When parents fight with teachers, children learn nothing

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This year I have met several people who work as school teachers. Some teach children with learning disabilities, others English as a second language, or music. They tell me scary stories of children’s aggressive behaviour towards each other, but also of parents who threaten teachers when their kids get bad grades. It’s as if the teacher is the one responsible for the bad grades, not the kids, and never the parents.

From parents I heard stories of teachers trying to split up twins saying it was good for them, teachers insulting parents for not believing in God and stuff like autism is ‘between your ears’ (Dutch for ‘in your head’) and not taking it into account.

While I went to public school in the 1970s and got beaten up by the kids for speaking the wrong language at the wrong time (French and/or English in Qu├ębec), in the Netherlands today it’s apparently the parents and the teachers duking it out. Do parents feel they have no say in their kids’ education? Do teachers feel like no matter what they teach it’s useless? My teachers used to complain about being like the police to keep the kids in check, but the parents and teachers were usually on the same side.

“Dutch teachers are facing an alarming amount of aggressive, disrespectful behaviour from parents. A recent survey of 4,000 Dutch teachers indicates that many parents actively undermine the teacher’s authority in the class, some even resort to threats and violence.”

Watch the video (Dutch with Engilsh voice-over and subtitles)

(Link: www.rnw.nl, Image: screenshot of the RNW video.)

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