That's a lot of trust.
No wonder teachers feel a heavy burden on their shoulders.
Maybe that's why a teacher is caught off guard when a parent storms into the school building with a grievance.
But the occasional grievance is to be understood. There is often a miscommunication between a teacher and a student, and a story can get changed by the time it gets home. Maybe the teacher is genuinely unaware of a situation that keeps occurring, and a parent who has had his or her fill of the situation finally reaches the breaking point.
As the old saying goes, Cooler heads will prevail.
Sometimes, however, a teacher builds on the foundation of that parent's grievance, and things are made worse and worse as the year progresses. Yes, there are times when the distrust becomes a wedge, and a wedge becomes a roadblock...until no amount of reconstruction seems to be possible. The relationship between parent and teacher is broken.
Teachers have to establish more trust from the start. We must work to build genuine, respectful relationships with our students. We need to give them reasons to love and trust us. That often happens when we show students that we love and trust them first. It comes when we respect them. When that goes home with students, parents tend to trust the teachers, too.
Again, this needs to be done from the beginning - perhaps even before that, before students make it to my grade level. It also needs to be genuine - not fake. Kids can smell a phony; they know when someone is playing them for fools, and I suspect parents are pretty savvy, too.
I know we want parent involvement, but that military helicopter parent who always wants to swoop in and take aim at the teacher is not the involvement we want. Teachers must develop trusting relationships to ensure we're not building helicopters ourselves.