Good morning, Parents.
I read an article recently and I thought I would share a couple quotes from it’s author–Thomas Rogers–because it really speaks to the idea that education is a partnership between parents and the school. It may be a little too easy to lose sight of the huge impact that parents have on the success of their children in the learning process, but that does not mean it is any less real.
“As our society has become more and more materialistic, our definition of poverty has become more and more narrow in its parameters, focusing solely on the financial standing of families and individuals. The problem is, I think, that the most significant “poverty” today in terms of it’s impact on educational success is emotional poverty, mind-set poverty, aspiration poverty, in essence; “values poverty.” And this is a form of poverty that finance seems unable to fix.”
The article goes on to talk about the educational attainment gaps between the “haves” and the “have nots,” but adds that the gaps are not always caused by financial poverty.
“Child A is above the financial poverty threshold. However, his parents simply don’t “parent” and even when they do, any kind of emotional intimacy or social connections are limited to a shout up the stairs to stop playing the PlayStation because it is 1am. The child lacks any kind of cornerstone in their life, feels alone, struggles to communicate effectively, and is desperate for love and attention. However, they do have an iPhone 6.”
“Meanwhile, nearby, Child B has two parents who are both out of work, but offer him or her the spiritual, emotional and physical love that he or she needs, as well as instilling the kind of values they would like their son or daughter to have. Above all, Child B has the aspiration to do well, to lift them and their family out of the financial situation they are in. “
This more complete definition of poverty clearly illustrates that success in educating students is truly a partnership between parents and teachers. In our district, we have a very high percentage of students who come from rich family environments, regardless of income, and these students are easy to engage in the learning process, and they are internally driven to learn and grow because they have the foundation in place at home that allows them to have high aspirations for their futures and the motivation to work toward those goals. I read a quote years ago that has stayed with me a long time that said something on the order of, “My parents provided a launch pad in my formative years that made all of my dreams possible.” I think that sentiment has stayed with me because I feel that is what my parents did for me. And they did it by being present, and probably more than anything, by just being real parents and instilling values. Maybe this perspective seems a little old fashioned to some, but I am confident that nearly every teacher would confirm that it is a lot easier to have success with Child B than Child A. Many times parenting is a lot harder than it looks, but done well, it is a huge blessing to our children.
Have a great week.