace."
(Photo: Waterford School District)

"Teachers ... are doing their best to educate our children," Nick Gregory of Kettering High School in Waterford writes in a Free Press guest column. 

As we retrofit our education system on the fly to meet the needs of millions of students, we ask for your patience and understanding.

Be kind to teachers who are on the front lines navigating school closures in an education system that is, like so many institutions, incapable of meeting the demands placed upon it by the outbreak. At best, the expectations for most teachers right now are loosely defined by school leaders. Many teachers are trying to patch together inadequate distance learning programs without guidance.

This is not the time for parents to use social media platforms to compare teachers or to publicly complain about a teacher who is slow to adapt. Our nation's teachers have earned the benefit of the doubt, so please show some grace if you are irritated. ...

If you feel the need to share feedback with an educator, consider what would be helpful before you hit send. Negativity toward a teacher at this time will bruise deeply and could limit the creativity of teachers trying their best to meet student needs. A measured tone is imperative if you feel discouraged as a parent and wish to share your frustration.

Trust me, teachers wish they could meet the needs of every student and family they serve. ... Most educators have never been trained to deliver robust [online] instruction. 

Detroit classroom, B.C.(before corona). (Photo: Detroit Public Schools Community District)

Gregory's get-a-grip plea suggests that the Waterford School District, and perhaps others, are getting scorching emails from more than a few moms or dads. Vent to administrators rather than at the cassroom level, he suggests:

If you feel the need to share your concerns about school district policies and local programs, reach out to school leaders. ...

The best thing you can do to help teachers is to unite with them and let them know you appreciate them.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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