A message to parents

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.

References

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.

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12 thoughts on “A message to parents

  1. This is a great example of academic writing with a personal touch. It is clearly organized and has a focused purpose and message. The best part for me is how you manage to balance a personalized message with appropriate research. These ideas support your argument, not in an overly strong or condescending way, but rather a logical, informative manner. This professional voice, together with your obvious passion for the topic, make your writing highly persuasive.

    While I was reading, I thought, “What causes the need for this dialogue?” In what ways do you think parents, like students, need guidance? What could teachers learn from the expertise of parents?

    Thanks for an engaging first post!

    Like

    1. Thanks for comments and an article. I am so glad to find out that you liked this post, although I thought not many are so interested in teacher-parent relationship. Some mentioned that I am a parent already, and my older son is lucky to attend the kindergarten. I should admit that some conducts of my son’s teacher seemed weird to me. However, i found reasonabe answers talking to her with high respect. Meanwhile, I saw many other parents treating that teacher like a “maid”, despite her excellent efforts educating our children. This is only one example of many others.
      It is also important to consider parents’ opinion, which might be a great help. For example, parents of inclusive children might have more knowledge about the inclusiveness than teachers. In addition, some parents share their ideas that might enhance the interest of their children. Anyway, both parents and teachers deserve to be treated with sufficient dignity. WE should always keep in our mind that our children grow up watching US, parents and teachers.
      Thank you!

      Like

  2. It’s great that you touched so many issues in one post! I shall agree with that fact that our parents used to and still try to blame teachers, if their kids are not succeed in studies. Even more problematic that children themselves (in most cases),do not know what are the reasons of studying itself; doing stuffs like memorizing without thinking, and asking themselves “what for?”…

    Like

    1. Thank you! I am glad that you liked it. You reminded me a story of my niece. Once she was watching TV instead of doing her homework. Her mom asked: “Why aren’t you doing your homework? You will get bad marks.” The answer of my niece was daunting: “Don’t worry Mom, our teacher is afraid of you. I won’t get poor marks anymore”.

      Like

  3. Dear Malika, this is a great post! I was very impressed by the information you presented. To tell the truth, I have never thought about this topic as a problem. Maybe the reason is that I have got no children and family yet…
    Now it becomes clear to me that parents and teachers share a common goal – to educate a child. In 2011, Ron Clark wrote something very similar. His article was published under the title “What teachers really want to tell parents”. When I read your post, I understood that you two are like-minded persons, or it will be better to say “accomplices” (in a good sense). I would suggest you to read his paper too. It is really worth reading…
    What I can say is that I do really believe that when we stop perceiving teachers as enemies, the problem will disappear itself. So, let’s try to build this parent-teacher relationship for the sake of our children (present and future).

    Like

    1. Thanks Aliya for sharing your opinion and the article. I will take my time to read it, and may be even use it in my thesis literatire review!

      Like

  4. Wow! What a post! This message was not only enlightening, but also very captivating. You managed to catch my attention from the first paragraph and held it throughout the whole post. What I enjoyed most is the word choice. I usually associate your speech, both oral and written, with “complicated words”, however here I was able to guess even those words I am not familiar with due tot the appropriate selection and placement. Special thanks to structure and bullet points, which made reading for me sequential and easy-to-follow.
    Apart from “technical” advantages, this post has a very strong message to be delivered to many parents who tend to blame teachers for all hardships in the world. Although I am not a parent, I would like to stand up for them too. I believe many moms and dads trust their kids to schools, and therefore it is quite logical and predictable they want to share at least a part of their responsibilities with teachers. As far as I know, you are a young parent and a teacher. In this post, I was able to see more of a teacher, though. Perhaps, partially, this is because your kids are not of school age yet, and maybe with time in the similar post I will see more balance between two of these roles and identities.
    Overall, this post greatly added to my knowledge in an engaging way. Thanks a lot.

    Like

    1. Dear Shynar,
      Thank you for such a candid comment! You inspired me to write another post from Malika as a parent than a teacher. Wait and see…

      Like

  5. It is really an impressive post! There is no doubt that your message will set many parents’ thinking about this issue. Many thanks for Clark’s article, where I found support to my point of view.
    I think parents’ main mistake is their overprotection, even ‘blindness’ to the school situations metaphorically speaking. While reading about “helicopter parents” jokingly called by Clark, I remembered my mom’s friend who prone to solve all problems of her child. Let me tell you a short story this woman shared with us once… Her daughter took 4 for math’s class. However, this woman was firmly convinced that her offspring had excellent knowledge in math, deserving only 5. What do you think her mom did?-went to school. By a glitter in her eyes, she reminded me of a soldier preparing for a war at that moment. At school she made different attempts to prove her child deserves only 5. As a result, her abortive attempts to persuade a teacher ended with moving her daughter to another class. I believe this story could be brilliant example of parents’ overprotection. Parents should always remember that their excessive care could imprint serious psychological trauma on children.
    Once more thank you for such useful post!

    Like

    1. Dear Marya,
      Thank your for such an interesting example. I had the same story last year unfortunately. However my school was very supportive towards me. Despite the positive attempts to persuade that parent, that my student needs some time to excel English language knowledge, the parent decided to move the child to another school.
      Therefore I decided to write another post as a continuation of this one. I hope you will find it interesting too.
      Thanks again!

      Like

  6. It is really an impressive post! There is no doubt that your message will set many parents’ thinking about this issue. Many thanks for Clark’s article, where I found support to my point of view.
    I think parents’ main mistake is their overprotection, even ‘blindness’ to the school situations metaphorically speaking. While reading about “helicopter parents” jokingly called by Clark, I remembered my mom’s friend who prone to solve all problems of her child. Let me tell you a short story this woman shared with us once… Her daughter took 4 for math’s class. However, this woman was firmly convinced that her offspring had excellent knowledge in math, deserving only 5. What do you think her mom did?-went to school. By a glitter in her eyes, she reminded me of a soldier preparing for a war at that moment. At school she made different attempts to prove her child deserves only 5. As a result, her abortive attempts to persuade a teacher ended with moving her daughter to another class. I believe this story could be brilliant example of parents’ overprotection. Parents should always remember that their excessive care could imprint serious psychological trauma on children.
    Once more thank you for such useful post!

    Like

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