Erin Axson, a middle school teacher and mom of three from South Carolina, admits that by the end of the year, she felt completely exhausted. And although she's aware that having three kiddos and a demanding job is a solid recipe for burnout, she's certain that's not the crux of the issue. In a now-viral Facebook post, Erin explained exactly why she's dog-tired — and parents might not like the reason.
"This school year has left me feeling depleted, defeated, and unsure of my place in my little corner of the world. Rather than throw in the towel, I thought I'd do some digging and try to get to the bottom of my feelings," she said. "I was surprised by my findings, and what initially provided me some twisted form of comfort — knowing I wasn't the only teacher feeling this way quickly turned into fear for our society's future."
Erin revealed where her frustration is stemming from: her students' parents. She explained how she's noticed a trend in parenting that isn't sitting well with her.
"It seems that many parents have adopted a bizarrely lenient attitude toward disciplining children as well as bending over backwards to accommodate their children's every demand," she wrote. "It's unclear what's causing these parents to believe that children should be subject to no limits, no discipline, and no stringent requirements at school."
As you can imagine, this is posing quite the problem for teachers. "Whatever the cause, these parents are, in fact, doing a terrible disservice to today's young people and to society as a whole. And they are leaving their children's teachers feeling frustrated, ill-supported, and utterly exhausted."
"Whatever the cause, these parents are, in fact, doing a terrible disservice to today's young people and to society as a whole."
Erin explains that because of this, educators are closing the book once and for all on their teaching careers, regardless of how many years they've been teaching. She urges parents to teach their kids "essential values such as empathy, responsibility, hard work, and self-discipline" in order to make the school day more bearable for the people responsible for teaching them.
And while Erin is fully aware that all parents love their kiddos, that doesn't mean that spoiling them or refusing to set limits for them is the best play for their development in the long run.
She went on explain her case in several bold statements about parents and classroom behavior that might strike a nerve. Read an edited version of her seven points ahead, and if you want more, take a look at her full Facebook post.
1. "Your kid is capable of doing and saying things that will shock the living daylights out of you. We work with these kids every day and see your child in a different light than you do. If we come to you with a problem or write your child up for disrespectful behavior, don't automatically fight it . . . We don't have it out for your child."
2. "When I write a child up or tell parents that their child has been a behavior problem, I can almost see the hairs rise on the back of their necks. They tense up and are ready to fight, defend their child . . . and let me tell you — it is exhausting."
3. "For the love of Pete, please quit with all the excuses. If you really want to help your children be successful, stop making excuses for them."
4. "Parents, let's be partners. It's OK for your child to get in trouble sometimes. It builds character and teaches life lessons."
5. "This one may be hard to accept, but you shouldn't assume that because your child makes straight A's they are getting a good education. The truth is, a lot of times it's the ineffective teachers who give the easiest grades because they know by giving good grades, everyone will leave them alone."
6. "Teachers walk on a sea of eggshells. The sad reality is — a great number of administrators and teachers these days have hands that are completely tied. . . We walk on eggshells in a watered-down education system where teachers lack the courage to correct or re-direct a child without fear of being summoned to the office to explain ourselves."
7. "Last but most certainly not least . . . I KNOW you love your children. I love them too. These kids get into my heart in a way I can't explain to you. I just ask — beg of you — to trust me, support me, and work with me, not against me."