As a parent, we must understand that in most cases its not personal. The teachers are doing the best they can to follow the workplace procedures and processes they have, which is no different to any other workplace. Yes, the system needs to be overhauled. Yes, the teaching profession have a huge responsibility to educate our children and support them through wellbeing and educational programs. However, as a parent myself and working in a wellbeing team in a school where I advocate and support students, I have yet to find an educator that doesn’t want to work with parents to give our children the best possible care and support that they can.
So how do we as parents work with our child’s school when they seem like they’re just not listening?
Learn the school system processes. Understanding how the school works and what their capabilities are can change the way you communicate with the school. Where you can have the biggest impact on your child’s future is when communicating with your child’s school ensuring that you clearly communicate the outcome you want, what the purpose of the outcome is, the impact on everyone (including you, the educators, your child and your child’s class), why everyone should value your outcome, what strengths all involved (including you, the educators, your child and any support system linked) to achieve your outcome, what expectations everyone has of each other, and what are the first steps that are required to achieve your goal.
By doing this, you will find your child’s educators will be very open to supporting your child to achieve your outcome. This will even shift their thinking to add to the strategies that need to be put in place to ongoingly assist your child. This is called buy in.
I need you to listen up to this part as this is the most important part of supporting your child’s education and strengthen your relationship with your child’s school. You MUST be flexible and committed. Let me explain.
In my dealings with parents and the school system, I notice that when a parent is not flexible with their approach towards the school, the school becomes rigid also. It’s human nature to protect ourselves when we feel under threat. Be open to discussion and flexible with the information that is presented by the educators. You may not like what you hear. The key is to question what you hear to gain understanding and perspective as this information must be taken into account. It could change the desired outcome and how you go about it.
Lastly, be committed to assisting. What I mean by this is that in my experience, I have found that the vast majority of parents that attack their child’s educators aren’t committed to work at home to achieve the desired outcome. The general thing I hear from parents is – “that’s the school’s job, not mine”. The key to your child’s success is how committed you are to their success.
I know that doesn’t sound right. You are committed. Sometimes it feels like you are the only one that is committed. It’s your actions at home that make the difference. Sitting with your child and doing homework with them. Having open conversations about their day with no consequence’s while leading them towards building positive relationships ensures a successful human being. You are the model to how life is lived and how we solve our problems. The school system isn’t here to do that. That’s not their role in your child’s life or education. It’s your responsibility.
So, assess the situation before having a go at the school. Learn the different roles that are required in your child’s development. What role does your child’s school play in their development? What role do you play as a parent in your child’s development and success? What needs to be implemented?
We have two choices as parents – either do the hard work that is required or run the risk of our children not being prepared for life outside our care. The choice is ours to make. I wonder what choice you’ll make moving forward?