The Parent-School Relationship
Things you should always do
- Turn up for regular meetings with the teacher. If you can't do
it, make sure your partner can (both of you should attend if
possible). Pleading that you're 'too busy' to discuss your child's
progress will be a real black mark against you.
- Always fill out all the material that comes from the school, and promptly. This may mean signing a homework diary and adding a few comments, or filling out forms for school activities, assessments etc. Lots of children are really forgetful about handing over this material, so forage in your child's bag at the end of the day to check out what needs doing.
- Always turn up for end of term concerts, school plays, carol services etc. Your child will scan the crowd anxiously for you face, and will care desperately if you don't attend - can you really live with his/her disappointment?
Things you should try to do
- Give a little time to the school - it may be manning a stall at the school fete, putting together a newsletter in the evenings, or helping out on a school trip.
- Try your best to answer all appeals for help from the school - be it for cash contributions, food for the harvest festival, old clothes for school plays, gifts for a sister school in Africa.
- If you have enough spare time, consider joining the Parents' Association or becoming a parent-governor.
Things you should never do
- Storm into the school at the end of the day and berate your child's teacher. If you have a concern, always make an appointment. Even if you have a serious grievance, keep your language moderated and your temper in check - anger will only make people defensive…
- Embarrass your child in front of his/her fellow pupils or teacher. If, for example, you accompany your child on a school trip, always take your cue from him/her. Behaviour that is acceptable in the privacy of your own home may be absolutely mortifying in a school context.