Open channels of communication
Parent-teacher communication becomes critical in many cases as these foster a good student-teacher relationship, writes Vinaya Govind.
For eight-year-old Raveesh, being sent out of class was a daily affair. He knew his teachers would throw him out every day for frowning and looking at them straight in their faces, whenever they asked him questions or sought explanations for his unruly behaviour. He played to his heart’s content when he was on the playground, enjoying every moment there. All the teachers found him to be nasty and incorrigible.
It was only at the first parent-teacher meet, that Raveesh’s parents revealed to the class teacher that their child had a hearing problem and that he would be treated soon. The teachers were shocked and disturbed for having taken a wrong stand about Raveesh. Had the parents discussed the problem earlier, Raveesh would not have undergone the pain of punishment.
Supreet’s grades declined drastically during the first term in school. The bright student that he was, his interest in science and electronics had won him laurels at several science exhibitions and competitions. The sudden change for the worse was a matter of worry for all the teachers.
As both his parents worked they could not make it to the monthly parent-teacher meetings. When they finally did meet the teachers after the mid-term, they attributed Supreet’s quietude to the sudden death of both his grandparents. His grandfather was his close confidant.
Parent-teacher communication becomes critical in many cases as these foster a good student-teacher relationship. Parents should not be under the impression that the problems with their child are just a phase that will fade away with time. Parents need to be aware of what is happening in their child’s life and tell the teacher of any specific worry they may have concerning the child.
It is only when parents and teachers work well in partnership, that there are better outcomes for the child both academically and socially. A good parent-teacher relationship means a good student-teacher relationship. Studies have shown that children are more successful in school when their parents are involved in their education.
They feel valued and important. It helps parents develop a clearer appreciation of their child’s strengths and weaknesses thus bridging the gap created because of the mismatch of perceptions between school and home, over a child’s ability.
The earlier the better
A good parent-teacher communication is imperative in the early grades, particularly so, during the primary grades. Otherwise you could end up with a teenage nightmare on your hands. Since your child’s teacher sees him more in the course of the day than you probably do, she can assess your child’s learning ability, his social skills and emotional maturity. The teacher also gets to know of problems impending as she observes him in different situations including his interaction with peers. This will help in attending to the problems immediately or dealing cleverly with an impending one.
Parents should approach the teacher with a cooperative mindset and not in a combative mode. Let her know that you are a concerned parent and genuinely interested in your child’s success in school. Here are a few questions you can ask your child’s teacher:
*What are his weaknesses and strengths academically? What can be done to improve his areas of weakness?
* Has there been an improvement in the child’s academic performance compared to his grades last year? (Even if you have found an improvement, ask what else you can do to help him do better.) Assure the teacher that your child will continue to do well.
* Are there any special assignments / books that can help your child deal with problems, if any?
* Is his social and emotional maturity a matter of concern? What can parents do to help the child improve these attributes?
* What steps can parents take to improve the child’s overall development and performance in school?
So, get the student-teacher relationship off to a good start by meeting up your child’s teacher /teachers. This will definitely make a difference in enhancing your child’s learning and emotional well being.