During the course of the past fifty years, the American public school system and the federal government have been in serious decline, and the two are not mutually exclusive. Conservative grassroots movements are plotting courses of action as to how we can restore traditional American virtues and values to both our federal government as well as our schools. Since I am a conservative public school teacher, I am going to address the state of the country’s public school system in a series of blogs.
Education begins at home
For decades, conservatives have voiced concerns about the controversies related to the public school system and for good reason. We are legitimately frightened with the “spooky” direction many of our school districts are headed; the federal government taking over the control of our local schools; the Democrat Party controlling the system and running roughshod over the legitimate concerns of conservative parents and their children by basically dictating to all of us: “My liberal way or the highway!”; teacher unions having too much clout; lack of patriotic assemblies; students being indoctrinated with leftist psychobabble, etc. All of these are legitimate concerns. However, having taught in our schools for almost three decades, I have witnessed an alarming and negative trend occurring with a very large number of parents-regardless of the political party or political philosophy they adhere to, which consists of the following:
Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. Children would be more successful in school if their parents would see to it that they did their homework on a regular basis and studied for their quizzes and tests. Yes, this takes time out of our busy schedules, but during numerous parent meetings at school, I often find that they are totally ignorant of the study habits, or the lack thereof, of their own children at home-much less at school. It is important for parents to attend the annual Open House at their children’s school in order to discover what strategies are available to them in order to assist their children with organizing their work and study skills as well as how to communicate regularly with the teachers at school. As much as possible, parents need to quit pulling their children out of school during the duly appointed time of school instruction so that they may attend family outings, vacations, amusement parks, cruises, and extended family trips that can last a couple of weeks long, etc. The Christmas, Spring, and Summer Breaks are the properly appointed times to be used for family vacations, trips, and outings. How can we expect our children to excel in academic performance and achieve respectable scores on state and national tests as well as acquire the traditional American virtue of self-reliance if they are continually pulled out of school for a myriad of reasons and excuses? Many of these same liberal and conservative “helicopter parents” will then whine the loudest to school officials if their children’s grades and test scores are lower than the other children’s scores who are attending school on a regular basis. I am not talking about legitimate illnesses or family emergencies that arise from time to time. However, teachers are very alarmed at the ever increasing number of days that can eventually accumulate into weeks over the length of a school year with regard to children being absent from the classrooms because of the aforementioned excuses, thereby seriously impeding academic excellence and progress.
In conclusion to part I
As a direct result of the lackluster school attendance being exhibited by too large a number of students attending school as well as a large number of parents not taking responsibility for holding their own children accountable for grades, homework, etc., we are continuing to countenance the decline of the virtues of self-reliance and accountability with many parents and their children in America. As I state in my book, The Sissification of America: A Fifty-Year Decline in American Exceptionalism, “My dear people, having taught school for more than twenty-six years myself, I have discovered one truth to be of paramount certainty: Show me concerned and proactive parents who take an actual interest and role in their children’s education, and I will show you successful, industrious, and well-adjusted children in school. These same children will not grow up to be lazy deadbeats nor will they become economic dregs on society because of any entitlement mentality. Instead, they will be industrious, entrepreneurial businessmen and businesswomen who will be the movers and shakers of America’s future.” Education begins at home.