How many times have we blamed the educational system for not providing a quality education for our children? We often find something negative in the school system to complain about when it comes to our children’s education. We complain about how teachers aren’t challenging the children enough, the school is using old books to educate our children, our children are scoring low on standardized tests, the material being taught is not relevant, our children need more individual attention, the school needs better teachers and principals, the class has too many students so our children can’t learn, or our children have too many hard classes in the morning-the list goes on. Let’s stop a minute and ask whether the teacher or the school is entirely to blame for our children not getting a good education.
We live in a society that tends to blame someone else for the problems we face in society. Yes, our schools and teachers do have a responsibility to provide a good education for our children. But let’s look at a few facts about who spends the most time with our children and who is our children’s first teacher. When children are born, the parents have the responsibility of building their educational foundation. In other words, parents are their children’s first teacher, starting when the day the child is born or even while the child is still in the mother’s belly.
Some parents look forward to providing a strong educational foundation for their children from day one. These parents read to their children from an early age and even before the child is born. These parents provide as many educational opportunities for their children as possible long before their children start kindergarten, and this process doesn’t stop when the children start school. These parents are involved with their children’s education throughout their entire academic journey. Research tells us that these children generally have a positive educational experience, with academic success being almost guaranteed.
Yet just as many parents-or maybe more-don’t spend a lot of time preparing their children for their future educational journey. There are many reasons this could be happening to parents, such as busy jobs, not enough time in the day, and parents’ belief that the school should do all the educating. Whatever the reason, these children are being cheated because of their parents’ lack of time for preparation and support. These parents don’t understand that children spend the first five years of their lives at home, which is one of the most important times to start developing their children’s educational foundation. If nothing is being done during those years, the children fall behind in their educational development, and when they start school, they already lag behind their peers. As a result, teachers must work harder because these children require more individual attention, which takes away time from students whose parents prepared them for kindergarten.
When students start kindergarten behind their peers, they are subject to develop behavioral or social problems because they are academically behind other children of the same age. This is a major problem for the teachers, schools, and our education system as a whole. As more students start behind, more resources are needed to bring them up to their grade level. Bringing students up to their appropriate grade level is very difficult and could take several years. Who is the blame for this problem?
Instead of blaming someone, I believe that we as a society should try to do something about this situation. Although we can’t require all parents to be more involved with their children’s education, perhaps we can start by putting together some guidelines for what successful parents do with their children and providing workshops for parents all over the country to ensure that they understand the importance of providing an educational foundation for their children. I believe parents would do better if they knew better. Our society should make it a priority to ensure that parents are aware of the importance of parents’ involvement in the success of their children. Getting that information into the hands of our parents and providing the support needed for their success could improve our entire educational system. The time to start is now.