PTMs and parental involvement

by M. Nadim Nadir
2 mins read

In the educational trinity — teachers, parents and students — which regulates parents-teachers meetings (PTMs), the second is parents (first one discussed in the previous article) who, as per the issues discussed and the level of their engagement in these PTMs, can be grouped into four broader categories.

First is the concerned parents (CPs) who keep an eye on the progress of their children in studies. They get their presence recorded through active involvement in these PTMs and constructive engagement with teachers. Standing at the vantage point of being educated, they contribute towards a healthy teaching and learning environment through their feedback.

Second is the laissez-faire parents (LFPs): they stand aloof from their children’s studies, and their sole parental contribution consists of sending their children to school. They may not be adequately educated to discuss their children’s study matters at PTMs. Actually, such parents have already chalked out their children’s future, but not through education. Hence, they never turn up at the PTMs and leave their children and teachers on their own.

Third is the parents who have strained relations with their children. At PTMs, they start upbraiding their children for petty lapses in studies. Their attitude proves injurious to the emotional well-being of their children and nurtures a recusant attitude in them. When teachers too join the chorus, it precipitates the children’s dropping out of the learning process. Often, such children resort to quiet quitting.

The fourth category is the busy parents. The father is busy with his job or business while the mother in her social media groups. They afford paid coaching for their children; they themselves don’t put in any time or energy in their children’s studies, despite being capable of it. They like their children spending time away from home at schools and tuition centres. Consequently, they don’t shoulder any responsibility at the PTMs.

But they forget that parental love and concern have no alternative in the world. Children’s involvement in their studies is directly proportional to the parental concern for their children’s studies.

Furthermore, parents should strive to maintain open lines of communication with teachers beyond formal parents-teachers meetings. Whether it be through email, phone calls, or scheduled appointments, regular communication ensures that parents stay informed about their child’s progress and needs.

Parenthood cuts a real sorry figure when parents complain to teachers about their children’s misbehaviour at home. Instead of delving into the matter to know the causes of children’s insolence and solving it through their parental control, they seek teachers’ involvement. Isn’t it a failure of parenthood?

At the PTMs, parents must discuss in absentia of their children the points of disagreement with the teachers and their children’s negligence. PTMs are the cornerstone of a collaborative effort between educators and parents to ensure privacy and holistic development of children. Parents’ remedial rendezvous with their children always pays dividends.

Many parents give teachers the traditional carte blanche to improve students’ studies. This is not a constructive move as the children feel marooned by parental moorings, and they stop sharing their problems with parents.

Why do parents entrust teachers with the moral education of their children? Simply, they fail to present themselves as role models for their children. Though the turnaround in children’s character is possible through external motivators, it takes a longer mileage.

Isaac Asimov, the father of robotics, speaks of the power of parental advice and modelling: “My father once looked through one of my information-crammed books and asked, ‘How did you learn all this, Isaac?’ ‘From you, Pappa.’ ‘From me? I don’t know any of this.’ ‘You didn’t have to, Pappa. You valued learning and you taught me to value it. All the rest came without trouble.’”

Acknowledgement: Article published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2024.

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