Be kind to your children’s teachers.
Be damn kind to your children’s teachers. If you drop off your child in the classroom, say hello. Compliment the new decorations. There’s a good chance he or she worked off the clock to make the room festive. Remind your children to listen to their teachers. To respect their teachers. And don’t forget to respect them yourselves, because if your kids see you act disrespectfully — even at home, even on the phone to your friends — then they will, to.
Be understanding to your children’s teachers. Don’t be that parent who points out a typographical error in a newsletter. Understand that the newsletter was probably typed up at midnight on a schoolnight, with tired, bleary eyes desperately trying to blink away the exhaustion. Understand that, much like the decorations, she’s doing this on her own time.
Be realistic in your expectations. Your children’s teachers are doing all they can to make sure everyone gets a quality education. That those who need individual education plans will get individual education plans. That those who need a little extra help will get that extra help. But he is one teacher amongst upwards of 45 students. If your child is getting a D in a subject, don’t yell at the teacher. Don’t demand an explanation as to why your child isn’t making the grade. Help your damn child. Study with him. Work alongside the teacher; see what you can do to complement the day’s lessons. Don’t have the time or energy to help turn that D into a B? Then don’t expect your child’s teacher to, either. You might’ve had a 45-hour work week; your child’s teacher has a 45-student classroom (and probably a 60-hour week to boot).
Stop it with the snide remarks. Teaching is not babysitting. Teaching is not a part-time job. Don’t like how kids are taught to take tests? Take it up with the school district. Take it up with your local, state, federal politicians. Support government officials who campaign against standardized testing and universal, cookie-cutter lesson goals. But, for the love of God, do not use that against your children’s teachers, or any teacher. Odds are, they are just as frustrated as you, being forced to go down such a formulaic route that sucks all the joy out of learning.
By the way: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”? Nah, kid. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, criticize.
Show your gratitude. Your teacher could be in any other job, with better pay, fewer hours, and considerably less stress. A job that doesn’t force her to attend hours upon hours of workshops — usually on the teacher’s dime, and in their free time — in order to keep their job. With the burnout rate as high as it is, it is small wonder if any teacher can stay at any school for longer than 5 years. But your children’s teachers are there. Working tirelessly, usually with administration breathing down their backs, usually with parents who drop their kids off at 6:30 in the morning, pick them up at 5:30 that afternoon, and still make the joke that teaching is a part-time job. Show that you acknowledge and respect what they are doing.
Tell them this. Sometimes the only time a teacher hears anything from a parent, it’s in the form of a complaint. Sometimes a formal complaint that will go on the teacher’s record, sometimes over things as tiny as a typographical error or shoddy penmanship (you laugh, but I’ve seen it happen). Thank them. You don’t have to buy them presents on Teacher Appreciation Day, but you damn should write them a Thank You note. Have your child help you write the Thank You note, if not write a note as well. Tell them this, because sometimes a parent or student’s gratitude is the only source of support for a teacher.
Be active with your children. The best, kindest thing you can do for your children’s teachers is also the best thing you can do for your children themselves. Care about their field trips. Attend their Open Houses. Ask about their day and work with them if anything is the matter. For the love of God, get off your damn cell phone when entering the school.
Be kind to your teachers. If you go in with a low image of them and the education world at large, if you go in already expecting the teacher to mess up the education of your young child, if you go in with any type of improper attitude, you are doing a world of damage.
They are not miracle workers. They are not there to raise your children in place of you. They are not there to move mountains, even if they wish to. They are your partners in education. They will do whatever is in their power to provide instruction and guidance during school hours (and sometimes beyond). They will lay down the foundations that only the nurturing from the child’s guardians can build from. They will set out the base that only the life experiences outside of the classroom can continue from. They will invest time and money that they don’t have in the name of your children. They will butt heads with administration, advocate when no one else is advocating, and sacrifice more than any teacher should sacrifice in the name of their students.
So you better be damn kind to your children’s teachers.
Okay, okay, I’m going to tell you what Hermione sees in Ron.
