I was at a wedding this weekend and an old friend and I started chatting about teaching. She teaches 1st grade at Boston suburb school. She was describing her main struggle - the parents. Her parents consistently battle her on the appropriate reading level for their children. The parents insist the books she sends home are too easy, she repeatedly encourages them to ask their children about the book, their predictions, their sequencing... you know, literacy skills! Her parents think because their kid can read an entire Henry & Mudge book, they can read that level. They pay little attention to the idea that their child doesn't understand what he/she is reading.
I smiled because I began to question what struggle I would prefer to have. Pre-school prepped kids with in-my-face parents, or, in my case, zero-prep kids and mostly absent parents.
Some days I would like to be in her shoes, other days, my own shoes fit perfectly. Sure, it's a struggle getting my kids who haven't ever picked up a pencil to catch up with my kids who are beginning to read (not to mention all those kiddos in between), but I think I prefer that struggle to convincing a parent that yes indeed, I know what I am doing. That might just get irritating after awhile.