"your standards are too high"

I am not lying when I say I’ve been told this every year that I’ve had first grade (this is my tenth year! aaah!). Every single year, I have one or two or three parents complain that I expect too much from their children. “They’re just little kids, and you make them do all that. Sheesh!” they grumble. “When I was in elementary…”

Every year, without fail, one or two or three parents will come to conference saying that I am too hard on the kids. That there’s no way the kids can attain the goals that I set. How can I expect them to unpack their backpacks by themselves every morning and carry just a little bit of responsibility? I’m such a meanie!

Yes, school is very different now than it was “back then.” There are standards now (which funnily enough, is the “norm,” not “too high”). There’s NCLB. There’s the threat of having to pay fines for not meeting AYP goals. Yes, the children are learning more than they have in the past. But is it too much? Or are we limiting ourselves by wanting to go back to how it was when we were in school? Seeing how much the kids do today–can you imagine if we did that when we were in school? Obviously it’s attainable. How much more would education be valued today? How much better a society would we be?

Everytime I hear, “I can’t believe they’re learning that in *first* grade!” I have to roll my eyes. They’re learning that because they can. Standards are not made up of thin air. They are researched and tested out. They’re tweaked here and there, but it’s what should be expected of a student at that grade level. To shoot it down by complaining that it’s too hard for the kids is just telling the kids, no, you CAN’T do it.

I’ve always told my kids, I’d never give them something I didn’t think they couldn’t do. They may think they can’t, but I *KNOW* they can. It’s those words that give the kids a boost in confidence, and you know what? They do it! They CAN. But it is just so hard when you have the parent there saying, no, he CAN’T. Because then, of course, he won’t. And where’s the learning in that?

I told the parent who told me this today in conference that actually, her son CAN, and HAS been doing it. I proceeded to break down the first grade standards and show evidence of the child accomplishing the goals, all of which the parent said was too hard, and that I had pushed her son too much. Of course, the parent is shocked. “But he never does that at home! How can you make him do that, especially with 22 others in the class?”

I don’t know. Apparently my standards are too high.




  1. Lika Said:

    MY DH a former teacher, coach, VP, Principal and now State Dept Dude in Education would tell you to continue to do what you do.

    My #2 Dr O, works in a school district and she says the parents are worst den da kids sometimes. I tell her “see and you thought we were bad.”

    I know we grew up in a time where da teacha was always right. I was told you do what dey tell you or you going get lickings. Plain and simple, make good grades or get good licking. Ok so where was social services while I was getting my butt beat, no wheres and you know what we turned out ok.

    True dat now is a different time but still yet. People are figuring out too, dat da old way worked, its about basics.

    Continue what you do and tell da parents dey need to educate demselves. LOL

  2. Lia Said:

    Thanks for your encouragement 🙂 I know, things are so different now, and oftentimes I wonder how it’ll be in 20 years–how drastically different it will be! Would it be back to the “old” ways? Or will it be worse? Ugh.

    Thanks again for your comments 🙂

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