Wednesday, 17 August 2011

My School Year's Resolution - Encouraging Parents

I have decided that for this school year, I'm going to put some focus on the parents.  There's a direct co-relation between parental input and  student performance. Most of my students come from broken homes, single parent homes, etc. I sympathize with parents. Some of them really do have some dire circumstances to deal with. These are a few of the main reasons why these parents are M I A at school:

* Working single parents - some have very demanding jobs cannot afford to leave (even for an hour unless it's an emergency).
*Some just do not have their priorities in the right order!
*Many parents are going back to school, studying in Trinidad or abroad, (we're in Tobago). So their children are under the care of other family members.
*The blame game - Sometimes, feuding parents see their children as 'the other's' responsibility and not a shared one.

Believe it or not, I had to put aside some money for the amount of calls I'll be making to parents (the school's phone is always tied up). I've learnt that sending written correspondence has not been effective. Some students either forget to give it to their parents or they deliberately hide it, for whatever reason. So, calling the parents directly, is the sure way of staying connected. 

Some of them have very complex family dynamics and I'll have to be tread carefully. While some may at first  perceive me as 'the nosy teacher' they'll soon realize that my intentions are good. There are a few who would be quick to assume that I just want to 'get in their business' or report something to the Social Services. Generally, from past experience, most parents realize that they can feel safe with me and they open up. I get to communicate with them on a regular basis, they turn up for the PTA meetings and their child improves at school. 

I know that this may be a culture shock for some of my readers but it is a real problem here. However, there are a few parents who really care; they drop in ever so often, ask questions, participate in the P.T.A, fund raisers, etc. If I can help more parents to me more involved in their children's school life, I know it would be worth the effort because the students would benefit.

1 comment:

Vic said...

I like your way of thinking. I have always had a way of talking with parents. I too thought that this year, I would get out there and communicate via telephone. I think with technology, we have gotten away from that personal connection with parents. Of course there will always be those that do not want to talk to you, but showing them you do can't hurt!

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As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!