Dear and Esteemed Parents and Guardians, Sub: Importance of Parent-Teacher Meetings (PTM)
he aim of the Parent Teacher Meeting is that the parents and teachers must understand each other well and hence be together. We can understand the child better. The child should grow up beautifully and joyfully! The above summarises why parents and teachers must meet to meet!
The paradoxical juxtaposition of individual uniqueness and collective togetherness is a determinant of both the beauty of life and the challenges it offers.
The PTM is NOT to find out who has not done what. It is to find out who should do what and how to meet the best interest and needs of the child.
It may be appropriate to explain the above. We notice a gap in understanding between parent and teachers in a few instances. One of the reasons could be that parents and teachers have not thought over carefully about what is their intent of school education. One needs to think over, understand and tentatively decide what one desires and expects from a school. When both teachers and parents are clear about their aims of education, exchange of ideas can take place. A common understanding will result. This will enable parents and teachers to work together.
It helps the parents immensely to attend the PTM. Parents can discuss with teachers and house parents of the school some of the important issues given below. By no means can we say this list is complete or comprehensive! Parents should learn about their children and know about them well enough to be able to parent them finely. UNDERSTANDING EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND INTENT: Share with the Class Teachers or other senior teachers or the Principal what you desire and expect from the school. Solicit their views about education. We need to minimise divergence between the intent of the school and intent of parents.
REVIEW OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS: ATTEND PTM AND DISCUSS WITH TEACHERS: Discuss with the teachers about progress of the child. What are the areas in which the child has not made the expected progress? Find out the possible causes for the gap from the teachers so that parents and teachers together and help the child. Decide the role of the parents and teachers in the joint endeavour so that we achieve the common objective more easily. Parents may like to draw the attention of the concerned teachers to any specific matter, e.g. like the notebook needs to be checked more often or more thoroughly.
ASCERTAIN CHILD’S ACADEMIC INVOLVEMENT: Ask each teacher you meet about how the child conducts himself in the class, whether he asks questions and doubts, whether he completes the written assignments regularly and on time, whether the written assignments are adequate in content and presentation. WRITE IN “PTM REGISTER”: It helps the school if parents record their observations, feedback and expectations in the PTM register available with the class teacher concerned. The Principal peruses the record and acts upon it.
READ THE LEARNER’S COMPREHENSIVE PROFILE: It is necessary for parents to read the detailed reports furnished by each teacher. The Learner’s Comprehensive Profile (LCP) comprises of these reports. Please provide the support requested by teachers in these reports. STUDY THE QUANTITATIVE REPORT: Please read the quantitative reports and discuss the same with the child. Please ascertain the causes for discouraging performance is applicable. When a parent seeks details, the child will become more accountable for better work and results.
REVIEW OF BEHAVIOR AND QUALITY OF PRESENCE: BEHAVIOR: Ask every teacher you meet about the behaviour of the child in the class, with the teacher, with classmates, with junior children and with senior children.
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS (PEERS/ADULTS): Please enquire with every teacher and house parent how your child relates to others around him or her. How comfortable a child is in his relationships with others determines how well established emotionally a child would be. If the child is unable to establish good relationships with peers and adults around him or her, it will be a struggle for the child and he/she may not know how to deal with it. Parents must realise that just by the parents discussing with teachers and their child will make it much easier for the child to learn and grow up well.
QUALITY OF PRESENCE IN HOSTEL: Check with the house parents and housemothers what is the quality of presence of the child in the hostel, behaviour with house parents and housemother, behaviour with house ayah and bhayyas. LANGUAGE USED: Check with all teachers, house parents and housemothers the quality of language used by the child in different learning spaces of the school. When you check like this, the child will be more particular and careful about the type of language used.
USAGE OF ENGLISH: Ask the child how often he or she speaks in English. The children give importance to whatever parents and teachers follow up together. Parents asking this question will help our school to bring about improved language speaking abilities in our children.
INFORM TEACHERS ANY SPECIAL INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD: As parents, you know how your child was in infancy and early childhood. This background information may explain some of the behavioural patterns observed by the teachers and explained to you. You should share with teachers any information that explains the behavioural patterns of the child, including any premature or late developmental milestones. Any traumatic incidents that the child may have experienced in childhood at home, neighbourhood or due to change of schools and which influences or affects his or her present behaviour must be shared with teachers.
Any special skills, talents or interests your child has demonstrated at home and you are aware of should be informed to the teachers in person. You may follow up by a letter to the Principal so that our school can provide any additional guidance that is feasible.
Please share with us any significant and important inputs you may have received from the previous school about your child. This will help our teachers to begin the necessary process of intervention earlier. Please share with us any symptoms of learning challenges, bed-wetting, and symptoms of extreme violence, tempers and aggressive nature so that the process of appropriate assistance can begin early on.
REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN EXTRA-CURRICULAR AND CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: ASK THE CHILD WHAT ELSE HE HAS LEARNT: Our school offers many extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities to the students. If the parents ask the child, what all he or she has experienced and learnt it will be very satisfying for both the child and parents. The child may feel more motivated to attend more co-curricular activities and better. Parental expectation influences the child even if he or she is in the hostel. Please remember that the child may appear to listen to the teachers more than he listens to parents. However, he or she eventually wants to be like parents! Parents must enquire what the child is learning on all occasions, including during telephone calls, in letters, or during vacations.
GO INTO THE DETAILS: Asking detailed questions about the extra-curricular and co-curricular activities helps the child to refine his or her outlook. In the process of explaining, the child absorbs what he has learnt better.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF PARENTS: There is ample literature about good parenting in English and other languages. It is good for parents to read this kind of literature to develop better understanding about this important subject. One could also discuss this subject with appropriate elderly people or educators. The parents may like to discuss with senior teachers of our school. One could also discuss with the Principal such matters. PARTICIPATE IN EDUCATIONAL PROCESSES OF THE SCHOOL: In case you have any special interest or talents, which the children at large may benefit from, please write to the Principal. We will make appropriate provision for you to interact with the students or teachers in an assembly or to conduct a workshop.
CONTRIBUTE TO PUBLICATIONS OF THE SCHOOL: Please contribute to Orchid Speaks or Orchid Reminisces by writing and sending your articles to the Principal. We shall gratefully acknowledge all contributions individually. Your child will feel delighted if you do so! We need to set good and different types of examples for our children to grow up well. You may write in English, Marathi, Hindi or any other language. PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO TEACHERS AND SCHOOL: You can use the forum of PTM to provide invaluable feedback to the school for its improvement in all respects. You may write in the PTM register, which the Principal examines closely.
Please write to me in case you have any ideas to share or any query to ask at our school address or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I shall be delighted to respond individually!