Expectations

Dear Terrence,

I just read an article from about eighteen months back called “What teachers really want to tell parents” at CNN.com. It’s about helicopter parents, which are parents who are so involved with their children’s daily lives that they’ll challenge anything and everything a teacher does that they perceive as negatively impacting their child (read: “giving” bad grades).

I’ve never met your parents. I’ve spoken to someone on the phone who was listed as your primary guardian, but since you have different last names and she sounded significantly older than what I would expect your mother to be, I’m really not sure who she is. Your grandmother? At any rate, she sounded tired when I talked to her, as if she’d heard a million times the comments I made: “can be disruptive” and “frequently disrespectful” and “rarely does any work in class.” She just sighed and said, “I’ll talk to him when he gets home.”

It seems, in general, you have the exact opposite problem as these children with helicopter parents. I don’t know why your parents don’t seem to be there. Perhaps they’ve died tragically early. Perhaps they abandoned you. Perhaps they abused you and the state took you away. Perhaps they work at night. Perhaps they were at work when I called. Whatever the reason, they don’t seem to be there.

If helicopter parents and you could reach some kind of golden mean, I think all involved would be better off.

Regards,
Your Teacher in Room 302

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