Ron Clark has a fantastic article up at CNN highlighting the flight of teachers from the profession, in part because of trouble dealing with parents. Reading it, I saw a lot of parallels with coaching youth sports and dealing with soccer parents, which can have a huge impact on a team and player development. Much of his advice to parents about dealing with teachers applies to sports parents as well.

For starters, we are educators, not nannies. We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don’t fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer. I have become used to some parents who just don’t want to hear anything negative about their child, but sometimes if you’re willing to take early warning advice to heart, it can help you head off an issue that could become much greater in the future.

He goes on to talk about more specific things he’s seen in his years as an educator. He also touches on how the bad teachers are often the ones who give the best grades because they want to be left alone. I’ve seen that in youth soccer as well. You try to address a problem player’s issues with their parents and suddenly you are a bad coach picking on their kid. A great read and one I’d share with as many parents as possible.