The post that has generated the most Comments ever is I Hate Reading Logs by FedUp Mom. If you scroll through, you’ll notice that teachers have chimed in, some rethinking their own homework practice, others defending it. I was particularly struck by the openness of a teacher from Virginia, who found the post while looking for a reading log, and ended up rethinking logs altogether.
I also thought the teacher made a very good point about the importance of keeping all discussions between teacher and parent as cordial and as respectful as possible.
I’ll Make My Reading Logs Optional
by a Virginia Teacher
I accidentally came upon this website when searching for reading logs to give to my students this year for homework. This blog has really made me rethink the validity of the entire idea and really homework in general. Reading the comments from so many frustrated parents has been insightful, because I honestly never thought about how homework can invade a child’s home/after-school life. I applaud the parents who advocate for their kids and the tremendous weight homework can put on their shoulders. As a teacher, I want parents to feel like partners in the classroom and having conversations like this one can only help kids get the best educational experiences possible. The last thing I want to do is to stress my students out, so I’ll probably make the reading logs optional.
One thing I noticed by this site is a distinct divide between teachers and parents and while I do think discussion is important, it seems to get hostile. There are huge assumptions being made on both sides. I think teachers and parents BOTH need to have a generosity of the spirit. I am not, and have never been interested in doing harm to any student in my class – that’s not why I teach. In the same way, I don’t think concerned parents are trying to “terrorize” teachers. There has to be middle ground on which teachers and parents can both feel validated.
I think this is important to keep in mind: Teachers have kids for 7 hours a day for only 9 months. Parents have kids for a lifetime. Parents are a child’s first teachers and parents know their kids the best. I believe good, effective teachers honor this. It is very sad to me that so many families have experienced such negative experiences with public schools, especially because kids and their opinion of school and learning are caught in the crossfire.
I will definitely have a different mindset about homework going into this new school year.