Thursday, March 31, 2011


The other day my oldest daughter came to visit me at work. I just happened to have a couple of students in my office and I was explaining to them that telling the truth would be to their advantage when it came to resolving the issue we were dealing with.

Once the students were gone Missy came in and as we talked she expressed to me that she over heard my conversation (my office door was opened) and was under her breath encouraging the students to do what I was asking and tell the truth. She said; “You were using your DADDY VOICE.”

The “DADDY VOICE” for most people is that stern commanding voice your father used when the consequences of your actions were more that likely going to result in some form of punishment. As a youth, when my Daddy used this tone the events that followed were not pleasant. Let me tell you I deserved the DADDY VOICE every time it was used (And the truth is told there were times that I got away with things when the DADDY VOICE should have been used). But as I look back I can also see times when the voice brought me comfort when Daddy was there voicing support to defend my actions at times. I want to say upfront that I love my Daddy and that in my mind there is not a man on this earth that I want to more like than him. He has supported me in the good times and bad and as our relationship has grown we are now two men sharing our views and love for each other.

I wanted to see what others thought about the DADDY VOICE so I posted the question to my Facebook account, and the answers varied. The responses from the younger crowd were those of trepidation to what followed the voice and there was still a little fearful respect for their fathers, while my generation was one of humor as well as support for the discipline their fathers gave them. There were those responses that feared the MOMMA VOICE more than that of Daddy. The ones that touched my heart were the ones whose fathers were no longer with us and the longing to hear that voice of support in their lives even if was that voice of the disciplinarian.

Through all the responses there was an underlying yearning to have someone hold them accountable for their actions. That seems to go against what the media and our society says. They always want to blame someone else for their woes and don’t like it when we have to be the one to stand up and take responsibility for the outcome of our actions. Wouldn’t be something to see our government federal and state is able to sit down and work together and accept that some of the actions of both sides are good and some have caused us problems.

Don’t think we in education are not in the same quagmire. The higher elementary teachers blame the lower elementary teachers for providing a sound foundation that they can build on. The parents scream No Child Left Behind is not being followed when their child is struggling.

NCLB was designed to meet the student at their level in every grade. That means that if Charlie is doing well in all subjects but Math, then we need to work on that to help him move through our educational system in a timely manner. We as educators and parents need to band together and use our DADDY VOICE to let students know they will be accountable to learn and that we will be accountable for being very clear in what it is that they need to learn and when they struggle we will be there to give them extra time and support to master a skill In order for us to create these type of environments, schools need to provide opportunities for teachers to collaborate and come up with research-based ideas that can provide the support our students need. More to come on this topic