For 12 years I have been negotiating, supporting, sharing and listening to teachers and carers of my children. Over this time I have seen the benefit of fostering and nurturing these relationships. When you think about it, you legally hand over the care of your children and the responsibilities of social and academic development to these very special individuals for approx. 1500 hours per year.
So what is it about support and collaboration that is so important? I am an advocate to building helping teams around people, especially my children. A team is, by definition, a number of people associated in some joint action or activity. The action and activity in this case is your child’s welfare and education; the preparation and development of your child’s readiness to enter the workforce and find satisfaction in their adult world. When you look at it in this way, your participation is vital.
The benefits I have found by taking responsibility to get to know, support and be in regular contact with teachers:-
- The teachers/carers have more understanding of my child as they know what is going on in their ‘whole’ life.
- I don’t jump to any conclusions based on my child’s opinion of the teacher as I have gotten to know them and their style of teaching.
- I have a greater understanding and empathy, individually and as an industry, of teachers and the massive job they do.
- I can follow through with routines and consequences that are working at school which create more consistency for my child and less stress.
- My children are able to ‘own’ their positive and undesirable behaviour and comments and there is follow up at both ends.
- The teachers and I support each other in a common cause – the best outcomes for my children.
- I can easily ask for help when I need it with areas that are challenging.
- I know when my child is struggling in time to redirect, before it is too late or habitual.
- I get to meet and really know some amazing people; whose passion is to see my child succeed.
- My children see that I am proactive in their lives and when needed will rally their ‘team’ together to overcome perceived obstacles.
- I always find out what is going on!
Whether you are a working parent or stay at home parent, you can build your child’s helping team. You can mix it up in many forms; phone, email, and in person. In my most trying times I have found the support of most teachers a real blessing; their ability to hold judgement and help me and my child has led to some of the most satisfying moments for me. My challenge to you now is to get out there and build these relationships and teams, honour the people who play such an important role in our children’s lives and feel the satisfaction that comes from being involved.
Written By – Kirsty O’Callaghan
Kirsty O’Callaghan is a family and relationships Expert and has been professionally involved in the business of inspiring and guiding others to live more positively, less stressfully and with more health and happiness for well over a decade. Kirsty has an amazing passion, a never give up attitude, and enthusiasm for everything she does and is well positioned to share with your her knowledge, experience and expertise.