St Mary's Abbotsford Convent 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford Victoria | +61 3 9419 9229

From the principal’s desk…

From the Principal’s desk,

I often get asked by new parents, “ How can we best support the teacher?” This is a topic which is worthy of understanding.

Some may think it is through forcing children to do homework, getting them to school on time, making sure they have had a good night’s sleep or being adequately prepared. These are all valuable and important.

If anyone believes that teaching children today is an easy job, then stop and think again. Children today are of the world, current and engaged. They are wonderful, delightful, full of joy and enthusiasm, willing to please and desperate to learn. Children are children.

Parents on the other hand are much harder to teach. They are filled with expectations, concerns, worries and confusions. They invest in their children through hope, trust, and dare I say it, pride.

When we look at the dynamic between parent, teacher and child we can see there are differences in all of the above. The dynamics which works between three is always difficult. If three children play together it is only a matter of time before two pair off and one feels left out. This is a natural human dynamic and also needs to be considered when thinking around the support of the teacher question.

If the ‘two’ dynamic is the parent and the teacher and the one left out is the child, the situation is as it should be. Both adults directed to and for the benefit of the child.

The moment the parent and child side against the teacher, the child is the looser. It then becomes very difficult for the teacher to gain the respect and confidence of the child.

If the teacher should make the error to side with the child against the parent then again the child is the looser as their loyalties will be divided.

So to really support the teacher, we need to understand the dynamics that are involved.

If the child comes home with complaints about the teacher, which always happens, then the parent, being the adult and the responsible one should discuss the child’s dilemma directly with the teacher.

“ I’ll speak to your teacher tomorrow dear, and we will get to the bottom of it!” is the sort of response that may be given.

We must remember at all times that the well -being and education of the children is at the forefront of our minds and actions and that we as parents and the teachers are there to support them through all difficulties. As you have one child while the teacher may have 20 children, the focus and understanding of a problem can be very different.

I understand that nearly every situation that arises comes with unique and out of the ordinary conditions and we find ourselves quickly defending or opposing without a clear picture of the whole situation.
-So to support the teachers,

  • Ask – don’t blame ( get all sides of the picture)
  • Limit emails, technology can be invasive and threatening
  • Respect personal space and time – making late night phone calls can be inappropriate
  • Respect mind space – before lesson is a vital preparation time for teachers and the mind space that they go into lessons with is vitally important to the outcomes of the lesson.
  • Arrange meeting times
  • Invite a third party if needed ( Principal is always there)
  • Discuss concerns with Principal
  • Have clear and reasonable expectations.

There are always ways of working things out and clarifying situations. Some are quick and easy others are difficult and take a long time however the process is very important and maintaining high levels of communication and resect are paramount for successful outcomes. Perhaps we as a school could start to develop the Dr CC idea, which is Dignity, Respect, Care and Compassion

On another note………..

I have received an official complaint from the Children’s Farm regarding Sophia Mundi parents parking in their reserved car spaces. I think that this happens mainly in the morning as the Farm employees then are left with nowhere to park for the day. Please respect the reserved car spaces for other tenants of the Convent and The Children’s Farm.

Thank you for your continued support of the school.


Please follow the link for the full newsletter from this week:  Newsletter_Aug_29_2014

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