"It seems to this non-teacher that the teacher can only educate the student presented to him or her by the family, the community, and the society. Teachers are not substitute parents, nor should they be. I am a grandmother with custody of an 11-year-old granddaughter. Her parents, one of whom is my child, never married. Her father contributes nothing, not even his presence, to her life. She has seen him a grand total of one time. Her mother decided, when my grandchildren were 9 and 2, that she just wasn't "maternal" and walked out, leaving those children in my care. Fortunately, for my younger grandchild, his father, a Norwegian national, arrived immediately with his wife and 3 older children ... after a 3-week get acquainted visit, my grandson departed for Norway, where he lives today, in the home of his parent, a responsible and loving father, and an equally loving and responsible stepmother(something most of us wives could not quite comprehend doing, by the way) and three older and doting half-siblings. But my granddaughter has neither, only two old grandparents doing their best. She has an acute understanding of how much HER parents do not want, nor love her.
What is the school to do with what they are presented in this specific case? Or any other of the many variations on this? They can only attempt to educate what is brought to them. And education is very difficult when what they get is a child poorly, if at all, parented. Poor parenting, by the way, can come from all economic levels and all social classes. When we outfit our child's room with the latest and most expensive "in" things and do not make time in our busy lives to know what they are doing and to guide and lead them, we are a poor parent. When we allow their only influences of acceptable behavior and codes of conduct to be the latest Hollywood iteration of manliness or womanliness, we are a poor parent. The latest "reality" show will not present much of a guide on how to live a life. When we allow our daughters to dress as if they had a commodity for sale (themselves) and when we advocate a get-ahead-at-all-costs-and-be-damned-to-those-might-need-our-help, we are not being a good parent, nor a good role model. The life we live is the only guide our young children have ... give them a poor example and they will simply move on to peers who are even poorer examples as they get older.
"Things" are no substitute for us, parents and grandparents. And parents who do not understand that for at least 20 years, parenting ... hands-on, total, and involved, is your PRIMARY job, then we will send children off to school as handicapped in the education process as if they could not see, could not hear, could not think, and do not feel. They especially do not feel loved, treasured, and PARENTED.
We do not issue a license to permit becoming a parent, thus anyone can do it and easily. It is probably the most important job most of us will ever have, and for 99.9% of us, our only legacy. There is no bigger failure than as a failure at parenting.
The teacher can only teach what they have been given. They cannot create out of cloth that has been neglected, mistreated, and non-parented.