- Someone in the process of becoming a teacher has yet to demonstrate an ability to consistently—
—have all homework turned in neatly and on time. A teacher can be trusted to support a student in honoring the homework agreement by recreating a new agreement (time by when it will be completed).
—be trusted to notify parents each time the Parent-Teacher-Student Homework Agreement has been broken (when a parent has sent his/her child to school without ensuring the homework has been completed).
—inspire those with whom he/she works/relates (supervisors, peers, students, parents, and loved ones) to communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously, all agreements honored.
—produce a measurable positive difference in a student's performance through a teacher-parent-student consultation (consistently demonstrates the ability to identify the source of a problem).
This tip is prompted by the fact that nationwide a significant percentage of university and college freshmen still require remedial courses in reading and writing. For decades high school principals have been graduating college-bound students who have not demonstrated an ability to read and write at college entrance level. Instead of teaching education majors how to communicate subject matter universities and colleges have lowered their entrance requirements. i.e. "One in three Hawaii public school graduates require remedial composition and comprehension courses when they enter the University of Hawaii System."
- The college/university Speech-Communication curriculum for education majors introduces one to the fundamentals and principles of interpersonal communication. Education Majors graduate knowing about and understanding what it takes to cause students to turn in homework on time and neatly; the problem is that education majors haven't been required to master this fundamental leadership-communication skill. "Knowing about" and "understanding" something is as far from knowing as is not knowing. It would take an additional sixty-credit hours for education majors to know (with demonstrable certainty) how to co-create and communicate the Teacher-Student-Parent Homework Agreements and subject matter—no excuses, no reasons. Such a curriculum would include the subjects of responsibility, intention, acknowledgment, withholds, perpetrations, and the correlation between personal integrity and outcomes—the variables a Communication-Skills Coach addresses when communications break down (when results are other than envisioned).
Presently, education majors are not skilled at eliciting—through communication with a parent—the source of the problem of a poorly performing student; ergo, the parent(s) and the child continue communicating (behaving) in a way that produces less-than-desirable results. Included in the additional 60-hr curriculum are processes that support education majors in confronting and acknowledging their ego; presently most educators are still addicted to arguing and blaming. Education majors are run by abusive arrogance, fear, and survival.*
- Teacher to Coach: "I need to know what I'm doing that's causing _ _ _ _ to not do her homework; obviously I've failed to enroll her and her parent(s) in supporting the Teacher-Student-Parent Homework Agreements."
Among the communication skills a teacher must have is the ability to create a safe space for truths to be told. Towards this end "teachers" regularly participate in The Clearing Process for Professionals with the emphasis on withholds (thoughts withheld for reasons). Presently, thoughts withheld between education majors and parents is the norm. These thoughts (stored in the back of the mind) serve as barriers to communicating subject matter. To discover some of the thoughts teachers and parents withhold from each other, read Teacher's Pay Conversations Project, it's what many parents think but are afraid to say to teachers.
Instead of scheduled teacher-parent-student clearings at the end of each year graduates (citizens) have legislators communicate their dissatisfactions, specifically, of educators who support students in doing mediocre work. In other words, we unconsciously force teachers (our mentors) to beg for pay comparable to that of skilled workers. This reveals yet another topic that's missing in an education major's speech-communication curriculum—the subject of acknowledgment, of considerately, lovingly, respectfully, bringing our mentors along with us. As in the sales profession a teacher's wages always perfectly mirror ones communication skills. It bears repeating—the leadership-communication skills it takes to effect satisfactory wages and operating expenses are the exact same skills it takes to communicate subject matter.
Students always mirror the integrity of their teacher (Read Military Academy Scandals).
You'll know with absolute certainty that your child has a teacher because a teacher conducts a Teacher-Student-Parent Homework Agreements session at the beginning of each year, during which the agreements are co-created (communicated).** The words co-created and communicated here are different than "telling," "discussing," "announcing," or "handing out the agreements." Another test is knowing that you could talk with a teacher about this tip without triggering upset. This subject matter will trigger blaming upset with an education major; they are not yet a safe space to discuss such topics, to simply be with these thoughts. Typically, this topic will trigger justifications, reasons and explanaiton from an education major as to why it can't be done.
