8 Tips for Teachers and Parents

It’s possible to portray the relationship that must exist between parents and teachers as a perpetually confrontational one, which is why it’s important to clarify that there are different kinds of issues that come up with children who attend school.

The first and perhaps most crucial set of issues is those which threaten the well-being of a child. These can range from actual physical dangers such as certain kinds of bullying or abuse, to less tangible perils, like emotional intimidation or cyber-bullying. These obviously must be addressed at once, and a parent is justified in taking matters of this sort to the highest authority in the school at once - and perhaps beyond the school itself if needed.

The second set of issues is less urgent: these are things like personality clashes, academic difficulties, disagreements with the school about the delivery of an education, or disagreements with parents about the level or nature of parenting. While these don’t place the child at immediate risk, they deserve attention and should be addressed along whatever normal channels the school provides. This usually means approaching the teacher first before going up the hierarchy of the school, and for the school it means calling a meeting with parents at which concerns can be voiced.

The third set isn’t really composed of ‘issues’ at all in the sense of anything negative. These are scenarios which arise in the normal course of events when a child’s upbringing is being shared between parents and any outside body: lost property, clarification of timetables, news about outings, liaison and coordination regarding pick-up times and so forth. These form the ‘bread and butter’ of school life with regard to parents.

The fourth set is even less problematic and therefore often gets overlooked. This is the body of communication to do with the day-to-day education or raising of children, the timeline of a child’s minor achievements, the ‘good news’ or steady progress that should be happening every day. Because this is supposed to be the norm, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves; the things which do get the attention are all those things which depart from it, as described in one form or another above.

Below is a list of th