My recent encounters this past week with parents reminded me of a book I read several years ago. Boundaries with Kids, a marvelous book discussing the importance of knowing where you begin and end as the parent and/or teacher, completely revolutionized how I deal with children. I recommend this book to every adult who has to deal with children on a regular basis.
Due to the nature of our position, teachers are often held responsible for the actions and inactions of our students. We effectively plan, implement formative assessments, differentiate instruction, assign meaningful homework, make the classroom a safe environment and communicate effectively however there’s always that someone who will say we are not doing enough for kids. It’s moments like this when the rationale of Boundaries with Kids come to mind. There’s a point where we as teachers end and the students begin.
Once we have laid the foundation, made the perfect set, lobbed the perfect alley-oop, thrown the perfect pass, handed over the baton the students are supposed to carry things the rest of the way.
Now I know you’re probably saying, “Yea but my administrator, yea but my district, yea but the evaluation…” What I’m saying won’t change those factors. But it can change the way you handle these situations. When boundaries are in place, the expectation is I do my part and you do your part. If you don’t, I’m not responsible for the natural consequences that occur.
So I ask you, have you done all that is in your power to do for your students? Have you made adjustments to better meet their needs? Do you know it is impossible for you to understand for them? Yes? Well Jenise, let yourself off the hook.