- Note: If an education major does not verbally communicate the agreements then what exists is the implied agreement; a parent's implied agreement is to send their child to school with the homework done neatly. In other words, it's never ever the student's fault. Children do as children do; parents know a child can't yet be trusted to consistently do their homework. Also, parents do as parents do; teachers know that many parents can't be trusted to send their child to school with the homework done, ergo, the need for a specific Teacher-Student-Parent Homework Agreement. The consequences for breaking verbal and implied agreements are exactly the same. Children misbehave, fail, and even get sick to draw attention to a breakdown in communication at home and at school.
You will know that your child has co-created an agreement with the teacher. You'll know because you, the parent(s), will have an agreement. You'll have given your word that you will ensure that your child completes all homework neatly;**** you'll know that to send your child to school without the homework done completely and neatly is abusive (it doesn't feel good to the teacher), it thwarts the person you're paying to support the success of your child. Most importantly, you'll know that to send your child to school with a broken homework agreement is to consciously intend the undesirable consequences generated when one is out-integrity.
It's possible that as a parent you will experience upset or even anger during the Homework-Agreements Session. This is because you'll be asked to make and keep an agreement, to honor your word, no excuses, no reasons. It's possible your mind will judge the teacher to be unreasonable and self-righteous. The excuses and reasons your child will come up with for not keeping an agreement will mirror the ones you use, the ones they learned from observing you.
In conclusion: Enrolling your child in school is the same as enrolling yourself in continuing education; for you it will be about expanding your leadership-relationship communication-skills, learning how to interact with, and support, teachers. It's about how to support your child in being truthful and responsible. It means you will have homework each day—yours being—to ensure that your child does his/hers. Keep in mind—your child, to honor you, will do everything in his/her power to emulate you; he/she has no choice other than to mirror your integrity. Most of what a child learns from you is through observation. Telling a child to be nice to others when they observe you and your spouse not being nice to each other causes the child extreme confusion; the hypocrisy drives them crazy, often it drives them to do drugs and seek affection (communication) elsewhere.
* An education major holding down the position of teacher is still run by fear and survival. Financial survival, (having a job) is more important than supporting the integrity of a student and his/her parents(s). The premise: If one hands out homework and does not rigorously support it being handed in neatly and on time then both the parent(s) and the student experience the consequences of having broken the homework agreement (whether, verbal, written, or implied), of having treated the teacher abusively. It doesn't feel good to the teacher. The parent has thwarted (sabotaged) the person they have asked to educate their child. A teacher's integrity affects the outcomes of the student and the student's parents. An education major loses respect when they don't always mean what he/she says.
** I'm unaware of any university/college speech-communication curriculum for education majors that requires Leadership Training during which Agreement-Making and Supporting is taught. Such a curriculum requires that a student, 1. Acknowledges and cleans up life's perpetrations (see The Clearing Process). 2. Commits to communicating responsibly (zero) blame and badmouthing. 3. Commits to keeping and supporting agreements. 4. Communicates openly, honestly, and spontaneously, no significant withholds. —Kerrith H. (Kerry) King, Leadership-Relationship Communication-Skills Coach
*** The Homework-Agreements Session, between the student, the student's parent(s), and the teacher is unique: it is video taped (one copy for the student and his/her parent(s) and one for the teacher. The DVD can be used later as a training aid for everyone. During the session the student and the parent(s) are asked how they want to be communicated with when there is a broken agreement, specifically, when there is an upset in the space. It can be reviewed to see where communication broke down. Note: Most always a parent handles the first communication from a teacher about late homework apologetically and politely. The second incident contains some upset but again politely and appreciatively. A parent, after the the third incident, starts to realize that their child is mirroring their own irresponsibility. Soon suppressed anger and withheld judgements begin to affect everyone's relationships. A teacher knows how to support agreements, to get and disappear anger.
**** "Neatly." To non-verbally support illegible/sloppy penmanship is to thwart the success of the school's penmanship teacher. Thwarting another always begets thwarting. A "teacher" always conducts a penmanship test at the beginning of each year. Students who fail to demonstrate neat penmanship are referred to an after-school penmanship remedial class. This supports "neat" in being a respectful conscious choice.
For more: Read, The Teacher's Communication Skills Tutorial and Imitation of Communication and a Potential Rumor about a proposed Homework-Agreements Workshop.
Last edited 5/22/17