My mother has been a teacher for 40 years and I’ve experienced issues of Parent – Teacher relationships on both sides. I remember when I was at school, we had Parents – Students – Teacher meetings, as well as only Parents – Teacher meetings at school. I was a very good student and my parents were so proud to participate in such meetings, as they heard great words about my behavior and my performance at school. On the other side, there were many parents not very happy to participate in such meetings. Some of them did not even bother to go in school meetings. I’m talking about the time teachers still used chalkboards and chalks and children were the only communication ‘tool’ teachers used to send messages to parents.
In the technology era we are living, communication is easier, as more communication means are in people’s hands and by default we should think parents communicate more with their children’s teachers. Apparently, this is not the case. From an article I read today in AdviserEdu, seems that the issue of parents avoiding contacts with school is still present. Teachers mentioned in the article, shared their successful experiences in establishing better communication with parents. I found interesting how much effort teachers were putting to make parents come closer to the school and their children’s education matters. Similar to my mother yesterday, today’s teachers take time from their personal life to send text messages to parents, to write notes and make photos about children’s successes at school/kindergarten, meet parents and students after classes or at students’ homes, etc. All these extra efforts are made only to create communication bridges with parents. In other words, for teachers to be heard by parents when they really need to talk with them for children’s issues at school.
I discussed the issue of Parent – Teacher relationships with my mother, and her first reaction was to say how much things have changed. She found surprising and strange the fact that parents disregard teachers to the point to not even answering them on the phone or show in their meetings. She had never faced a case like that in her teaching career. Before teachers were respected and heard. Nowdays, parents and children have lost estimation for teachers and education system in general. I think many factors are influencing this situation: (i) education system is failing to produce the expected results parents dream for their children’s future, (ii) life has become very dynamic and parents are facing time restrains for almost everything outside work, (iii) parents are experiencing more stress in their lives, and stress reduces their capability to connect and share with others, (iv) teachers fail to keep up with new developments in professional expertise and social development, and (v) the quality of people joining the education system is diminishing due to the imbalanced combination of the triangle: ‘ job difficulties – money – vocation reputation’.
I am part of the group of people who think education is important and a serious matter. That being said, I think parents and teachers are an important binomial for children education and should be respected mutually. Their disagreements and unilateral underestimation for teachers does cause damages to children. Parents should be open to listen and work closely to teachers for the best of their children. On the other side, I believe teachers should do their job with passion and altruism and use their reputation among students as a tool to be respected and to direct their attention (students’) toward their talent development. The challenges schooling system is facing could be overcome only with the energy and efforts of talented teachers that are willing to think outside of the box and work by keeping the student in the center of their circle rather than the education system itself. As in any other type of human relationships, more understanding and mutual agreement in needed from both parts, parents and teachers, in order to leave aside individual bias and focus on the matter that brings them together, best education of children.
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