Our progress as a society in the past few decades has seen a huge transformation in terms of expectations and also, aspirations, as we nurture the 21st century learner for a future that we surely know little about today. This is simply attributed to the fact that the pace of evolution in the last 50 years has been exponential and only promises to increase in tenacity as we move ahead. With these rapid changes in the teaching-learning process, and us re-thinking and re-designing processes and systems, the nature of the relationships are critical partnerships that define success.
So what are these partnerships? The mentoring between teachers and students, the bond between parents and students, and the connect between parents and teachers that completes this circle of teaching-learning. The latter – the partnership between home and school, perhaps the more crucial relationship in these evolving times.
As an educator, i will honestly admit that without understanding, faith and commitment on part of both teachers and parents, this journey for the child will become a meaningless one. Educators will forge ahead with upgraded skills and deliver on mandates set by Board expectations, while parents who have not been exposed to this form of teaching and learning will be ill-equipped to understand that knowledge alone will not be enough, it is the application of the same that will hold the child in stood stead and to achieve this, the path of teaching-learning has changed! The communication between the two therefore is important. For parents in this era of helicopter parenting, it will be critical to understand a school’s vision and what they are looking to achieve and play a supporting role.
Micro managing a child’s life will not be possible if educators and parents are to achieve the expectations of 21st century learning that speaks about creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. This means, risks will have to be taken, un conventional forms of teaching-learning adopted and a lot more freedom provided to children to learn. More than ever, teachers become facilitators, parents become supporters and children take the lead to learn and become accountable for the process.
As decision makers, educators and parents move into a supporting role and this requires a change in mindset not only for educators embracing this revolution but also parents. This relationship between home-school more than ever, will require faith and trust, an open mindedness and reflection as the reins of the process have been handed over to the one implementing it – the child!
One from the industry, I am confident that educators are excited about this change, but the real question is, are parents open to this new approach?
The ideal partnership will be one of communication in understanding the goals a school has, a constant feedback and collaborative effort in enforcing what the school is doing at home too, but not repetition. Keeping abreast of all that is happening in school, via communication that is sent out. Parents will do well if they steer away from the temptations of comparisons between children, over managing their children’s time with tuitions, etc and instead focus on the core program objectives that the school has. Attending regular teacher-parent meetings and getting clarity from the school upfront instead of a ‘whats app’ network may make this journey a more effective one in terms of partnerships.
We also need to be mindful of the challenges that may arise as we remain a people centric industry be it as teachers or parents, and the most useful way to approach this would be with a mindset that irrespective of the problem, a solution will be identified and that we must always remain patient.
Where I to put it in a nutshell, the journey ahead for our children involves team work. The Team PT (Parent-Teacher) is a force to reckon with and synergising strengths will be our greatest contribution for the teaching-learning process in the 21st century.
It is time to action it out and celebrate this collaboration.