January 30, 2012
There was an interesting article in the Herald/Sun today talking about how difficult it is for teachers these days. There is now an expectation from many parents that teachers are also surrogate parents. Children are often expected to learn social skills, manners and good behaviour once they are at school. Whatever happened to parents taking responsibility for their children’s learning of these skills in the home? Children should be starting school with the ability to behave appropriately for their age group, including being able to sit still, go to the toilet, dressing themselves, early reading and counting skills, share, listen, etc. These are all things that should have already been taught in the home from a young age by the PARENTS. The teacher’s job is to TEACH, not parent. Yes, they need to reinforce discipline whilst the kids are in their care, but they shouldn’t need to teach the basics, from scratch, because some parents are negligent in their duty as parents. Behaviour and attitude are learned by watching how the adults in our lives behave. Respect, tolerance, manners and resilience are all skills that children need to have BEFORE they start school. These skills should be learned at home, modelled by parents and other influential adults in the child’s life.
My own four children were expected to have these skills when they started school. My two eldest started school the years they turned six due to social readiness. My eldest is now a primary school teacher with a son starting school this year. He is well prepared for school and has a great propensity to learn. Parents and teachers have to form a team in order for children to learn and develop, and parents should not be abdicating their role in this team. Each one needs to support the other; they need to be united in the goal of educating the child and helping that child to become a well rounded member of society.
If you would like read the article, here is the link http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/raise-your-own-kids-teachers/story-fn7x8me2-1226256687349
Parents – please be involved in your child’s learning; encourage and support them, and their teacher. Your child will benefit from your interest in what they are doing in school.
Teachers – please involve parents in what is happening in your classroom. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage parents to be a part of the child’s learning.
School communities are made up of teachers, students and parents. Working together strengthens that community and, in turn, the wider community, by sending young people out into the world well prepared and well educated.
Thank you to all my teachers, and thank you to all my childrens’ teachers.