According to USA today, perceived parent respect in schools has declined from 91% to 49% from a generation ago. The result is disbelief when a teacher reports poor behavior to a parent. This results in students never being chastised for bad behavior. This results in repeated bad behavior. This results in disrupted classrooms. This results in failed schools... and it is always the teachers fault. Teachers of course, would point at parents.
Perhaps todays' parent lost it's trust of authority back when they were students themselves. What forty-something year old can't point to a teacher they had in the past that left them feeling victimized, or worthless? It is not wonder they now look on teachers with suspicion. In the end, we are stuck with a vicious cycle of abuse and mistrust that continues to erode classroom effectiveness. It seems like a losing battle.
Some parents react by pulling their children from the school. Who can blame them? Students need to be taught and if it is not happening in the classroom, then parents need to do it on their own terms. It is actually a great solution for many families. Other parents, and students without the same resources feel stuck, especially in areas where schools are poorly funded, and barely supported by parents.
Unfortunately, the weight of regaining the parent's trust and respect falls back on the shoulder of the teacher. The person who receives the least support from every direction possible, is the only one who can inspire a child's imagination and a parents trust. In short teachers need to be miracle workers. They need to catch the attention of the child and inspire him or her to do better. They have to convince the parents that they truly have a heart for their child, so when they deliver bad news, it will be accepted. They also have to convince their leadership to allow them to do things differently, which is barely allowed these days.
But it can happen. These teachers do exist. These teachers need encouragement. They also need a little respect from and input from parents. They need the help of parents who take the time to get to know teachers, and can then learn from the teachers demeanor and attitude which teachers they can trust, and which they can't. Parents can push the better caring teachers who deserve respect and visibility forward. Parents can encourage children to trust teachers who truly show themselves to be trustworthy.
So while it is easy to push the blame of a failed classroom or school on a teacher, parents need to understand that without their involvement and respect, the teachers hand is literally tied.