By BERN MORLEY
There’s more to establishing a relationship with your child’s teacher than just having to see them when your child is in trouble for break dancing in front of the class….again. I have had to learn this lesson the hard way…
See, I managed to get through my daughter’s entire Primary School Education without so much as a “Can we have a quick word?” from any one of her teachers.
Of course, I always met twice yearly for the obligatory parent/teacher interview to discuss her general education and wellbeing but they would always end up saying the same thing. That being “She’s kind, a joy to teach and if she only talked less and applied herself more, she’d probably be an ‘A’ student. I present the apple and I present you with the tree…
This all changed however with the introduction to school of my son Jack and his “magic making”. I’ll explain.
It was about the 5th week in of Jack’s Prep year and for some great reason, I was able to collect him from his classroom a little early giving me the chance to stealthily watch him through the window as he performed some kind of hip shaking dance routine in front of his classmates, blissfully unaware that he was being watched by his Mother.
That’s when his teacher turned and spotted me and motioned for me come inside when the bell rang. That’s when I heard the words “We need to have a chat about Jack’s behaviour when you get a chance.” My heart sank.
“Is now a good time?” I motioned, hoping against hope that it was a completely terrible time.
“Oh sure, well it’s not really in class that he’s doing anything wrong, just something a couple of the girl’s mothers’ have drawn my attention to. He’s been, well, he’s been trading his kisses for bites of the girls’ ice blocks.”
I was like huh? You mean to tell me he, this five year old, has been approaching his female classmates, offering them a kiss for a bite of their icy poles? How is that not adorable?
Well, let me tell you, it’s not only NOT adorable, it’s now the kind of incident that almost attracts its own Royal Commission.
Yet my story is a cautionary tale of sorts. If only I had made myself known to the teacher from day one, been around more, shared my email address with her, it may have been tackled a little better. And it might not have grown into quite the big deal that it did.
Award-winning teachers from Australia and New Zealand spoke openly about the roles parents need to play to help their children make the best of their abilities:
Rule 1. Prepare your child for school:
Teach your child respect and acceptable behaviour
Teach your child about the importance of values and morals
Allow your child to make mistakes and accept responsibility for their own action