Thursday, January 23, 2020

When parents don't do their job

A trigger for me as an educator is when I perceive that parents are not doing their job. That's when I have to stop and remind myself of the tremendous challenge that good parenting is, as well as the fact that no parent can do it all and I never know the whole situation.

I can dig back into my past and recognize why this is a trigger for me and why I am so keenly aware of the fact that good parenting sets the stage for tremendous student success and well being. But, to blame parents or get angry at them does no one any good. The only positive path in this endeavor is to team with parents with the knowledge that none of us have the monopoly with regard to what it takes to care well for children--we all have some capacity in this regard and when we work together, our collective capacity grows and children are well supported.

How can we work best with the many families we serve?

Good communication beginning with Curriculum Nights and family-student meetings at the start of the year set the stage for positive teamwork. Similarly regular communication via newsletters, needed phone calls and emails, and family-student events also support optimal teamwork.

Team Mindset
The mindset that educating a child well takes teamwork invites educators and families to work together with the best interests of the child at the center of that work.

Shared Goals
Setting shared goals and working towards those goals helps the family-teacher-student team stay focused on similar goals and efforts.

Strengths Based Efforts
Focusing on a child's strengths as a way to meet a child's challenges is a positive direction to take when working together around more challenging issues that may occur.

Holistic Approach
Knowing a whole child helps the teacher-family team work together with success and understanding. A too narrow approach or mindset can be problematic.

The truth of the matter is that we are all both compromised and capable in every situation--none of us can do it all, but if we work together with positivity, support for one another, and our best abilities, we will make good progress when it comes to supporting and teaching children well. Teaching is a team sport that relies on healthy, positive family-school connections. Onward.