Relationships between teachers, parents and students: are they ambiguous?
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Relationships between teachers, parents and students: are they ambiguous?

Sara Spivey

There is a strong focus of the state of education worldwide currently, with many governments and schools disagreeing and attempting to improve their situation. Whether state, private or international schools. It is alarming to recognise that a lot of classrooms still looked like they did a 100 years ago in the Victorian era. Thank goodness the medical profession has progressed effectively at a far greater rate. Having said this, this is not the case for many others.

One of the most major elements that as schools, have in common, is what I call the Trifector. The relationship between teachers, students and parents. It Is a difficult and complex balance to get right between all three,

Obviously depending on the type of school, those factors that need addressing will be somewhat different. I am going to take a personal example to begin with. A bi-lingual, private school in Lithuania, “Erudito licejus”, started in 2016. However, due to many factors, including some very new progressive teaching and learning methodologies, is expanding exponentially at the moment.

What problems can occur day to day basis?

I posed this question to Ruta Ziauniene, the schools psychologist at Erudito, and asked her. If she recently encountered a situation of bad behavior with a student in class, what steps would she ideally take to resolve the problem?

– Firstly, to speak with the child privately and also with the class teacher. The problem should be addressed within a short time period, a week as opposed to one month. If we are talking about specific behavior like he cannot focus or he is aggressive, we need to talk as a group, teacher, student and psychologist to identify the underlying problem.

We issue a behavior observation card which needs signing off by each class teacher or lesson he attends, with comments from each teacher” “If the issue is more serious like persistent aggressive behavior that is not changing we may suggest some external resources, like group counselling. It may come down to the decision that this environment, after all the steps have been followed and tested, is just not right for him.

– Is there a fix all to such day to day issues?

– Persoanlly speaking I have worked in many IB schools over the globe. One of the most efficient ways I have found of answering a number of questions or concerns parents have, it to simply invite them into the class according to the “International Baccleaurate Programmes”. It immediately calms any concerns on not understanding what is going on all day in class. They can see the child and teacher in action. In reflection to this suggestion that I have witnessed and experienced in the past is one of the best solutions.

Standardisation is often a feared word!

However, resistance to this should not be felt at this stage of implementation and the overriding factor for standardization is to protect the teacher and institution in not being left open to ambiguity and more importantly for students and parents. All rules, testing, plannings, evaluation and progressive development is delivered in exactly the same way.

Speaking with Mr Rokos Balciunas, the Deputy Head of Education for “Erudio Licejus”, I asked him about the implementation of standardization within a relatively new school.

– From the teachers standpoint it can be a word to be feared, however, if you wish to maintain the quality levels, then standardization is the way to do this in new and established school, in a rapidly growing school, the process, methods and philosophies of evaluation are some of the most key points. You have to know what you are teaching and how to measure results and evaluate accurately”, – he answered.

To follow the Standards and Practices according to IB school particularly, which we will soon be, it is the ‘protective layer’ that covers teachers, parents, students and the institution, so a win-win for all.

The more transparent a school can be with the parents tends to be the best practice. Inviting parents to on-going events, evenings, discussion groups involving the teachers and students can be a very pro-active and helpful way of managing relationships with all parties concerned.