Responsibilities of Students and Parents in ESL Education
Parents always want the best for their children. It’s an understandable desire. But sometimes they think that they know better and try to influence teachers’ work and set their own rules.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Valeria S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Challenges related to Private ESL Education
If you work at some language school and parents pay money for the education they have a strong feeling that they can come and tell teachers what to do. Unfortunately in most cases, they know nothing about teaching. Some of them believe that homework is unnecessary; others believe that a child has to spend hours every day learning English and if there is no homework or the amount of it is small they say that teachers are lazy or not qualified enough. Some parents help children with their homework because they think that a child has no right to mistakes and it’s better to help him with the tasks so that a child can show better results and get better marks at school. In this case, the child doesn’t get enough practice and it’s more difficult to understand what problems he has with some topics. In addition to that parents get annoyed and lose their temper in situations when children don’t understand something that looks quite clear for parents, they start shouting and doing homework becomes a nightmare. As a result, children lose their motivation and desire to learn. And of course, parents blame teachers, come to school and tell them that they do everything wrong.
Choice of Teaching Approach
Some parents believe that playing games with children is a bad thing and it’s difficult for them to realize that there are plenty of educational games that can teach children more than just drilling the rules and completing worksheets all day long.
Some parents are too soft and protective and let children skip lessons with no obvious reason and at the end of the course, they are really surprised when they can’t see the result and again they blame teachers.
Expectations and Actions
Some parents are waiting for immediate results that can’t be achieved after one or two lessons. There is a category of parents who just ignore the needs of children with different mental conditions and make them go to ordinary classes. All these situations are common at schools these days.
In my opinion, parents should be involved in the educational process if they want so. They can help a lot if they find a way to encourage their children without interrupting or even ruining the whole process. Teachers and parents can make a good team if they work together for a common purpose. But parents have to be open-minded and listen to teachers’ advice.
How to Work With Parents
Some simple moves can help parents to understand how everything works. If teachers want to build some positive cooperation with parents they have to be open-minded too. For example, they can invite parents to observe some lessons. Parents will see how children work and it may create a positive attitude to a learning process. If parents see how teachers cope with children, they will be more trustful. A teacher can build the lesson in a way that allows parents to be involved. It can be some games or other activities.
There should always be an open dialogue between parents and teachers. Teachers can send some test results to parents or give some general feedback on the child’s progress from time to time.
If there are some issues teachers should be ready to talk to parents face to face and discuss all the questions in the most positive way.
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There are plenty of ways to break the ice between parents and teachers and make them trust and support each other. The most important thing is communication and everybody should be ready to do their best for the sake of children.
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