Those who inspire little minds...

Those who inspire little minds...

Those who inspire little minds...

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon…

— Flavia Weedn

Perhaps, it’s the toughest of jobs. Igniting young minds, inspiring new dreams and instilling a love of learning in future adults. After the parents, it’s the teachers that young children look up to as heroes. Yet, the ‘heroes’ don’t always get that gratitude. Small gestures like sending a thank-you note or a rose on Teacher’s Day or on your child’s birthday can make the teacher feel appreciated. And, as parents, we can play a positive role by consciously encouraging and nurturing positive bonding between our children and their teachers.

Many empirical studies have reiterated that there is a direct correlation between academic performance and the student-teacher relationship. According to some studies published in 2004, “interpersonal relationships between the students and their teachers also foster a more enjoyable learning environment and a higher level of achievement”.

But this bond has to be discussed in the light of the parents, who can play an
enabling role to cement their children’s rapport with their teachers. Here are some guidelines to help parents do their best in this regard:

Start early
Many parents hesitate to leave their little toddlers at the pre-school. ‘They are too small’ is the common refrain. However, by laying the groundwork in introducing the first teacher in your child’s life, this fear and the initial separation anxiety of your ward can be lessened. It’s wise to say to your child things like, ‘you will meet your first teacher and she will take you through a number of fun activities’. Here, it is appropriate to mention that the teacher has to take care of many children and so she might not always have the time to attend to your child immediately. You could also speak about your first teacher and the fond memories you still cherish.

Watch your words
Parents often tend to make teachers the scapegoat, while externally disciplining their children. For instance, ‘if you don’t eat I will call your teacher’. This creates a monster of a teacher. It’s important to feed young kids with positive images of teachers and help them overcome negative feelings, if any. In case, relatives or friends make hurtful remarks about their offspring’s teachers in the presence of your little one, change the subject. Young minds can be rather impressionable.

Being human
Although we expect teachers to be happy and positive, it’s good to let your child
understand that teachers are human, too. Sometimes they can also be engulfed in their own worries and anxieties. There can be days when the teacher may be feeling low and your ward may come home with a grumpy face complaining that the teacher was snobbish or didn’t care. Listen to your child and accept his/her feeling, then try to explain that the teacher might have had a bad day. It happens to the best of us, doesn’t it?

When the twain meet
Make it a point to attend all Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings. Speak to the teacher with respect. Appreciate the teacher’s efforts in bringing the best in your child. Let her know the positive things that the little one has shared with you. Do not compare her with other teachers, listen attentively to what she has to say, and avoid complaining too much. It’s important to speak positively about your child and not stress only on the weakness; focus on your child’s strengths.

Avoid the blame game
Often, parents tend to blame the teacher for their wards’ poor grades. The problem today is that most parents do not facilitate self-learning as they mollycoddle the child and practically do the homework on their behalf. They make the child totally dependent on them. So, before you blame the teacher for your child’s academic performance, it is a good idea to do some introspection. Is it possible to encourage the child to study on his/her own? By doing so, you can help the child to become less dependent and more responsible. In the long run, this will result in enhanced maturity and self-confidence.
Do your bit
Study the methodology used in the classroom; it will be easy to help your child perform better at school. Allow him/her to explore and learn, make it an interesting and challenging experience, give rewards for good efforts. Do not overtly emphasise on grades alone, and create a conducive learning environment at home. This will enhance his/her interest in studies and better the performance in the classroom.

Make sure you read the school diary and sign it everyday. Teachers appreciate attentive parents and this invariably contributes to the teachers comfort level with your child. 

And say, for some reason, if the child has missed some lessons in class, you can communicate to the teacher through the diary, or if time permits, even visit the school and request the teacher to help your child make up for lost time. Most teachers are considerate and willing to do the needful. Ensure that your child appreciates the concern and effort put in by the teacher. This will help the two forge a stronger bond.

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