To my delight, most parents expressed pleasure with my message and looked forward to the year we would be sharing together! Possibly more importantly, though, many shared the following message with me in one form or another:
"I need you to challenge my kid this year. I want them to experience success AND failure! We heard that you will make sure that they are prepared for middle school next year!"
Now, for anyone who doesn't know me, I am also all about praising my students and allowing them to "earn" privileges and responsibilities. Despite our challenging atmosphere, my students are happy and excited in school. We learn using PBL and simulations, and my students generally run the classroom! Very few lessons are lecture-based, and I rarely use worksheets. My students often go home with a little headache, but they're happy to have "earned" that headache from hard thinking instead of mindless busy-work.
While reading this article on the effects of overparenting this evening, I couldn't help but smile, because I could start the year knowing that I had my parents' support and knowing that my teaching philosophy meshed with their parenting philosophies! As a matter of fact, as I was wrapping up this blog post, I had a parent email me with this quote in it:
"I hope you push him to do things that takes him out of his comfort zone." - Parent