parents

The words every parent dreads: "We need to have a chat about your child..."

This post is sponsored by the Australian Scholarships Group

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

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Rule 2. Share the responsibility for your child’s education – developing an enthusiasm for learning in children begins at home:

Create a learning environment for your child

Share the responsibility for your child’s education with the school

Partner with your child’s teacher.

Become engaged with your child’s teacher and the school

Rule 3. Partner with your child’s teacher:

Positive links between parents and teachers creates positive attitudes to school

Your involvement will help your child’s progress at school, build trust, and resolve differences.

Rule 4. Participate in your child’s school:

Read school communications regularly

Support the school’s values at home

Rule 5. Communication goes two ways:

Don’t fear parent–teacher interviews – they aren’t necessarily about criticism and complaint.

The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG)’s ran an opinion survey with NEiTA (National Excellence in Teaching Awards) award-winners, most believe many elements have to combine to enable children to gain a quality education that provides them with a platform for their future lives, not the least of which is the opportunity to experience heir schooling with the full support of their teachers and parents. For more information about how ASG can support you to provide the best educational outcomes for your child visit their website.

So this year I have made sure that I have introduced myself to each and every teacher my child will interact with. They have seen me, they know what I look like. I also have started to come and help out in class when I’m not working and let me tell you, kids think they are the bees knees when you do this. I have also made sure the teacher knows my email address and have reiterated that they simply need to drop me a line if they have any concerns. Even if they seem tiny. Especially with the racketeering Romeo I seemed to have given birth to.

I guess mainly, just be open and confident when interacting with your child’s teacher. It benefits you both.

The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) offers a proven and proactive way to help parents nurture and fund their children’s education. With a heritage of almost 40 years, ASG has helped more than 294,000 families and returned more than $1.6 billion in education benefits to Members and their children.  ASG also offers a wide range of resources designed to help the many day-to-day challenges parents face in providing their children the best education possible. For more information visit their website or download your free copy of ASG free e-guide on“Getting the most out of parent/teacher partnerships”.

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Have you ever had trouble with your children at school?

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