Today an anonymous comment rolled in and I think it's worth taking a good long look at it:
Glad to know you know so much more than your kids' teachers do about what tbey should learn and how they should learn it. Why don't you just save the whole lot of you a bunch of trouble and home school your kids?
Now I have no idea who wrote this, but I do care a lot about what they think. Because I think if one's immediate reaction to a letter from a parent is to fall into an 'us' versus 'them' mentality where we tell parents to go homeschool their kids, then we really aren't getting anywhere in education.
Secondly, I do know more about my boys than their 3rd grade teacher. I do know how one of them clams up when in conversation with strangers and I know how the other obsesses over every little thing. I know what books they've read and what books they've thought were fluff. I know that they hate 'childrens' music' and that they think Disney sucks. I know what they look like when they are happy and I know when they are faking it (and they are good at that).
Their third grade teacher will have known them for two days; I've known them for close to nine years.
Now I have no idea whether the writer of the comment was a teacher. Maybe, maybe not. Hope not. But maybe.
Let's for the sake of discussion say it was.
Well, in that case, rather than getting huffy about somebody stepping on the toes of your profession, you'd sure as heck be better off starting to try to build closer relations with families. Because kids don't learn just because they are in a classroom; and just because the kid isn't in the classroom doesn't mean he's not learning.
I cherish every meeting I've ever had with a parent (even the one where a mother threw books and papers at me); because insight into the world of a parent and insight into the ways a parent sees their child is insight into the world of the child. And it's that child that you as teacher have the honor of spending some time with everyday.
Each kid in your class is an honor.
So don't give me some anonymous junk about "You should just homeschool your kids". I'm a teacher myself, I'm a professional, and I don't have the audacity to pretend that the parents of my kids can't help me to better teach them.