Parents as Students

Today was a good day. Every year we have a minimum day where students are encouraged to bring their parents along with them. Sure it isn’t the true experience – only 39 minutes, instead of 54. Everyone, including myself, is dressed up and we put on our best lesson. Some teachers hate this day, but I love it.

In world history, I did a lesson on creating an enemy with propaganda. After a short review of the concept of propaganda, I showed examples of enemies being depicted as beasts, rapists, barbarians, etc. My flow was good, timing good enough, everyone participated, and the parents laughed at my numerous one-liners.

In United States history, I introduced my unit on the Civil Rights Movement. I defined civil rights and the movement as a whole, then went through a series of images that showcased life in the South before and during the 1960s. After that I gave the students and parents a copy of a literacy test from Louisiana. Once they completed the test, we went over parts of it, and discussed its purpose. Again it went smoothly, I got more parent participation then in world history and even my quiet class got involved.

I hope events like this give the community a positive impression of the efforts of the teachers. Our union battles with the administration are continuing and the pessimistic part of me feels that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. If the community as a whole values our contributions, they might be more supportive.

3 thoughts on “Parents as Students”

  1. Dan, glad the day’s lessons went well. The program your described sounds incredible. I wonder if sharing your “success” story during a staff meeting might cause a subtle shift in some of the bemoaners.

    Schools need to reach out to the public more. Teachers need to remember that there are far more good, supportive parents than there are “crazy” ranting parents.

    It’s the same with kids. We always remember those 2 or 3, but what about the other 20 or 30 (yikes!) in the room?


  2. The Week 7 Carnival of Education, opening March 23, is on the road this week, at JennyD. Submissions for the The Carnival of Education Week 7 should be sent to: jdemonte at comcast dot net no later than 10 pm Eastern, or 7 pm Pacific time, on Tuesday, March 22, 2005.

    Don’t forget! A great carnival needs lots of sights and publicity.


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