June 17th, 2019

Partnerships in learning

By Submitted Article on January 30, 2019.

Schools and teachers recognize the need for strong partnerships in helping to educate and guide our students to their greatest potential. One of the greatest partnerships is that between the school and parents. Research indicates that strong parent-school partnerships have a significant impact on a student’s success and impacts the student’s life well beyond their school years.

Parents are the primary educator of children, have a great influence over their child’s attitude towards learning and act as a vital link between home and school. In today’s fast-paced world, many parents struggle with how they can be good partners with schools and help their child learn and grow. Schools understand, due to many factors and circumstances, that not all parents can attend every school function or be involved with the school at the same level as some other parents. It’s not necessary for parents to be highly visible at their child’s school to be a strong partner in their education. It is, in fact, the work that is done at home and strong communication with the school that makes the greatest difference in the lives of the student.

Providing a positive learning environment at home and actively working with the child to support what they are learning in school is a key starting point to success. How this looks will differ from household to household. It may consist of providing a space free from interruptions, or one that allows for the parent and child to interact on a level that allows for conversation and feedback on the topics the child is working on. Other positive approaches to help in the learning process include reading with your child each day, or encouraging older children to read on a regular basis. Ensuring children get the appropriate amount of sleep each night is also of great benefit to the learning process, and a great asset to the teacher.

These are just a few examples of home support which can lead to greater student success. A factor which shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is for parents to maintain a positive approach and attitude about education and the long-term, positive impact a good education can have on a young person’s life. Parents have a huge impact on how a child feels about school and their teacher. Chances are a child will have similar experiences to those their parents had in school, some good and some not as positive. It is very easy to get caught in the trap of negativity based on past experiences, or present-day news about test results, curriculum changes or education in general. Modelling a positive outlook and support for school can have a huge impact on how the child acts and reacts in class or towards the teacher.

Parents aren’t expected to be cheerleaders, but they can go a long ways to making their child’s educational experiences as positive as possible if they don’t burden them with negative baggage they may still be carrying themselves.

Dave Driscoll is Superintendent of Schools for Palliser Regional Schools.

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