At its core is the classroom—an ongoing gathering of students and teachers whose purpose is learning. Parents are not included within the boundary of the classroom because they are not residents there—they do not appear in class every day.
There is no experience like a great teaching moment, which is why many teachers join the profession. Charlotte Roberts recalls the magic she experienced when she taught beginning reading as a first-grade teacher. “If you don’t know how to read, the letters in a book are nothing more than squiggles on a page. The teacher’s job is to help students unlock the squiggles.
Students are the only players who see all sides of the nested systems of education, yet they are typically the people who have the least influence on its design. In that sense, they are often (especially as they move on to middle school and high school) like drivers in a long traffic jam. They feel blocked by something they can’t quite see, tempted to swarm past each other competitively, and unable to do anything about the problem.
One unfortunate mental model among educators is that parents are no longer interested in becoming involved in schools. Another mental model sees parents as the obstacles: source of demands that make the educator’s job more difficult. Meanwhile, parents have negative mental models of their own about education.
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Some associate the school building with their own past history of uncomfortable learning English online.