It’s interesting to note that students spend much more time in school with teachers as compared to how long they stay at home with parents.
April holiday lasts for barely two weeks, two more in August and a couple of weeks in December. In a whole year, a student will have about two months out of 12 with the parents.
What does this imply? Might it be sending signals that the teacher knows your child more than you do? There is a Swahili saying that goes, Kuzaa si kazi, mbali kulea. When translated into English it means, giving birth is not what counts, rather, bringing up a child.
The role of parents in bringing up a child cannot be overemphasised; however, we need to look at the time these two spend together as a factor in closely interacting with a child.
School is one of the socialising agents where a child in their early age will easily absorb what their teachers and peers suggest. A child or a teen might have left home without a certain value but, on arrival to school, acquires it without the parents’ knowledge. The same case applies to unpleasant behaviour.
Cases of indiscipline are not uncommon in schools. In the event that the student has extraordinarily misbehaved, it’s wise to call upon parents so as to jointly correct the child. However, sometimes the parent vehemently defends the student, swearing that they know their child more than the teacher does. This often degenerates into pull and push between the two parties where each claims better knowledge of the student.
While teachers have to appreciate the fact that a child has a family background, the parent too has to understand that child behaviour is dynamic, and more so in teenage years.
This reality, therefore, calls for an open, objective and flexible mind for both parents and teachers in order to come to a consensus of who the child is in that particular moment.
As the wise saying goes, the virtue lies in the middle. I suggest that parents invest more time in visiting their children in school where a face-to-face conversation among the three; parent/guardian, teacher and the child, can be held in a bid to establish what the child is presenting and how the pertinent parties can be of help to him or her.
The author is the head teacher at Inyange Girls School of Sciences