(Editor's note: As another school year winds to a close, we thought it timely to pubish this teacher's letter to parents. Author unknown.)
I am a teacher. And I am tired. I am tired of politics, administration's scare tactics, frustrated colleagues, semi-conscious students, media hype and, especially, I am tired of parents who expect me to resolve their children's problems.
I simply do not have the answers. I have tried everything.
I have hugged your child, listened to your child, bought supplies for your child, and reminded your child the importance of getting an education, as well as the importance of caring about life with heart and genuineness.
I have read therories on how to teach at-risk students (this includes almost the entire student population because "at-risk" is really defined as children growing up without parental supervision).
I have read therories on how to teach pregnant students, students on drugs, abused students, high-energy students, shy students, female students and male students.
I have attended conferences for ideas on how to teach hands-on activities, higher level thinking skills, cooperative learning groups and numerous other strategies.
I have laid away at night rolling over and over in my head ideas, solutions and lamentations. I have cried tears, trying to find the answers for motivating your child to have success in my classroom and in life.
I am a teacher. I am not a doctor. I am not a psychiatrist. I am not a minister. I am not a Harvard graduate. And I am not a former drug addict, alcoholic, or anything that provides insight into your child's situation. I am not God. And I am, emphatically and unequivocally, not your child's parent.
I am a teacher.
I am tired of politicians blaming policy-makers, state government blaming localities, administration blaming central office, central office blaming school board, school board blaming city council, and everyone blaming teachers.
But I have to tell you - the students who have success in my classroom are the ones whose parents I have met at every open house and on every parent-teacher conference day.
So, please, do not tell me that educators are the solution. The solution, the power and the state of your child's welfare, lies in your hands. Not in mine, but in the hands of you, the parent.
And if you don't want to lose another educator who cares, who sweats, who encourages your child, then I suggest you get to your child's school and make education matter in your child's life.
Because I am a teacher.