Why is that parents feel powerless the moment they receive a letter from the head of the school for a meeting. All hell breaks loose. The child is bombarded with questions; what did he do? What is going wrong? A sense of guilt, helplessness and anger envelops the house. A letter from the Principal is treated like summons from the court. It need not be the case.
Why is there this distance between the school and home, between the teacher or Principal and the parents? Just the other day a mother confided on how she pestered her child to know why the principal wanted to meet. “I am terrified to go to the school,” “Waiting outside the Principal’s office is very stressful” are some of the common remarks you hear from parents and even worse is the one which I heard during my Principal days “I find it difficult to deal with the competition between parents over their child’s progress”. The common refrain from working parents is “We are both working; it is hard for us to check on the child’s performance.
A visit to the school is impossible”. Let us look at these issues from a school head’s perspective- Remember that teachers are often nervous about talking to parents. Just as parents have no training in bringing up children, teachers do not have training in talking to the
parents of children. Some are very good at it and will put the parents at ease. Others will deal with parents as if they are the source of the problem.
However, remember the school is the second home for the child. The visit to the school does not have to be unpleasant. Parents and children need to remove the fear that teachers are called to hear complaints. In many instances, the visit may be to familiarise the parents with the child’s way of life in school and the need for coming together. It is vital to understand that the parents, teachers and school are equal partners in progress of the child.
A child needs to know that both the teachers and parents love him for what he is. He also needs to know that the world is full of choices, such as practical/ impractical, sensible/foolish, considerate/inconsiderate but he has to live with a moral framework. He has to utilise his time in school and at home usefully in a peaceful environment. He must eat nutritious food to help feel energetic and able to enjoy life.
Give him a sense of belonging and easy access to good books. Please talk and share experiences with him on a variety of subjects (including visits to his school). Help him make friends and deal with problems. If the school and you accept his individuality, visits to the school by you dear parents will only make you feel stronger emotionally and psychologically. Your child’s school is not only his school but also yours.