Ten Tips on How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together in a Classroom
Parents and teachers have important roles to play in the life of a child. While parents are there by default, teachers on the other hand enter the life of a child out of training and a commitment towards the betterment of the child. Both have independent and equally important roles to play and hence the parent is the representative at home and the teacher that of the classroom; the child's second home, or home away from home.
However, when there is a mix of these two roles in one particular area such as the school campus, with parents offering to help at school, there could be a clash of titans. The school might require for parents to be involved in school events, inviting them to be as volunteers, but that does not mean that parents have a free hand at everything that goes on at school. Hence, like in most schools, there is a set of rules to be followed by every parent who offers help at school; Do's and Don'ts. While this article takes the reader through ten ways a parent can help the teacher in a classroom, another section discusses the ten ways a parent cannot help the teacher in a classroom.
1. Read the rules and guidelines:
A parent should know why she (he) is there. She (he) should read the rules carefully and be aware of the role she (he) is to play. The guidelines usually lay down the do's and don'ts for parents in such cases and the places they have access to and the rooms they are to keep away from. Following rules would be silence at the appropriate times, being punctual and always keeping the welfare of the children in mind.
2. Familiarize self with surroundings:
It is important that parents get to know the layout of the school. They might need help initially, but this is how they also learn to help others around the school campus.
3. Report to the authority figure
In 99 % of the cases, a parent volunteer will report to a class / subject teacher. Parents are never given a free hand at school and hence all work, assessments and feedback for children is through the teacher.
4. Be screened or assessed for core talents
Parents should be screened by the principal so as to have one's strong or weak areas highlighted. While some might be good at Arts and Crafts, another might be good at Math or Languages. This helps to make use of one's talents to the benefit of the child/children.
5. Assist the teacher:
The parent should be a support to the teacher and follow instructions and guidelines. A parent is expected to give in whole hearted support within one's means towards activities in the class room.
6. Befriend children in the classroom:
A parent volunteer may befriend children in the classroom and at the school campus but must limit this to the school premises. Any form of feedback about a child should be forwarded to the class teacher.
A parent volunteer has to maintain a level of confidentiality about all that happens within the school. Information shared by the school and the teachers should be maintained within the school campus.
8. Show respect:
This means that the parent will have to show respect for all that the school stands for, the staff and students and everything that goes to make up the entire functioning of the school. The parent will especially show respect towards children, respect their views and opinions and not criticize, look down or make fun of them.
9. Treat all children equally:
The parent will assist children in the classroom within healthy norms without encouraging cheating or any form of malpractice. This assistance is under the teacher's vigilance the whole time. The parent will also strive to maintain a sense of equality when dealing with all the children in a batch. The parent is to teach or assist children with patience, kindness and a gentle tone.
10. Work as a team:
The parent will strive to work alongside teachers, other parents and children as a team. The aim of such volunteering programs is to lighten the workload of the teacher and to help classes be more interactive and interesting for the children. At times the parent is called upon to help with extracurricular activities and should hence help towards building good team spirit.
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