When Parents Need to Live and Let Learn!


Have you ever ever encountered a parent who thinks that their child is so helpless that they are always trying to do the child’s work for them? I’m dealing with one in my class right now. But I didn’t realize that it seems o be a growing problem until last week. A fellow teacher at my school and I were chatting, and she shared her experience with me; she gave her students an assignment in which they had to create a report about wetlands in the country, providing pictures and information and so on. She also provided a rubric.

When it was time for the students to present their reports, a funny thing happened. The students with the most beautiful, detailed, well-crafted reports got lower marks than the students whose reports did not look as impressive. Why? Because the teacher was wise enough to ‘interview’ each student about their assignment – How was the information gathered? What is a wetland? Name two examples of wetlands in… – Based on their answers, she was able to determine which students really knew their stuff. Apparently, some parents have a tendency to want to ‘take over’ the child’s assignment and they do not realize that it is the child that really needs to do their own work in order to really learn.

When Parents Need to Live and Let Learn! 1

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Teacher Nyla

    Wow Karen, thanks for sharing that. About two weeks ago I had to let one student do over his assignment in class during lunchtime. The principal and I agreed that it was best to leave his mother out of it because he was already starting to develop 'learned helplessness'. She still thinks that his high marks came from the work that she did. She would not believe that he got those marks on his own. I hope that his confidence continues to grow.

  2. Karen Greenberg

    Oh, I have dealt with this so often this year! I had one mom admit she does most of her son's homework. I was horrified. I, too, learned to start interviewing my students about their work. The first child to present his current events many weeks is the son who never does write his own response. He often has no idea what the article picked was even about!

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