Before hybrid learning became the new normal, it was easy to mistake home and school as two separate institutions. In the child’s home, they learn basic skills in communication and interaction, as well as develop important values and good manners. In school, they are submerged in academics where their talents and intelligence are further sharpened. But when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, these two institutions found it necessary to overlap—suddenly, one doesn’t end where the other begins.
Children would take classes in their homes and suddenly, the voices of teachers and family members are all in one space. Matters going on inside living quarters affected the child’s learning, and consequently, the child’s education required even greater support from their home.
In the physical absence of the teacher, the child would need the assistance of a parent or guardian—for worksheets, projects, or even technical difficulties using their educational devices. Sometimes, when there is no parent or guardian readily available, it is the teacher who steps in and offers the necessary comfort or discipline to the child.
Although the situation was new and called for adjustment from both the families and the teachers, we were being reminded of a long-established truth about a child’s educational journey: that home and school were never separate; rather, they are interconnected environments that allow for the child’s continuous growth.
The online mode of learning made it evident that the home and school are a team. Education doesn’t stop when the student logs out of the Zoom call. Similarly, building social and emotional skills can’t be fully developed while confined inside the corners of the home. Therefore, as a community of collaborators—parents, family members, and tutors—we have the responsibility of working together to guide these children toward their full potential.
Parent-Tutor Partnership: Why is it Essential?
Now that we understand that the child’s home and school are connected, we must consider the child’s parents and tutors as partners, too. When parents and tutors strive to build a healthy partnership with each other, they are ultimately paving the way for a child’s holistic development. Through such collaboration, the various aspects of the child’s growth--social, emotional, mental, physical, and intellectual--are given attention.
At the end of the day, the very goal of every parent-tutor partnership is to provide the best support for the child. But more than that, this partnership also greatly benefits the parent and the educator. Here are some of the key advantages of parents and tutors working together:
1. The child’s needs are addressed accordingly.
Parents and tutors who often communicate regarding the child’s performance find it easier to point out the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Frequent and constructive discussions allow for both parties to grow more comfortable and trusting with each other.
Therefore, parents and tutors can create an action plan to address the child’s weakness together. At the same time, they can also find opportunities and tools to amplify the child’s strengths.
2. An optimal learning environment is created.
Apart from the child’s academic performance, it's necessary that their emotional skills, social behaviors, mental health, and attitudes are also brought up by their tutors and parents. When parents and tutors give equal importance to all the aspects of a child’s growth, they are creating a learning environment that is sensitive and nourishing. As a result, the child is more likely to receive a well-rounded education.
3. The child becomes more inspired to learn.
When the child sees the teamwork between their tutors and their parents, they too, gain a more positive outlook on learning. Parent-teacher partnerships can inspire the child to adopt healthy working habits and have a better attitude towards school. The child recognizes the investment of the parents and teachers in their success; thefore, they too become motivated to do their part to achieve their dreams.
4. The child’s non-academic skills are equally honed.
Children who receive equal guidance from their parents and tutors are more likely to develop better social and emotional skills. They gain greater confidence and self-worth, especially in the face of obstacles, knowing that they are supported.
5. The parent-child bond is strengthened.
When the parent asks about their child’s day, helps with school projects, and gives positive affirmations, they become an active participant in the child’s educational development. This involvement allows the parents to have a stronger bond with their children; they begin to relate to them more and they grow more understanding of their personalities.
Similarly, the child also appreciates the attention they receive from their parents. As a result, they become more open and start to look forward to moments that they can share with their parents, most especially their wins.
6. Parents and educators gain a trustful relationship.
Having confidence in each other lifts a weight off of the parents’ and tutors’ shoulders. The parents can rest assured that their child is in good hands. On the other hand, the educators can be also feel supported knowing that someone shares similar goals for the child.
Paving the Way for the Child
Parents and educators are two of the most significant adults in a child’s life. Because they spend a lot of time with the child, they greatly influence their manners and habits. And so, when parents and tutors work in collaboration, not only do they build a reliable support system for the child’s academic and non-academic endeavors, but they also serve as good role models in the child’s life.
The parent and teacher collaboration is a manifestation of trust, eagerness towards education, and valuing responsibility. The child in between this partnership will absorb the same attitudes and more. They will grow to become more confident and more in tune with their self-worth, knowing that they have both their parents and teachers alongside them.
It is critical that both parents and teachers continuously reach out to each other and build a strong, positive relationship. While we may have acclimated to the new normal, it can still pose a challenge for many children, and now more than ever do they need support from both parties. Giving importance to this partnership will pave the way for the child toward whatever goal they aspire to.
About the Author
Ingrid Valenzuela is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman with a degree in BA Creative Writing. She works for Booky as a content producer, writing about the best eats in the metro and where to get them. In her spare time, she's still writing, but this time, about fictional worlds and stories from her restless imagination.
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