Teachers sometimes face problems with primary student parents. Many families want the best for their children, and often they try to engage us teachers to the greatest extent possible. I understand your concern because they want the best and safe of their children. I understand them personally because I’m our family’s first born. My younger children, a brother and two sisters in primary school when I was in high school. My brother and I were very timid and we finally got bullied. One time I was in the washroom and two mean boys came in pushed the door open and started not only to demand money but also ask for my lunch on daily basis. Failure to which I would receive a thorough beating if I do not obey their demands. Being a shy person, I had no friends to defend me, so I had to give in to their desires until one day I gathered enough courage and reported them. My brother also was bullied in school until he confided in our parents who reported the bullies to school.
Actually one of my motivations for this profession is actually due to bullying, I wanted to help those who are being bullied in schools. Some students have actually been driven to suicide by these aggressive bullies. I draw a lot from this experience as I deal with the parents. Any parent would not want their child to go through bullying or any harm in school. The principles from the experiences are the same. First are the meetings. Meetings with parents are very important. Should they see any change in the behavior of their child, having meetings allows the, to share their experiences. Even for parents whose children are bullies, having meetings with them allows us as teachers to share our concerns. Our parents were very busy and strict people; it was hard for us to open up to them. I encourage parents to listen to their children and be their best friend. Another principle is sharing of the information. This can take place as they drop their kids if they have strict schedules. It does not have to be formal.
Workshops are another aspect. Workshops including parents and children may offer an opportunity for the children to work in an informal way. That way both the children and parents are able to air their views freely. This creates a bond between a parent and a child, and he or she can confide in their parents anytime they feel like. Children also get to learn that their parents are interested in their school works; thus, they are likely to share their daily experiences whether good or bad. This as well builds the self-esteem and confidence of a child in general.
The key to having an effective relationship between the teachers and parents is a commitment on both sides (Lee & Bowen, 2006). If a teacher is working so hard to ensure the success as well as the progress of a child, while the parents do not want to get involved, it may not achieve the desired results. Again drawing from my experience, if a child is bullied and a parent has been quite unbothered with that child life, they shall not endure bullying and even be afraid of telling the teachers because they feel no one cares for them.
Lee, J. S., & Bowen, N. K. (2006). Parent involvement, cultural capital, and the achievement gap among elementary school children. American Educational Research Journal, 43(2), 193-218.
Hill, N. E., & Taylor, L. C. (2004). Parental school involvement and children’s academic achievement: Pragmatics and issues. Current directions in psychological science, 13(4), 161-164.
Barnard, W. M. (2004). Parent involvement in elementary school and educational attainment. Children and youth services review, 26(1), 39-62.
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