Your child spends a third of her day at school under the watchful eyes of her teachers. Her behaviour might be different in your absence. Teachers are privy to these details and more that can help you improve your parenting. The responsibility of raising a child cannot entirely lie on one individual. It requires the cooperation and diligence of multiple adults. This is where your child’s teacher can step in. The information and insight that she can provide is invaluable. Teamwork is obviously the need of the hour. Although the teacher realises this, it isn’t always an easy affair for her to tell you about certain things that affect your child.
Here are some things that teachers want parents to know but won’t tell them:
- Be a parent and not a pal to your child. He has enough friends at school and in the neighbourhood. He needs an authoritative figure in his life who disciplines him, other than his teacher. A teacher may not want to inform you of this because it would mean that she is commenting on your parenting style, which is commonly seen as a personal topic.
- Homework and tests are necessary for the proper education of your little one. It’s not easy for a teacher to convince her that homework and tests are important if this notion is not reinforced by you at home. Your child will tend to mimic what she sees in her parents. Hence, the teacher wishes that you inculcate a proper attitude in her when it comes to assignments and tests.
- “I want what’s best for your child," is what the teacher wishes you would understand. Think twice before using the image of the teacher when you are trying to discipline your child. Avoid making comments like: “Your teacher will punish you”, “You have no choice but to obey your teacher” or “I’m so scared of your teacher that I can’t write a note to her." The teacher would prefer that you behave in a way that inculcates a positive image of her in your child’s mind.
- “I’m not your employee," is another detail she probably wants to convey to you. Regardless of how much fees you pay your child’s school, you cannot treat her teacher as your personal employee. Don’t expect her to take orders from you or your child. Be respectful in all your interactions with her.
- “I’m not your child’s surrogate parent," is something else your child’s teacher might want you to know. It’s not fair to shift your parenting responsibilities onto her. Get your child to do his chores and homework without involving her. It will teach him how to be independent. Also, being self-sufficient in the classroom will boost his self-confidence.
- Teaching is not an easy vocation. You know how much energy it consumes to teach and discipline one child, imagine that twenty-five times over! That’s what a teacher has to put up with. There is no way that your child alone can be the centre of her attention all the time. Teach your child how to behave in the classroom.
- Your child has too many distractions, technological and otherwise. This may be the reason as to why she finds school boring, why she is too impatient to learn how to read or why her communication skills are under-developed. A teacher cannot easily point this out to you because it may offend your sentiments when you hear that your child’s behaviour is not on point.
- Your child is not a grown-up, so don’t let him sit up late, watching television programmes that are not meant for children. Don’t have conversations around him that do not have a constructive effect on him. In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy not to notice if he is being exposed to things that are not suitable for his age. Any teacher would want to bring this to your notice, except for the problem of whether you may or may not agree with this.
- Your child needs more sleep and less sugar is something that doctors keep telling parents and teachers wish they could reiterate. Having a cranky, sleepy or hyperactive child in class can make the day’s lesson difficult for the everyone involved. Pointing this out to a parent would mean approaching the topic of diet and sleep-time. These are issues that responsible parents handle with ease.
- The fact that your marriage affects your child is a delicate topic that a teacher will naturally find difficult to broach. The effects of fights in the house, disagreements between the parents and other disturbances around your child will be evident in how your child carries himself. A good teacher will find it difficult to ignore this.
Your child’s upbringing depends on the combined efforts of the teacher and you. For this, it is essential to develop a strong teacher-parent relationship. Some initiatives you can take are:
- If there is a problem, acknowledge that the teacher may well be right. Try to put yourself in her shoes and see how easily the conversation will become purposeful. Do not make excuses for yourself or for your child.
- Tackle your child’s laziness or hyperactivity at home and do not expect the teacher to do this for you. This will improve the teacher-student relationship which is of prime importance.
- Reinforce positive messages about school and teachers. This will help the child develop a healthy attitude towards school and reassure teacher know that she is respected by you and your child.
- Be actively involved in your child’s education. Download school apps, be thorough with your child’s school work, promptly respond to school notices and never miss a PTA meering. Be that ideal parent that every teacher would love to interact with.
When you pay heed to the areas mentioned in this article, you will definitely see positive changes in the relationship you share with your child’s teacher. This will ensure that your child excels in a safe environment that is free of confusion or anger. As you team up with her teacher, such an environment will be the result of your combined efforts.
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