Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grumblings from a mother bear

For the past 4 years of my daughters highschool education there have been situations with teachers, staff, or things I did not particularly agree with concerning a class or the school. Rather than address the issues with the teacher or staff I felt it was my job to speak directly with my daughter to work through the situation. Pray over the situation and simply help her learn that in life there will always be situations to work through.

I have always told my kids that this is the teacher they are with, and we have to figure out how to make this an awesome year because regardless of what we may say this person is who they are. That being said things changed this evening.

Emily came to me struggling with her homework. She was more frustrated than anything. She's a very bright girl. I have never had to tell her to study or do her homework. She loves learning, loves the challenge of completing a project and embraces the time it takes to to well, and do well she does. I am blessed by her committment to her education. Tonight's frustration was more than just homework overload, it was something more. I asked her what was wrong.

She said her teacher did not show up for a class. The class waited, and waited, and waited. No teacher. Fifteen minutes into class still no teacher. It's a beautiful day, so the class decided to go and sit outside on the track. As it turns out the teacher ended up assigning homework on concepts that were not taught and blamed the students for their lack of responsibility. Apparently he thought it was the class's responsibility to go and find him. WHAT???!!!!!

I looked at her and asked her to explain to me how she or her class could possibly be in trouble for this. So she was just frustrated at being treated unfairly, and trying to do a math problem she had not been taught. So with two weeks left of her senior year in highschool I sent an email and let the teacher know this was not acceptable. In the email I excused Emily from her sixth period class and the reason being that the teacher did not show up to teach.

When adults do not take responsibility for their actions and then try to place blame on a kids, that is when this mama-bear steps up. I have had my reservations over this teacher for years, but embraced that he is a leader at this school. His actions on many levels have disturbed me, but nothing that has ever directly affected my children, so I can go along and be greatful for the education that is offered, but this just really was not okay, and it was important that this teacher hear that from a parent.

This situation did promote some really important dialogue. As Christians are we to always walk away and be quiet. Especially when a brother in Christ is causing injustice. If we are wronged, how do we hold the other person accountable to their actions? Thoughts to ponder.


  1. I hear your frustration also. Although my children are in 3rd and kindergarten. I have had to be "that" mom when it comes to my kids and their education since 1st grade on. I've not been o.k. with certain things they are taught, how they are taught, how they handle problem children in the classes, etc. So, I have e-mailed and brought up uncomfortable subjects in conferences. I am not one to confront either so this is so uncomfortable for me. However, just as in health care (I worked for many years) people need an advocate. Our kids need an advocate or the imperfect world they are taught in will sometimes trample them. I feel bad for Emily. This teacher is trying to teach a lesson but going about it the wrong way. We've had the discussion that school is there to give you the tools to learn not to tell you how to think. That is up to the parents and the students. I'll say my prayers for you and her and hope this doesn't cause negative memories for an end to her highschool career.

  2. "When adults do not take responsibility for their actions and then try to place blame on a kids, that is when this mama-bear steps up." --AMEN!

  3. many times have I had to step up in the issue. I love your perspective about talking it through with your kids first. That's always been my husband's approach. Unfortunately, this mamma bear usually reacts first then speaks later...after the fur flys and the caustic words pour forth...acomplishing litle.

    It's a delicate balance to know when to act. I've learned to listen to my husband more. I'm so glad I have him in my life.

    But my kids are my privileged responsibility, and with so much irresponsibility floating around in the public arena, I don't apologize for keeping the "cubs" close and guarding their safety.

    Thanks for sharing your struggle. This parenting steals your heart as well as your mind and requires a healthy portion of prayer along the way.


  4. Thanks for bringing this topic up... There are times we do people a disservice by not speaking the truth to them (in love). We need to ask for God's wisdom and discernment in every situation. Are we to hold our tongue? or are we to speak truth so that another person does not have to endure the same injustice?

  5. You did exactly the right thing. I don't think God would want us to stand by when an injustice is being done especially when this may effect others. Maybe this teacher will become aware that he has to teach and cannot treat others in this way. This in effect will hopefully make it easier on those next year. Someone had to say something and I am sure you said it in as nice a way as possible.

  6. I think that you are setting an excellent example for your daughter. Because of the way you handled the situation, she can understand that even though it is best to try to work within the times there is nothing else to do but speak up for what is right and fair. By modeling this behavior, it makes a much bigger impression than just talking about it. I think it shows, too. how you trust her word and her assessment of the situation.
    Way to go, Mom! You did good!


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