Principal views on parenting and schooling
This has been an issue that I believe is one of the biggest shifts in society in the last 20 years. As parents get so wrapped up in their own lives, their career, their jobs, the things they love to do, children get left by the wayside. They become an afterthought, a burden, even an inconvenience to some parents continuing their self absorbed lives.
Don’t get me wrong. This is certainly not all parents, and not all children. But increasingly so, there are so many things that schools are picking up the slack on that traditionally have been parents and families roles. This puts additional pressures on schools, teachers, staff, resourcing and funding that are far in a way more than should be expected under the umbrella of ‘education’.
Parents are the first teachers.
Unfortunately, there are an increasing number who leave the basics up to the school to do. We’ve heard reports of children turning up to school in nappies and are not toilet trained, let alone know the alphabet or numbers. We’ve heard in the news lately how parents are expecting teachers to teach about social etiquette, social skills, and other things that have traditionally been the role of society.
Original article: Principal bemoans threats to schools
A Dunedin school principal is increasingly concerned by the social expectations imposed on schools, and says some parents need to take more responsibility for their children’s actions.
During the recent King’s High School senior prizegiving, rector Dan Reddiex praised his present cohort of pupils for their outstanding achievements during the year, but went on to express deep concern about the future of education in New Zealand.
He said the school’s ability to educate boys “in mind and in heart” was under threat.
“Alarmingly, in my view, we are increasingly becoming as much a social institution as we are an educational one.
“The expectations imposed upon us now as a school, to attend to and reverse the ills of our society, are completely unrealistic and they are beyond our resource capability.
“It seems now, the first questions about the inappropriate text message sent by a school-age person in the weekend, or the under-age young person attending a party that goes wrong, are not ‘what were the parents thinking and what will the parents do about it’?
“The first questions now are ‘what school does the young person go to and what is the school going to do about it’? And we’ve seen that in the national media this year…
“I believe it’s not our parent body who thrust these expectations upon us. It’s the media and it’s increasingly a broader societal expectation.”
Mr Reddiex said the lines of demarcation between parental and school responsibility and accountability had been “completely obliterated”.
Following the prizegiving, he told the Otago Daily Times there was an expectation that schools would, in part, fulfil the function that historically had been the role of a parent.
“The vast majority of parents are doing a fantastic job, but there are some who need to take more responsibility for their child’s behaviour.”
Otago Secondary Principals’ Association secretary Gordon Wilson said it was a widespread issue.
“Schools are under increasing pressure to help the community solve some of its issues, and often schools are seen as the last place where some of these issues can be addressed.
“That’s not where schools should be. A lot of these issues that schools are being asked to deal with are not internal issues. They are issues that have arisen from outside the school.”