Teach English in Jinshi Zhen - Xiangtan Shi

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In many societies, it’s become seemingly common for parents to focus their role in a child’s education mostly to control their academic progress. Many drop their children in school and right there, their mindsets switch to ‘adult matters’. They only visit schools when they’re summoned by school administration because a child’s behaviour has become unacceptable. Few are active on matters that touch on the child’s well-being and rarely attend parents’ forums called to discuss curriculum, child well-being issues and emerging trends. Truth be told, the role of a parent in the life of a child as far as education is concerned is of key importance and parents who play active roles in the lives of their children on education matters rarely ignore school visits. Parents are supposed to be part of the school community in words and actions. They can do well participating in the development of the school curriculum and extra-curricular infrastructure planning and development through parent associations, by raising funds, camp facilitations and organizing activities and being part of strategy meetings for school development. All this tickle down to the child, either directly or indirectly. In my years of teaching, I have witnessed students regularly being in trouble with the schools’ discipline committees. Upon engaging the school counsellors, it’s always mostly a problem from home, lack of support from parents, and a possible learning difficulty leading to a spectrum or multi-spectra. School counsellors might recommend assessment for learning difficulties. However, I have encountered parents who were in denial and refused to heed the counsellors’ recommendations. In the end, the children, probably with Attention Deficiency Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia suffers innocently and ends up in trouble out of frustration. It is the role of a parent to ensure he/she avails personal study resources for the child. Most students, for example, fail to complete research and/innovation tasks for lack of enough and credible resources. This makes the child disadvantaged against other students and some end up being falsely referred to as habitually absconding from doing school tasks. Parents can always create and be part of associations where these resources and their sources are shared and provide support for one another. Parents need to understand that to raise a child, they must work with teachers like partners. As children grow from early years, they trust the most important adults they interact with; their parents and teachers, especially homeroom teachers. It is the role of a parent to ensure that this trust is not broken, that they don’t demonise a teacher in front of the child. If a parent becomes careless to speak negatively of a teacher in view of their teaching methods in front of a child, the parent risks either resentment for the parent or disrespect for the teacher. Once a child disrespects a teacher, he/she will not be able to take seriously the teacher’s teachings. It is the role of a parent to have a one on one with the teacher to discuss how best to help the child while maintaining the integrity of the teacher in the eyes of the child. Another important role of a parent is to provide a peaceful, comfortable and loving environment at home for the child to study, do homework and thrive. We are living in a society where parents are spending longer hours at work in the search of a living hence letting nannies raise children. Some children practically raise themselves. From experience, this absence is detrimental to the development of the child. I had the unfortunate chance to witness a child come to school in sandals and without taking breakfast. Upon investigation, we found out that the parents were rarely home. We are also living in a society where several families are broken through divorce and children are dragged to their parents’ court battles for child support and custody rights. Children always love both parents and this literally plays into their psychology. The parents are always meant to ensure that no matter what’s happening between them, the child’s emotional well-being isn’t affected. And finally, parents are meant to inculcate positive values on their children. These values should manifest themselves outside the home environment like in the classroom. The teacher’s role here should be to magnify these values. How a child treats others, is a direct reflection of how he/she is brought up. Should a parent be trying but sees the child not being cooperative, it’s the role of the parent to seek conference with the teacher to seek the best way to support the child. Parenting is never easy, and it doesn’t come with a pre-set manual. It’s all about being present in the child’s life, both at home and in school – through activities, value-based support and above all, nurturing respect, courtesy and protecting them from harm in all manners. Parents must show interest in what excites the child and help nurture that positively. And to sum it all, parents have a role to help children better their social skills and individual competence and self-belief. It’s the only way they will be happy in school, do well and value others in equal measure. Action speaks louder than words.