My thoughts on helicopters...

When did it become acceptable for parents to support their child’s outright disrespect for a teacher?

“My mom said you don’t know what you are doing and that this is dumb, so I don’t want to do it.” –child age 5

“Shut up!” –child age 9

“You can’t tell me what to do.” –child age 7

“I will bring my kids to school late if I want, it is my choice.” –mom

“I don’t like that you have the kids turn in the homework on Thursday; you should change it to Friday.” –mom

“I have two kids; it is too hard to get the homework done.” –mom

What kind of children are we raising when we teach by example that we don’t have to respect an adult or authority figure just because we either don’t like that person or because you want something  done a different way?

When parents start to question, accuse and assume what the teacher is doing is wrong, bad, a waste of time, or not challenging enough and they do this in front of their children, the children start to do the same thing.

Do these parents not understand that attacking, criticizing, and calling into question the teacher’s ability to their job, without having the knowledge to back up what they are saying, just makes them look, hmm, well I can’t think of a nice word, so I will let you fill in that blank.

Not only that, but how does it make the teacher feel knowing that every day there are helicopters outside the room spying, listening, texting, talking?…it can feel like a modern day witch hunt! Do they think that these attacks are going to make the teacher really want to come in and go that extra mile for the students?  Let’s face it we all go that extra mile, spend our own money, take away from our own family time but I would have no problem stopping all of that if I were treated like some of these teachers.

If parents want a personalized, tailored to fit their life kind of education for their child then they either need to homeschool or take them to a private school and pay for it. 

Now don’t get me wrong here, I love the involved parent. I want parents around, helping me, helping their child, helping other children. We definitely want that home school connection, but there is a difference between an involved parent and a controlling parent. 

The involved parent is there to support the child’s education and assist the teacher in the child’s academic success. The controlling parent is raising a child to go around saying “it is not my fault and my mommy even says so.”

I hope you have more involved parents than controlling parents this year.

Those are my thoughts on helicopters…


  1. I agree completely and I am at a private school. Parents think that they pay tuition so they should have it their way. Very frustrating at times!!

  2. SO TRUE!! My fellow teachers and I just had this same 'rant.' Well, we actually have it quite a bit this year. This is the WORST year I have seen with the MOST disrespectful children. It's so disheartening. I find myself saying more and more...why do I continue to hit my head against the wall for these children and these families while my own suffer from my unintentional lack of attention??? Thank you for stating what is on the forefront of many of our minds this year.

  3. This year I have had all sorts of complaints about me.... I don't speak spanish well enough, i dont give enough homework (in PREK), all i do is play all day (In PREK), i am too young, i do not give their child enough attention... i even have one parent who complains that i dont give her child enough homework, but she doesnt do the homework she has for her child in prek and her other in kinder.... thank god my principal is supportive of me!!!

    i totally relate! Good luck!!

    The Big Apple Teacher

  4. Well said and very timely! This has been the worst year (in 14 years) for disrespectful parents and students.

  5. YES! I feel the EXACT same way. I have had more parent complaints this year than in my entire teaching career. It can be very frustrating. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone.

  6. Amen to that post! Well said :) Here's another really good article someone shared with me from CNN.

    Teaching in Paradise


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!