A trio is a balancing act, right? They’re equalizers of each other. Harry’s like the action, Hermione’s the brains, Ron’s the heart. Hermione has been assassinated in these movies, and I mean that genuinely—by giving her every single positive character trait that Ron has, they have assassinated her character in the movies. She’s been harmed by being made to be less human, because everything good Ron has, she’s been given.
So, for instance: “If you want to kill Harry, you’re going to have to kill me too”—RON, leg is broken, he’s in pain, gets up and stands in front of Harry and says this. Who gets that line in the movie? Hermione.
“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” Hermione doesn’t say Voldemort’s name until well into the books—that’s Dumbledore’s line. When does Hermione say it in the movies? Beginning of Movie 2.
When the Devil’s Snare is curling itself around everybody, Hermione panics, and Ron is the one who keeps his head and says “Are you a witch or not?” In the movie, everybody else panics and Hermione keeps her head and does the biggest, brightest flare of sunlight spell there ever was.
So, Hermione—all her flaws were shaved away in the films. And that sounds like you’re making a kick-ass, amazing character, and what you’re doing is dehumanizing her. And it pisses me off. It really does.
In the books, they balance each other out, because where Hermione gets frazzled and maybe her rationality overtakes some of her instinct, Ron has that to back it up; Ron has a kind of emotional grounding that can keep Hermione’s hyper-rationalness in check. Sometimes Hermione’s super-logical nature grates Harry and bothers him, and isn’t the thing he needs even if it’s the right thing, like when she says “You have a saving people thing.” That is the thing that Harry needed to hear, she’s a hundred percent right, but the way she does it is wrong. That’s the classic “she’s super logical, she’s super brilliant, but she doesn’t know how to handle people emotionally,” at least Harry.
So in the books they are this balanced group, and in the movies, in the movies—hell, not even Harry is good enough for Hermione in the movies. No one’s good enough for Hermione in the movies—God isn’t good enough for Hermione in the movies! Hermione is everybody’s everything in the movies.
Harry’s idea to jump on the dragon in the books, who gets it in the movies? Hermione, who hates to fly. Hermione, who overcomes her withering fear of flying to take over Harry’s big idea to get out of the—like, why does Hermione get all these moments?
[John: Because we need to market the movie to girls.]
I think girls like the books, period. And like the Hermione in the books, and like the Hermione in the books just fine before Hollywood made her idealized and perfect. And if they would have trusted that, they would have been just fine.
Would the movies have been bad if she was as awesome as she was in the books, and as human as she was in the books? Would the movies get worse?
She IS a strong girl character. This is the thing that pisses me off. They are equating “strong” with superhuman. To me, the Hermione in the book is twelve times stronger than the completely unreachable ideal of Hermione in the movies. Give me the Hermione in the book who’s human and has flaws any single day of the week.
Here’s a classic example: When Snape in the first book yells at Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all, do you want to know what Ron says in the book? “Well, you’re asking the questions, and she has to answer. Why ask if you don’t want to be told?” What does he say in the movie? “He’s got a point, you know.” Ron? Would never do that. Would NEVER do that, even before he liked Hermione. Ron would never do that.
Ray Jasper is about to be unjustly executed under Texas’s racist Law of Parties. Take the time to read his brilliant, insightful, heart-breaking letter. It may be his last living statement. As Michelle Alexander wrote on her FB page, “If he is not worthy of life, none of us are.”
4 March 2014 | Ray Jasper was convicted of participating in the 1998 robbery and murder of recording studio owner David Alejandro. A teenager at the time of the crime, Jasper was sentenced to death. He wrote to us once before, as part of our Letters from Death Row series. That letter was remarkable for its calmness, clarity, and insight into life as a prisoner who will never see freedom. We wrote back and invited him to share any other thoughts he might have. Today, we received the letter below. Everyone should read it.
I don’t have enough money for my basic needs.
Working 40+ hours just to pay my rent
Now I don’t even have a single cent
Tuition is high, I gotta pay for books
Oh i’m so broke and I don’t wanna look
I popped open my wallet, no funds to count
my credit declined and my check just bounced