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Our topics usually deal with what parents expect from teachers and are centred on the role of teachers. Since education of the child is a team effort, knowing views of both sides will definitely help. We collected a few points from teachers about what they expect from parents.

1.      Practice the art of reading at home. Many of our teachers feel that although parents vouch that their child is reading at home, the evidence is not seen in the classroom. Reading goes hand in hand with writing and only a good reader can be a good writer. Since children spend a lot of leisure time at home, parents need to take up the task of ensuring that their child reads. Begin small. Switch off the television or computer and remove the mobile phone from their tiny grasp and supplement these with books. You can expect some resistance in the beginning but being firm will get the message across. In the initial years you have to read to the child and then gradually encourage the child to read aloud. As the child grows, a natural interest for reading will develop.

2.      Learning styles are different. Each child is different and so are the learning styles. Many parents find it frustrating to teach their child because they follow their own style of learning and are not specific to their child’s needs. A child may be good in Maths but slow in learning languages. A child may be a good speaker but a poor writer. Also parents should not expect their children to follow the styles that they had when they were in school. Our teachers often hear parents saying, “I was never good in high school Maths so my child is also not good at it”. Most children are not like their parents when it comes to learning abilities or aptitude. In fact saying this in front of the child lowers their expectations about themselves.

3.      Work as a team with the teacher. Our teachers also face the problem with a few parents who do not understand when the child needs extra intervention. Sending the child for extra tuitions whether he or she needs it or not, is a waste of time, energy and money. In lower classes the school and home should be enough to provide the education the child requires. It is only in secondary classes that parents can think of extra support and that too in only one or two subjects. Tuitions can be stressful and come with their own set of homework. Instead of solving the issue they can actually add to the burden. Talk to your child’s teacher about the child’s need for special intervention. Do not send your child for tuitions just because his or her friend is going.

4.      School meetings should be proactive. The teacher is not your child’s enemy. Keep an open mind and attitude when you meet your child’s teachers. Make it a point to meet the teachers often and find out more about your child’s weaknesses and strengths. To achieve academic success, parents and teachers need to work as a team. Our teachers face trouble from a few parents who are frustrated about something their child could not accomplish and become offensive about it during the meetings. This attitude does not help. Remember, teachers have the best intentions for your child and they are trying. If you find anything lacking in their effort, talk to them in a proactive manner. After all the goal is improvement and not confrontation.

5.      Let your child be more accountable. This is true for both academics and behaviour. Many a time parents play the role of a lawyer having heard only their child’s version. Even disciplining gets affected when parents interfere in this manner. Parents need to realise that disciplining should come before the deed is done and later on follows the consequence. Teachers take great pains in setting up a classroom and making rules and getting the children to abide by them.

6.      Listen with an open mind. When we tell you something about your child, don’t go in to a defensive mode. Many times our teachers face opposition from parents who say things like “No, my child did not do this” or worse still “I don’t think he did it. His friends put the blame on him”. Trust us, it is not a blame game. When our teachers say something to you about your child, it is because they want to see an improvement.

7.      Respect the teacher. Our teachers are professionally qualified to teach and handle 40 odd children coming from different backgrounds. They do a wonderful job of managing a class and trying to bring uniformity in learning. When parents speak ill of their child’s teacher or show disrespect, then even the child tends to show the same attitude. This is the last thing that a parent should do. Where respect ends, even learning gets affected.  

8.      Leave your baggage outside: Leave all worldly worries and wealth outside the school gates when you come to the school as parents. Inside the school premises you are identified with your child. So be proud to come as your little fella’s Dad or Mum with no false pretences and an open mind.

Teachers work hand in hand with parents to educate the child. Both have equally important roles and should treat each other with respect. The ultimate goal is the child’s education and the focus should not waver from the same.


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