Parents start with high hopes for their child. Beyond the worries and fears of being good parents, there’s also the wonder about the future. Parents worry about their child’s education and school.
Teachers start the academic year with high hopes for their students. Every teacher begins the academic year without fear of failure. Every student is a young mind that they can mould and help develop. They are confident and upbeat and look forward to the journey of learning together with their students.
Teachers appreciate parents’ support. Difficult or absent parents make the teacher’s job so much harder. Parents on the other hand are exhausted from parenting their children at home. They welcome the opportunity to take over six hours each day and have a break.
Both parent and teacher must be on the same side when it comes to the child. Education is only as effective when there is a shared understanding and cooperation between parents and teachers. There are many factors that can prevent this from happening. Some teachers have experienced how intimidated they feel when parents confront or accuse their teaching. They may have noticed how frustrating it is when the parents can’t seem to cooperate, for example, when they won’t respond to requests for meetings or when homework is not properly supervised. The truth is that when it comes to school affairs, parents experience the same feelings—fear or threat, incompetence, frustration, even anger sometimes. Did you have a difficult time at school? It is scary to walk into school grounds. How many parents, upon being called to a parent/teacher conference, have feelings stirred up of being sent to the principal’s office?
Teaching and parenting can seem like a tedious and unfulfilling job. Both parents and teachers have internalized feelings that can hinder the ability to build good relationships. Because neither parents nor teachers are able to talk through these feelings in a safe environment, they can be directed at one another.
Parents and teachers must be able to recognize their feelings and find safe spaces (support groups or circle of friends, mentors, ally, etc.) to discuss and express them. After these feelings are cleared, relationships can be built on natural connection as human beings and mutual concern for the young children involved.
To reach out to teachers, parents can do certain things:
· Make sure to say a few pleasant words, especially at the start of the school day. If you can’t do it in person send a note, or better yet, make a phone call.
· Show concern for the teacher as a person, not just as your child’s teacher. You should listen to him without judgment and with a non-judgemental, un-critical attitude. Encourage him to share his experiences as a teacher and about his own life. Encourage him to share his personal experiences.
school. Don’t interrupt or invalidate the expression of feelings, especially rage, indignation, frustration, fear, as he talks. These feelings will be easier to deal with in the classroom if he does so.
· Be specific in your appreciation, for example, “I appreciate the time you took to explain … to my daughter”, or “I like the way you taught them about…”.
· School bazaars, PTAs, school outings and events are good opportunities to spend time with the teacher, getting to know each other and listening to each other.
· Have a teacher appreciation “party”.
· Helping with physical tasks is always welcome. Help prepare teaching aids (charts and posters, etc.Photocopying material, obtaining supplies.
Parents need to be heard when they are struggling to parent their children. Teachers can listen to their parents the same way. Tell parents how much you love having your child in your classroom. You can highlight the positive qualities you admire in your child. Talk to the parent about your teaching methods and any ways that the parent can assist at home. Don’t assume that the parent, because she is an adult, should know what to do and how to do it. Thank you’s, validation notes and phone calls need to go both ways.
It is important to view each other as a friend. This is how you will be able to help our children learn. This friendship is similar to forming an alliance with a parent, teacher, or other adult.