What is the most common topic of meetings in our modern society? Schools and teachers. More often than not I have to listen to the stories of teachers, the vessels of wrath and schools with worse conditions than in jails. Being a teacher, I desperately start to defend my poor colleagues, which exacerbates the situation. This writing is dedicated to all parents that blame teachers for issues that their children face at schools. It might seem that a teacher is responsible for your child. However, you could always keep in your mind that he/she is YOUR child. I hope the following recommendations will help you to judge the situation from ex altera parte.
- Moving to another class will not enhance the knowledge of your child
What comes to your mind first when you see poor grades or frequent notes from the teacher in your child’s diary? If you think that you need to move your child to another class, take your time to investigate yourself first. The reason of poor grades is not always the negative attitude of a teacher, but YOUR attitude to your child’s studies. Think of what you have done to prevent poor grades rather than searching for the teacher’s faults. According to Hill & Taylor (2004) parents are responsible for regular attending and helping at school events, especially parent meetings, keeping in touch with teachers and supporting the child with the homework.
- Encourage your child to gain knowledge, not excellent grades
Despite being the beginning teacher, I have met numerous students studying merely for grades. Outstanding marks are not always the indicators of good knowledge. Therefore, exerting your child to receive only excellent marks might entail “performance goals”, when your child prefers memorizing to understanding and analyzing (Covington, 2000).
- Teachers are good at conversations
There is high contingency for parents to misunderstand teachers’ educating approaches. The simplest way to find out the effectiveness of vague teaching methods is talking to the teachers straightforwardly. Otherwise, you may remain dissatisfied with principal’s or other teachers’ answers. Lareau (1996) claims that good collaboration with teachers help parents to be aware of the school news and policies, the ways of supporting and encouraging the child in studies (as cited in Hill & Taylor, 2004, p. 162).
- Private tutoring is not the best solution
How do you deal with your child’s difficulties in studies? Referring to private tutoring off hand will not inscribe you in the list of “super parents”. In fact, your child does not need a private tutor to do the homework. Instead, YOUR daily half hour support could enhance your child’s achievement. In addition, Dang & Rogers (2008) question the effectiveness of private tutoring materials in improving the students’ capacity in education. Hence, it is advisable to employ private tutoring with the teacher’s recommendation.
- The more children sleep, the better they perform
Oftentimes, the students are exhausted in the couple of lessons because of insufficient sleeping hours. The results of the investigation by Kelly et al. (2001) showed that the students that slept more than 9 hours a day performed remarkably higher achievements than the students that slept less than 6 hours a day. How many hours a day does your child sleep?
Being a parent requires a lot of responsibility, but being a teacher requires a lot more. Consequently, a teacher is the next person after your child that needs support, as he/she has to work with at least 20 children 7 hours a day, 6 days a week. I hope that this benevolent message convinced you to start the conversation with teachers with simple “thank you” as well as to keep in your mind that a teacher is also a parent.
Covington, M. (2000), Goal theory, motivation, and school achievement: An integrative review. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 171-200. Doi: 0084–6570/00/0171–0200$12.00
Dang, H., & Rogers, H. (2008). How to interpret the growing phenomenon of private tutoring: Human capital deepening, inequality increasing, or waste of resources? Policy Research Working Paper, 4530, 1-39.
Hill, N., & Taylor, L. (2004). Parental school involvement and children’s academic achievement: Pragmatics and issues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4), 161-164.
Kelly, W., Kelly, K., & Clanton, R. (2001). The relationship between sleep length and grade-point average among college students. Coll Student, 35, 84-86.