Partners not Strangers
How does it feel when the school treats you as a stranger? I know the feeling Today, I will share with you a few tips on how you as parents and teachers can play a positive role in your child’s overall development as partners, not strangers. So let’s start.
Firstly, for any relationship to work to its best, communication is the tool that forms the backbone. In the case of a child’s overall progress, parents are the first teachers and are genuinely interested in the performance of their children.
So the teachers and the school needs to take them on board while addressing the issues a child might be facing.
Secondly, parents as partners need to know about the detailed class management plan/schedule, the reward system, the consequences of a certain issue/behavior, etc. The earlier this is communicated with the parents, the better it is to work towards a combined goal.
And this plan should be shared by the parents as well. One can always draft a form in the shape of a questionnaire and attach it with the class management form for the parents to fill out.
Thirdly, a parent-teacher or school relationship is two-way. Even complex relationships work through communication.
So if an individual can work this way, why not a school/teacher or parent? The underlying goal is the same.
The school needs to understand the beliefs a parent might have regarding their child and the parents need to understand the overall system of the school.
Fourthly, most parents have language barriers and these barriers need to be eased on part of the school. Every parent desires to give their children the best education.
So their mother tongue might differ from the school’s medium of instruction. This is a very common issue that we face in most schools in Pakistan.
Here too parents feel like a total strangers when it comes to knowing about the performance of their children. Although the solutions are very simple. They need to be incorporated into the systems.
Classroom newsletters, monthly calendars, class websites, home visits, parent councils, etc., are some of the commonly used practices that can create a huge difference.
Fifthly, parents need to feel that their say is important. To have an alliance with them, listen to what they have embarking over their minds. You as a school/teacher will have your turn to share the same. You want the relationship to work and not go to the doldrums.
If a negative message is communicated in the first place, it will remain there till the time the child is at the school and no one wants a bad name or start for their institution and nor do the parents want to regret their decisions later.
Sixth, to address language barriers, the school must refer to every child’s first language. An interpreter can always be appointed for major languages spoken.
This will not only induce love for one’s culture and language spoken but will automatically develop the children’s linguistic talents and overall academic performance.
Seventh, the teacher needs to establish the modes of communication to have a more receptive response from the parents. If as a teacher, you talk negatively about the child to the parents; then you know the results. So you need to establish a form of communication with the parents.
And lastly, as a school/teacher /partner, you need to be very clear when addressing a parent. They are not strangers. You need to treat them as equals not subordinates or even clients. They lay their trust in you but at the same time, they have apprehensions and fears regarding the system.
Working in close collaboration with them can end various problems/issues we face these days. They are partners, not strangers, and want the same thing for their children as you want for your pupil/student.
Think about it. Until next time stay safe and healthy.