The perfect parent; the perfect teacher = no such thing

24 Apr

PHD in says, “The perfect parent is a myth. That person does not exist. We all make choices as parents, some free choices and some forced choices. Sometimes we are able to do what is best for our children and sometimes we are not.”

If parents cannot be perfect all of the time or even some of the time, then why does the United States expect perfection from its public school teachers?

Probably because films like the Blackboard Jungle, Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me, The Miracle Worker, and The Great Debaters—for examplemay have created an unrealistic expectation that every teacher should be perfect.

There are about 3.2 million public school teachers in the US. Many of them are parents too. They work in almost 100,000 public schools—more than 67 thousand elementary schools; more than 24 thousand secondary schools, and about 6 thousand combined schools in addition to 1,296 other types of public schools.

Those 3.2 million teachers work with more than 55 million students in13,809 different school districts spread out among 50 states and territories.

Expecting 3.2 million public school teachers to be perfect while working with 55 million imperfect children coming from imperfect homes and imperfect parents is an imperfect expectation.

Does every soldier that goes to war earn a Medal of Honor?

Have you ever worked in a large company where every employee was perfect every day, every moment—even the bosses?

Yet many Americans seem to expect teachers to be extraordinary.

In an Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, Ellie Herman said, “Yes, we need to get rid of bad teachers.  But we can’t demand that teachers be excellent in conditions that preclude excellence.”

I recommend you click on the above link and read what Ellie had to say about the students she taught. I taught for thirty years and could have said about the same thing.

Discover The Self-Esteem Train Wreck


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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2 responses to “The perfect parent; the perfect teacher = no such thing

  1. daunaeasley

    April 24, 2013 at 06:45

    I loved this post. I think you’ll enjoy my blog site about teaching also.

    I wish I had your talent for working in meaningful video pieces. Yay for you! But I know you’ll enjoy my reflections on teaching.

    TEACH…To Change Lives,
    Dauna Easley

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      April 24, 2013 at 07:37


      Thank you. If you know how to embed a video in one of your posts, you may also include videos. It isn’t that difficult. You Tube has billions of videos and most of the time it is easy to find a video—by searching You Tube on You Tube—that complements the topics your posts. If your search terms do not come up with what you want, change the terms and keep looking.

      If you fail to find a video that works, then post a photograph. 😮 Or open your own You Tube account and produce your own videos to embed in your posts. It really isn’t that difficult. The software comes with Windows and it takes less than a half hour for most people to learn even without directions.

      My wife has a You Tube account and produces her own videos.

      Follow the previous link to my Wife’s Website and click on “The Cooked Seed” documentary book trailers link and you will be able to see her work. She has promised to help me produce a few videos as soon as the book tour for her next book is over in June. She earned an MFA in film from the Chicago Art Institute and before that she worked several years for the Shanghai film studio.

      The downside to using videos posted on You Tube by other people is that sometimes a video will vanish and the link stops working—someone closes his or her account, removes a video or You Tube took the video down due to copyright violations. Then you have a dark rectangle that does not offer a video to view.

      Oh well.



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