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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Expert View

Parent-teacher relationship need not be a tightrope

The teacher-parent relationship hangs on a fine balance and needs to be nurtured with care. Dr. Shyama Chona shared her expert view with Brainfeed.

Over the last couple of decades, schools have become more open and friendly places for parents. You must be reading phrases like ‘parent involvement’ ‘partnership with parents’ or ‘linking home with school’. Well, the sincerity of these phrases differs from school to school. Certainly, the value of parents to school is immeasurable. I always reiterate that the best resources are the parents. This support has increased year to year. They are like a magic wand. Schools cannot really do a good job of educating children without the backup of parents. Teachers cannot help those children to learn who are regularly exhausted because their parents let them stay up till late. Equally, parents who give time to listen to their children read, depend on good teaching during school hours.

In primary school, parents want to have a friendly working relationship with the class teacher since this person will be taking care of their children for all hours of the day during the whole year. At the middle and secondary level, there will be a number of teachers. Parents are unlikely to know them all and may only get in contact with some subject teacher if their child is having difficulties.

What is important is a friendly working relationship between the school and parents, particularly the school staff who comes most into contact with the child.

Parents and teachers need to come together for the child. You have not chosen each other as friends- it is not that kind of a relationship. The best approach is to think of it as a working relationship for the education of the child. The parents and the child are the joint customers of the education service. As customers parents will get the best out of the school by being friendly and courteous with the people providing the service- and they will receive the same in return.

Teachers are people too. They have feelings. They can be disheartened or hurt. They deserve appreciation if they are doing a good job. Parents rush to the school to have a conversation with the teachers when the child is in some difficulties. In the same way, a teacher’s work is more satisfying when parents take as much trouble over good news and compliments as when there is a problem. So, parents should take time to appreciate and convey how pleased they are when the child shows visible improvements in reading or when the class has put up a wonderful show.

Parent-teacher relationship need not be a tightrope

On the other hand, it is my conviction that teachers must be dedicated and devoted with courage and commitment towards enabling the child to excel. Their rapport both with the parents and the children should be warm-hearted with a generous spirit. A teacher is a mom in school, which is a home away from home. He or she must be trusted. The apple of the parent’s eye is as much a child of the school. The children come to the school as buds and then open up as beautiful flowers. The school is their garden and it is here that they will blossom.

The school like any institution or organ can go wrong. If parents have any complaints or suggestions they must immediately convey those to the teachers or the head of the school. Bonding is required between teachers and parents but more importantly between the parents and the school. Constant efforts on part of the parent and teachers are needed to bridge the gap between home and the school. Schools can be transformed through regular parent-teacher collaborations.

I assure you that this will give hundred percent results.

Today’s parents have become more critical than before, their expectations are very high. While the child puts on an average of 6 hours in school, he or she is at home for 18 hours so together the policies of the school can be taken forward by the parents and the school so that the child is not confused and has the confidence to do well.

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