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Education

Former teacher gets blunt about the 'denial' some parents have about their kids education

"They're more concerned about the optics…than about taking care of the child's needs."

students, teachers, education, Every Student Succeeds Act
@bodacious.bobo/TikTok

A former teacher breaks downt he "denial" some parents have about their kid's academic performance

Many kids are seriously struggling in school. According to US News, an estimated 49% of public students started off the 2022-2023 school year behind in at least one subject as last year. That’s only a small fraction better than the 50% of students behind in the previous year.

And while there are several factors contributing to this issue—recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of resources for many public schools, a teacher shortage, etc.—several educators feel that a majorly overlooked aspect is the parents' involvement, or lack thereof, in their child’s education.


Recently, one former teacher bluntly stated that it was parents' “denial” that’s to blame. Odion, who now works as a flight attendant, made her case in response to another teacher asking parents “Why don’t y’all know that your kids aren’t performing on their grade level?” on TikTok.

In the original video, the teacher (@qbthedon) laments that even though he teaches 7th grade, most of them still perform on a 4th grade level, and, despite his efforts, those kids still move onto the next grade. The worst part is that the parents don’t seem to be aware that their kids are struggling.

@qbthedon Lets chat!! #fyp #viral #teachertok ♬ original sound - QBSkiiii

This lack of awareness and engagement dates back further than the pandemic years, says Odion, who taught Pre-K and Kindergarten in 2013.

Case in point: parent-teacher conference nights, where virtually no parent would show up. Odion then recalled one father who did attend with his daughter, called Tia for the story, but would not believe that Tia did not know the full alphabet.

"In kindergarten, you have to at least know, I think it was 80% of the 52 letters, as in uppercase and lowercase, and you have to be able to identify at random. So, I'm telling the dad that she barely knows 10 letters. And he's in denial. 'Nah, you know, she knows her letters,'" Odion says.

She then acts out that night, using a makeshift flashcard like she did to test Tia.

"I literally said, 'What letter is this?'” Odion says while holding up the letter “M.” “She said something that's not it. Put another one down. 'What letter is this?' She don't know it."

teaching

"I literally said, 'What letter is this?'”

@bodacious.bobo/TikTok

Even still, the dad insisted that Tia knew her letters, then eventually blamed Tia’s older brother, who, despite only being a sixth grader himself, was apparently “supposed to teach her.”

“It is not up to a child in elementary school, or middle school, or really any of your older kids, as someone who's an older child... It is not up to the kids to teach younger kids,” Odion says in the clip.

Using another example, Odion states that a fifth grader in her class was reading at a kindergarten level and could only process basic sentences like “I see you” and “I like to see.”

In this instance, the students should be held back in order to fully learn the year’s curriculum. But Odion argues that parents fight against it “because they are more concerned about the optics of a child being held back than actually taking care of the child's needs."

parenting

"Parents, y'all can't be backseat drivers about your child's learning."

@bodacious.bobo/TikTok

In this instance, the students should be held back in order to fully learn the year’s curriculum. But Odion argues that parents fight against it “because they are more concerned about the optics of a child being held back than actually taking care of the child's needs."

While the research shows that holding kids back a grade doesn’t necessarily improve their academic performance, and that there are pros and cons either way, the biggest point Odion seems to be trying to make is that parents need to be more proactive in their child’s education.

"Parents, y'all can't be backseat drivers about your child's learning. You have to help reinforce it at home. You put a kid in front of that phone or iPad whenever they come home, it better be on YouTube, and it better be learning about letters and sight words. You can't tell me you can't read to the kid. It takes 10 minutes to read to the kid. No one is that busy,” she concludes.

Watch the full video below:

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