Strange as it may sound, but most people regard teachers as if they are in the service industry, parents being the customers and students being the products. Teachers are expected to be altruistic because they wish to make a difference. Their words are scrutinize and mistakes examined.
With such mentality in mind, it is no wonder that the public’ expectation of teacher surpass that of any other personnel providing service to the general public.
With a school going child and another family member in the teaching profession, it dawned upon me that with a emphasis on a service industry, teachers are beginning to be stretched to the limit.
There are some things that I do to build a personal relationship with my child’s teacher which I find very helpful :
Give due respect for the teacher’s judgement. From the place where I come from , it is common for protective parents approach teachers for extra marks in their children’s tests and question the answers offered in class work, even when they are not experts in Math, Science or English. While I am not advocating that parents take everything taught to their children as Bible truth, I take a tempered approach to understand the reason behind why certain things are done differently from “my time”.
It is imperative that parents maintain an open channel of communication with their children’s teachers. Is there a complain about the child’s work or amount of homework? Simply drop an email or arrange for a meeting to understand why this is happening. Going around the teacher directly to his supervisor should never be the first step. It cuts off communication opportunity with the teacher and creates a rift between parent, child and teacher.
Too busy for meet the parents day? This is the time set aside for teachers to meet up and discuss the children’s progress amidst heavy administrative and teaching schedule. The level of parent’s interest in the child’s school work will set new teaching strategies for teachers in special situations.
Always be ready to positive feedback when a job you consider well done, or when you feel the teacher has acted beyond the call of duty. Like in any profession, a little feedback to his supervisor will give extra impetus to the teacher to perform even better.
Teachers receive complains all the time from parents and children, each unique depending on the cohort and school year. Offer alternatives to teachers and let them tap from the vast wealth of experience and resources of parents .
Have you any skills to volunteer? Teachers, like any people in the working profession, are likely no to be multi-talented and multi-skilled. Have an interesting way to teach the concept of Multiplication? Offer your help and you will be surprised that your child will be drawn closer to you out of the home context.
Finally, be appreciative and supportive of teachers. Most of these wonderful people teach for a pittance, their rewards probably felt years later. It is useful that their efforts are affirmed with appreciation from parents. Motivation is one of the factors that cannot be bought by money, grossly overlooked and undermined.
If every parent will do just one of these, the beneficiaries will be felt not on teachers but the ones whom the topic closest to our hears : Our Children. And at the end of the day, the customers are actually not us, the parents, but the society at large.