Teacher Of 12 Years Says It's A School's Job To Teach Kids To Read — 'Stop Blaming Parents'

The issue of poor public school education lies in an inadequate system that is failing millions of kids in this country.

student writing at desk in classroom Ground Picture / Shutterstock

In a time when being a public school educator has its many challenges, including a teacher shortage and students severely under-performing, many people have been blaming these children's parents for the lack of support in helping teachers.

However, a content creator and teacher for the last 12 years explained that we actually need to stop blaming children and start holding the public school system accountable.


The educator explained that it's a school's job to teach kids how to read.

In a TikTok video, a creator named Mash (@exspedteacher), who has worked as a special education teacher for over a decade, revealed that despite what people may believe, students should be taught how to read by their teachers, instead of depending on their parents.

After receiving a comment that read, "If there is a better way to teach reading, I'm open to that. But I think parents should do more than just support their own child's success," they responded with their opinion, saying that the public school system has failed children and teaching them the ability to read.




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"We have known that there's a better way to teach reading for a long time," Mash explained. "But the teacher preparation programs and districts bought in on 'balanced literacy' and 'high-interest,' and getting kids to find a book they're really interested in even though they didn't know how to read for 25 years. Let's think about this: currently, we have parents who are functionally illiterate and you're expecting them to support their own kids' literacy at home."

Bringing in their partner, Gerard, they pointed out that it is only the school's job to teach kids how to read, while parents should support what is going on in the school. It's the parents' job to go out and make money to support their children, provide a loving environment for them, and then send them to school to get an education.


Mash emphasized that school should not be a replacement for parenting, just as parents are not a replacement for school.

Right now, inflation is on the rise, there is a housing crisis, and many people are struggling to find jobs that can provide a livable income. All of those stressors can make it hard for parents, and the last thing they should be worrying about is finding time to provide an education for their children when that is what school is for.

"Working-class parents have always gone above and beyond, it just looks different than what you might think is important. It looks like making sure their kids are clean, or making sure their kids are fed, making sure their kid never misses an event," Mash continued.

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"Supporting a child's success looks very different based on cultural and socioeconomic status. Whatever you think about parents not doing their best, I'm gonna ask you, whose definition of support and doing their best are you using, who do we have around these parents as their village, [and] what does blaming parents get us other than you feeling good?"


Another teacher pointed out that it is a school's job to educate a child correctly for their future.

In a response video to Mash, Christina, a parent and Special Education advocate, agreed with the reality that parents should not be expected to do everything when that's the reason why they are sending their children to school.

"It is the school's responsibility and duty to teach our children how to read," Christina remarked. "Can parents support that? Of course, they can, but will a lot of kids learn to read without that support? Yes, because it is the school's obligation and duty to do that."



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She pointed out that when it comes down to it, parents are sending their children to school to learn the necessary and valuable skills needed to be able to succeed in this life. "Ultimately all children, special education or general education. We are looking for gainful employment, further education, and independent living."

It's no secret that public school teachers are struggling immensely, with around 40% of teachers more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety in comparison with other professions. On top of that, due to the mental health toll, 55% of educators admitted to thinking about leaving the field earlier than planned. 

The lack of proper public school education for students doesn't fall on teachers, nor does it fall on parents, but the entire public school system as a whole.

Parents and teachers alike are doing their best, but it's important to remember that many schools in low-income areas often lack the proper resources, experienced teachers, and extracurricular opportunities, contributing to an achievement gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.


There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all definition of parental support, especially without adequate knowledge of the day-to-day struggles that many working-class parents experience. Not all parents have the means, both financially and physically, to educate their children when, in their minds, that is what school is for. 

The issue at hand is that the deficiency in public school education cannot just be squarely placed on parents or teachers; it is a systemic issue that needs to be addressed at the level of the entire public school system. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.