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Fed-Up Teacher Calls Out Parents For ‘Coddling And Enabling’ Their Kids In An Open Letter

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that can help raise and maintain awareness of important subjects. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to help keep parents in the know. They may be touching, and even make you shed a tear, but they are meant to keep an important message alive. This story is originally from April 2018.

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Who’s to blame for the behavior of naughty kids, parents or teachers? 

As the 2018 report card season came, Julie Marburger was in her second year of teaching. Which meant, she knew what to expect. 

I’m probably going to spend my entire next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid,” she wrote in a Facebook post that had went viral. 

In the post, she brought up the parents vs teachers debate. From her horrible experience as an educator, she pointed at the parents. “Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8–10) missing assignments. Most of these students and their parents haven’t seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted.” [1] 

Nevertheless, she awaited the onslaught of phone calls and emails blaming her for the poor grades. And that was just the beginning of her troubles. 

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Julie Marburger
Image Credit: Julie Marburger

Disrespectful Parents and Naughty Kids 

Bad grades were just the tip of the iceberg. A particularly difficult day inspired Marburger to write her emotional post. 

I left work early today after an incident with a parent left me unable emotionally to continue for the day,” she began. “I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don’t know if I will make it even that long. Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do … teach kids.” 

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Ending her young teaching career was a gut-wrenching decision. “It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to have a classroom of my own,” she wrote. “And now my heart is broken to have become so disillusioned in these short two years.” 

Her post resonated with people, especially fellow teachers struggling through similar issues of poor funding, naughty kids, and difficult parents. The support backs up Marburger’s statement about how droves of teachers are leaving the profession. She predicts a crisis in the education system unless there are some drastic changes.  

Read: Too Much Love Never Spoils Children

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Stop Coddling and Enabling Naughty Kids

One of the changes has to come from the parents who are quick to blame teachers for the shortcomings in their naughty kids — and sometimes the shortcomings in their own parenting skills. 

People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children,” said Marburger. “It’s a problem that’s going to spread through our society like wildfire. It’s not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life.” [2] 

Marburger attached photos to her post, depicting how the kids mistreat the classroom. Because of the nonexistent classroom budget, the ripped and broken books and props are purchased with Marburger’s personal funds. 

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damaged book shelf in class
Image Credit: Julie Marburger

I have never heard of a profession where people put so much of their heart and soul into their job, taking time and resources from their home and family, and getting paid such an insultingly measly amount.” 

The incident that inspired the post involved a mother who acted disrespectfully to her in front of the class. 

I had a student who I had an issue with and decided to call his mom while at school and she was disrespectful and rude to me on the phone in front of her son,” she said. “And I actually had the class right there with me too and they could hear what she was saying and it was quite embarrassing.”  

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The Post Goes Viral 

After just two weeks, the enraged post went viral with over half a million shares. Then it made headlines. Marburger’s words struck a nerve in countless other educators. 

I’m feeling a little shell-shocked over the attention I have gotten, to say the least. This is something I had no way of anticipating and have taken a few days to come to terms with,” she wrote in another post. She explains that her inbox flooded with people in agreement with her post.

However, if she had known how much attention her words would receive, she would have penned it differently. “For one, I would have pointed out that I have many amazing, hard-working, respectful students who show up every day and give their best and also many supportive, loving parents,” she wrote. “For them, I am thankful and hope I haven’t offended. But my frustration was also in their behalf. Because the actions of some are hindering their educational experience.” 

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Taylor Choate has had similar experiences. He worked as a substitute teacher for a year and already endured maltreatment from naughty kids and their parents. However, he had a particular grievance with the impossible expectations the schools placed on teachers. 

We have a system that says we can’t let a child fail, because that’s what makes us look good as a school district, and that gets us more funding,” said Choate. “So, what I’m seeing is a systematic problem, not one where the administrators don’t support the teachers, though it can feel that way because administrators are managing a bigger picture.” 

Choate has the daring suggestion that students should fail when they don’t put in the work. Let them become accountable for their own progress. [3] 

With the influx of support, Marburger decided to reconsider her decision to leave. However, she refused to publicly state her final choice.  

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The Parent-Teacher Partnership 

Ericka Souter, the editor of mom.me, suggests a compromise on the parents vs teacher debate by making it a partnership. 

“We’re overworked. Some of us [parents] are juggling multiple kids, multiple jobs,” said Souter. “It’s easy to say, ‘This is the teacher’s responsibility. This is their job those eight hours during the day,’ but that is not how it works

She recommends parents take a more proactive role by ensuring their children are doing their work and behaving properly. Parents should also teach children that their actions — such as slacking off or acting disrespectfully — have consequences.  

We have to take a part in our kids’ education as well,” Souter said. [4] 

Keep Reading: Holding Your Crying Baby isn’t Spoiling Them, You’re Just Meeting the Child’s Needs

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Sources

  1. This teacher’s passion ‘has been wrung completely out.’ Not by pay — but by parents.” Miami Herald. Matthew Martinez. April 4, 2018.
  2.  “This Teacher Had Enough Of The BS Parents And Kids Give Her, So Before Quitting She Posted This Epic Rant Online.” Bored Panda. Ilona Baliūnaitė. 2018. 
  3. Bastrop teacher who decried working conditions softens criticism.” Statesman. Brandon Mulder. September 22, 2018. 
  4. “Frustrated teacher urges parents to stop ‘coddling and enabling their children’ in viral Facebook post.” GMA. Katie Kindelan. April 10, 2018 

This article originally appeared on TiffyTaffy and as been republished here with permission.

Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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