Writer and educator Dorothy H Cohen once stated, “No school can work well for children if parents and teachers do not act in partnership on behalf of the children’s best interests”. Educationist and founder of the TreeHouse chain of schools, Rajesh Bhatia agrees and believes that a healthy teacher-parent relationship marked by the three Cs of communication, consistency, and collaboration is imperative for the holistic development of the child.
Bhatia outlines some of the benefits like Fosters positivity, Nurtures talent, Solves behavioral issues, Encourages better academic performance of the parent-teacher relationship for students:
Fosters positivity- A good parent-teacher relationship will help the child to develop a positive attitude towards education and transcend any adjustment issues he or she may be experiencing while interacting with peers, joining a new school, or struggling with academics. If at this sensitive juncture, both teachers and parents collaborate to smoothen the situation, take the child into confidence and work out a strategy to help, the child will begin to think of schooling as a safe and pleasant experience. When children feel seen and heard both at school and at home, there is automatically a surge of confidence that holds them in good stead in the future.
Nurtures talent- A good school nurtures talent and encourages students to express themselves creatively. When parents and teachers are on the same footing, they can also help shy and withdrawn students to come out of their shells and take part in dramatics, music and dance recitals, poetry recitations, story-telling competitions, and more, depending on the interest of the child. Children can be helped to overcome speech impediments or stage fright with patience. Maybe, they have a special ability to draw well or can excel in some other discipline and only a trusting relationship between parents and teachers can guide them to realize their full potential.
Solves behavioral issues- If a child is acting out at school, disrupting the class, misbehaving in any way, and not focusing on studies, teachers and parents can share information to figure out the root cause of the behavior. When no ego games are played between schools and parents and there is instead, a safe space of sharing and trust, a child also feels emotionally secure and confident enough to share his or her side of the story. When children sense that their teachers and parents have their back, they listen more and slowly begin to get more involved in academics, extracurricular activities, and sports.
Encourages better academic performance- During the lockdown period following the COVID-19 pandemic, the involvement of parents increased in the academic development of their children. However, even in normal circumstances, a consistent collaboration between parents and teachers can help students through academic challenges and guide them to achieve excellence. When teachers update the parents about the child’s performance, through emails, telephonic conversations, or during in-person meetings, it gets easier to address areas that the child is weak. It is important to realize that it takes a village to raise a child and neither teachers nor parents alone can do what is best for him or her. Collaboration, I repeat, is the key to a healthy model of schooling.
Enhances social development- Society for Research in Child Development, in their 2010 study stated that children with parents who are highly involved in their schooling have enhanced social functioning. Children are always observing how the adults in their lives communicate with others and when there is mutual respect between teachers and parents, this attitude will invariably be passed on to them. A non-toxic communication model also teaches children to have successful and amicable interactions with their peers. A good parent-teacher relationship will further reduce the child’s stress levels and make the formative years of schooling, truly memorable.