Hats Off to My Parents
Post by Randee Bergen
I am just home from two days of parent-teacher conferences and am exhausted but satisfied.
Satisfied with my students’ progress.
Satisfied with the families in our community.
Satisfied with the parenting I see and the way this generation of kids is being raised.
I know we often hear otherwise.
We hear about kids who aren’t proficient.
Kids who don’t meet the standards.
We hear of families struggling financially.
We hear of divorce.
We hear of parents who don’t spend quality time with their children.
Yet they do.
I see it happening.
I witness that most of these parents are doing the best they can.
And that their best is far better than what you typically hear about.
I’m proud of my parents.
Some of them are unemployed. They’re worried, stressed, wondering what the future holds.
But they still love their kids. And they understand that education is key for their children’s future.
Some of my parents are working and going to school.
Trying to better their lives in order to better their kids’ lives. Trying to be good role models.
Many of my parents are divorced.
But, contrary to popular belief, that does not necessarily mean their kids are suffering emotionally.
Or doing poorly in school.
Some of my parents admit to not reading with their kids, not working with them.
It’s hard, they say, and it always results in a fight.
I tell them I appreciate their honesty, that I can pick up the slack for them.
That I think their relationship and harmony in the home is more important than homework.
I understand that some kids are hard to work with.
I’m better equipped to deal with that than they are. I have the training, the experience, the patience.
Some of my parents have been in prison, have done things they’re not proud of.
But having kids, being parents, the way they are now, the way they are with their kids --
They make me proud.
Some of my parents are in poor health.
One dad’s one hope is that he lives to see his boys grow up.
One mom couldn’t make it to her conference two years ago, when I had an older sibling. Cancer.
She couldn’t make it this year either. Recurrence.
Some of my parents are anxious, uneasy in the school setting.
They don’t show up at their scheduled time.
They don’t show up at all.
But their kids are at school every day, clean, clothed, fed, and ready to learn.
I just want to thank them for being caring, supportive parents.
I wanted the opportunity to show them how much growth their child has made in just two months.
Some of my parents are exactly how we want parents to be:
There, supportive, educated, informed.
Able to laugh with me about their child’s idiosyncrasies.
They listen, they ask questions, they thank me for all that I do for their child.
But people are different.
Not all parents can be like that.
And kids are different.
But kids are always kids.
They thrive in structured, caring environments.
They appreciate boundaries.
They rise to our expectations.
They’re unique, they’re resilient, they’re curious.
And did I mention that they can learn? Man, can they learn.
So, not only am I satisfied with my students and my parents.
And I want everyone to know it.
Don’t focus on the bad news.
Don’t dwell on the fact that so many of today’s kids aren’t proficient.
Hear the good news.
Realize that there are a lot of kids and a lot of parents out there doing the best they can.
I’m proud of their best.
Hats off to my parents.