Recently I heard a mother ask her child if she had fun today at school.  This got me to thinking, “is this the message we want to convey to our children?”  Is school about learning or about having fun?  School is about learning.  Public school is not fun babysitting.  Fun is Disneyland – school is learning.  It is a plus, it is nice when students have fun; but in the end school is about learning.

In order for learning to happen there must be structure in the classroom.  Students must be managed and comply with rules that promote a learning environment.  In order to train students in proper classroom/learning behavior, discipline is sometimes needed – not fun.  All teachers have different personalities and teaching styles.  A little secret:  the teachers that teach proper behavior are usually seen as the toughest.

When I look back on my education, it was the teacher that pushed me and made me be the best student I could be that I appreciate.  And it is not that I did not have plenty of examples of teacher that let the class do whatever, sometimes leaving the class to “sleep it off” in the staff lounge.  I don’t even remember those chaotic classrooms as fun.

Sometimes parents get upset with a “tough” teacher; that parent may just want their child to have fun.  If a complaint against a teacher is felt needed there are several steps that could be taken.  First, try to talk with the teacher politely.  Second, arrange a meeting with the teacher and the principal and again, talk politely.  Third, if you have tried the first two steps, talk to the principal.  Next, you could file a complaint at the District Office.  Lastly, you are always free to address the School Board.

To save you frustration please be aware that personnel (teacher) matters are confidential by law.  Once you file a complaint, even to the principal, it is investigated and as warranted consequences delivered; all confidentially.  You will never know anything, frustrating but dictated by law.

One last quick reminder: school is about learning.

. Mr. Patrick Gross
Principal
pgross@el-tejon.k12.ca.us