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Teachers are from Saturn, parents Jupiter

By Patrece Charles- Freeman

 MEMO to the nation’s self-help gurus: why not write a book on fixing relationships between teachers and parents? Call it teachers are from Saturn, parents are from Jupiter.

While parents worry about what their kids learn, teachers are more concerned with how they learn. While the parents see the product, the teachers live the process.

Undeniably, parents are the first and most important teachers in their children’s lives, however, to discount the role that teachers play in educating our nation’s children would be to the detriment of our children’s education.

Home and school association

Yes, parents need to become more actively involved in their children’s education; but teachers must understand that the more effort they put into improving the relationship with a child’s parents or guardians, the more likely it is for the child to succeed in school and for the teacher to be a successful teacher in the classroom. Students will perform better in school when teachers openly communicate with parents.

Positive parent-school communications benefit parents. The manner in which schools communicate and interact with parents affects the extent and quality of parents’ home involvement with their children’s learning.

Parents will also benefit from being involved in their children’s education by getting ideas from school on how to support their children and by learning more about the school’s academic programme. In addition, parents benefit by becoming more confident about the value of their school involvement and will develop a greater appreciation for the important role they play in their children’s education.

Parents can give teachers an important reality check. Even the most brilliant curriculum won’t work if students and parents don’t believe in it. But parents should remember that issues can seem deceptively simple from afar. Those who bear in mind the complexity of a class full of children are more likely to maintain productive relationships with teachers.

So parents, here is where we become accountable. Let’s try to build a positive relationship with our children’s teachers.

Here are some simple tips on how to accomplish this task.

• Make your first interaction positive: Greet your children’s teacher with a warm hello and kind words. They are much more likely to be receptive when you have a problem later.

• Don’t get angry before getting the facts: Parents and teachers who know different parts of the same story can often resolve issues with an exchange of information.

• Don’t go over their heads: Learning about a parental complaint from the principal makes teachers really mad. Talk to them first, and then go to the principal if you don’t get satisfaction.

• Remember that most teachers are sensitive: Teaching is an intensely personal job. Teachers are people who are paid to care about the thoughts and feelings of others. Tact is likely to be more important than if you were talking to, say, a used-car salesman.

Finally, good teachers welcome dialogue with parents, because it gives them a better understanding of their students. However, teachers must remember that parents have the right to expect timely notification regarding students’ academic performance and behaviour. In the parent-teacher relationship, like most others, communication is the key.

The relationship between parents and teachers will only be successful when they both work together for the improvement and welfare of the child.

Home and school must unite for the betterment of our children.


Courtesy Jamaica Observer

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