The relationship established between family and school is generally characterized by the fusion of two sources which are essential in the education and development of human personality. Instructing and guiding schoolchildren to their full potential are things which rely on the manner in which teachers and parents interact. In order to successfully accomplish such a partnership, parents should be consulted before decisions concerning their children are made and the data provided by the family is to be used in order to improve teachers’ knowledge of the pupils. Parents should take an active part in the education of their children.
In the current socio-economical context parents tend to be overtly preoccupied with the financial status of the family, thus having the tendency to increasingly place the responsibility of having their children educated solely and exclusively by the school. Parents are satisfied with either earning a living or financially improving the living standard of the family, focusing on providing the children with mainly material support.
Both parts involved tend to forget about or neglect the utmost importance of the quality time they should actively spend and enjoy together. Homework itself is no longer checked on by parents, as after schools or babysitters take on this responsibility. Under these circumstances, parents risk having less and less knowledge of the problems, interests and needs of their own children, fact which may lead to severe gaps in the parent-child communication and relationship.
Consequently, I have made quite successful attempts to get parents and pupils involved in joint activities. At an early stage I used the pretext of organizing a teacher training event- being aware of the fact that parents generally show interest in and availability for such events. The main topic of the lesson was “the Mosaic”, therefore, the parents of my pupils and I went together to a workshop located in a town nearby. The workshop (which runs under the patronage of the “Second Chance” Association-an association with which we collaborate) specializes in creating various item using the mosaic technique. We have been taught how to use the technique and fortunately parents re-discovered the childlike curiosity within themselves, learning brand new things and they enthusiastically expressed their wish to participate to the charity events of the association.
The next stage of the activity was the active involvement of the parents in guiding and helping their children to actually make functional flowerpots together, using the mosaic technique. Not only did the parents have the chance to experience the thrill of the activity but their children, as well, felt protected, appreciated and proud.
At the end of our activity the most encouraging feedback were the words of one of the mothers who came and said to me: “Mrs. Stanciu, we really do want and need to be part of a similar activity as soon as possible”. Those words proved that the idea of having parents work together with their children was successful.
Our next event was held on International Women’s Day and it benefited from a very large parents’ participation. I invited the mothers to spend one hour with their children, at the end of the school classes. A surprise was in store for them all after the program which the children had prepared ended. The little pupils had written on heart-shaped notes messages which began like this: “I love you because…”.
The emotional level hit the sky on both sides, as after this heart-felt “round” the mothers were asked to answer the questions which children were asking, questions such as: “ How did you feel when you gave birth to me?” , “ What do you honestly think about my behaviour?” or “ Am I what you expected me to be like?”. The honesty of the answers was amazing and, once again, the feedback was one with which anyone would be delighted, as one mother expressed her gratitude for helping them live such an emotional experience.
These two events are, to me, the best proof that it is worth keeping on doing my best to get parents “crop” themselves from their daily activities and spend unforgettable moments with their children.
The result will surely be amazing, they will acquire an in-depth reciprocal knowledge and understanding which is surely to lead to a definite improvement in both their relationship and the pupils’ academic results.