To the Editors:

As a Wilton resident of more than 20 years and parent of two recent Wilton High School graduates, I wasn’t surprised to read about the high number of academic overrides at Wilton High School. No wonder so many Wilton students are struggling with precalculus and so many are stressed and anxious. When parents push their kids into courses they aren’t ready for, push them into sports so that they might receive an athletic scholarship or full ride, and push them to apply to “brand name” colleges, this will not change. Too many people define success by where they went to college, how much money they make, the size of their house, the car they drive. That’s unfortunate because true success is about finding happiness through discovering and following one’s passion and being comfortable with oneself, which usually has nothing to do with any of these material measures.

On another note, while every school has its share of ineffective teachers, education starts at home. Parents cannot expect the schools do to all the work. When parents and their kids sit side by side but everyone is on their iPhone and not interacting, when kids spend hours playing video games instead of playing outside, reading books, or engaged in other activities that require the use of their imagination, when parents allow their kids to have televisions in their rooms, when parents themselves spend hours watching TV rather than reading, they are missing opportunities to educate their children and to inspire them to be intellectually curious. The home environment has a greater impact on a student’s academic performance than any one teacher. And learning how to “survive” an ineffective teacher is as important a life lesson as any other. After all, once our kids go out into the working world, they don’t get to choose their own bosses. They have to learn to navigate bad bosses and difficult work environments. If they haven’t learned to do this in school, they will have trouble doing this as adults.
Name withheld (by request)
April 14