Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hitting the nail on the head

Yesterday I found this article called 'Engagement must not stop at the gate' in the Sydney Morning Herald and it was a small confirmation of why I try to stay in touch with our class parents and try to keep them informed of what we are doing in class.

I think the quote below is particularly important:

"Whatever causes this disengagement in a child's education, it will continue right through the school years unless it is addressed. The heart of disengagement with a child is to be blind to certain behaviour and to turn that behaviour into a kind of meaningless white noise. And when the parent begins to get signals - information that would alert the engaged parent - the disengaged parent turns this into white noise, too.

Reinforcing this disengagement is the child. Because the disengaged parent is not involved in the usual parent-child checks and balances, there is an illusory sense of control; the feeling that ''I communicate with my child better than other parents''. In other words, the disengaged parent actually feels more engaged in his or her child's life."

Sometimes it's hard for a teacher to be honest with a class parent, particularly when they too are educated, articulate and opinionated. Parents are not always open and/or tactful in parent-teacher discussions and I think the key message of this article is to recognise the importance of keeping one's child engaged with education, to highlight and address problems as they arise - otherwise, as mentioned in the article, these issues will almost certainly remain well beyond the Primary years.