“The relationship between parents, teachers and students can be compared to an isosceles triangle: students are the vertex, and parents and teachers are the two points on the base. The longer the base, the lower the vertex; the shorter the base, the higher the vertex. This shows that the farther the distance between parents and teachers, the lower the development level of students; the closer the distance between parents and teachers, the higher the development level of students.” said Zhao Gang, dean of the Family Education Research Institute of Northeast Normal University.
Driving to and from get off work, wearing skirts to class, ordering takeout at school… Recently, news that a primary school teacher in Hubei Province was reported by parents for various “nonsense” reasons has attracted public attention. As a result, the negative public opinion on teacher ethics caused by expanded reporting or even false reporting has caused many teachers to walk on thin ice in teaching activities. There has even been a phenomenon where a few teachers simply “lay down” because they are afraid of “doing more and making more mistakes”.
Contrary to the behavior of some parents who lack trust in teachers and are ready to report it, the reporter also heard two voices: some parents said bluntly, “How dare you find fault like this? We usually have no time to coax the teacher!” Some parents said , “I don’t want to receive any information from the teacher at all. No information is the best news.”
Either attitude reflects the current plight of the lack of effective communication, mutual understanding and trust between home and school, and the inability to form a good co-educational relationship. With the development of the times and the update of educational concepts, in recent years, relevant departments have issued a series of guidance on home-school cooperation, and primary and secondary schools have also begun to practice home-school collaborative education. But in reality, why are home-school relations so tense in some places? What communication gaps between home and school need to be bridged? How to guide families and schools from suspicion to understanding, from “antagonism” to co-education?
1 There are no winners in the “unequal” home-school relationship
After staying up for two nights in a row to do handicrafts for her children, Beijing parent Li Jiefei was a little overwhelmed. “The first-grade science homework asked me to use beans to make decorative paintings. As an adult, I worked on it for several hours with my hands full of glue. How could the child do it? Maybe it can be done independently? If I didn’t think that my child would have to study in school for another six years, I would really like to call and complain: Why are you assigning homework that is beyond the child’s ability?”
But apart from “comforting myself with imagination,” she couldn’t think of a better way to communicate: “I wanted to ask the teacher but didn’t dare, for fear that the child would be put in small shoes. It’s better to do less than to do more.”
In reality, a small number of parents will handle conflicts between home and school in the form of complaints, reports, etc. However, what troubles many teachers and parents is: Why is there a thick wall between home and school in today’s world where communication is so advanced? “Heart wall”.
Some teachers pointed out that there are two extremes among parents who currently have poor communication with schools: some parents are accustomed to viewing school education with a critical eye and treat their children’s training in a refined way, becoming “highly sensitive parents” who participate in communication. “We report and complain about trivial matters at every turn,” a middle school teacher in Beijing said helplessly. There are also some “uncooperative parents” who, after sending their children to school, think that learning is the school’s business. Even teachers take the initiative to contact parents to communicate about their children’s problems. Parents are also perfunctory and become “silent parents” who do not take the initiative, refuse, Not communicating.
Some parents also believe that now that communication methods are more convenient, teachers have become “lazy” and checking students and correcting homework have become the responsibility of parents. “Usually, I rarely contact parents to communicate with parents properly when I have nothing to do. When I come to you, it is not a complaint.” It’s just to arrange tasks. Parents don’t dare to offend the teacher, so they have to passively accept it.”
In all kinds of “unequal” home-school relationships, there is always one party who feels that “he is the weak one” and needs to swallow his anger. Once caught in the struggle between home and school, there is no winner.
Because she punished a student who was causing trouble in class, a middle school teacher Liu Qian (pseudonym) was reported by her parents for “corporal punishment of students.” After repeated requests from her parents, the school verbally criticized her, deducted her allowance, and suspended her from being a class teacher. When I was depressed and aggrieved, a friend came up with an idea: focus on “paying attention” to the child’s learning problems and interview his parents during work hours.
She followed suit. After several attempts, parents who couldn’t stand the “torsion” began to take the initiative to show their kindness. But Liu Qian was not as happy as she had imagined. Instead, she felt a strong sense of exhaustion. “The child does have learning problems, but such a selfish solution has created a knot in the hearts of both parties.”
“The relationship between parents, teachers and students can be compared to an isosceles triangle: students are the vertex, and parents and teachers are the two points on the base. The longer the base, the lower the vertex; the shorter the base, the higher the vertex. This shows that the farther the distance between parents and teachers, the lower the development level of students; the closer the distance between parents and teachers, the higher the development level of students.” Zhao Gang, dean of the Family Education Research Institute of Northeast Normal University, said, “With the development of human education now, A proven and effective experience is that parent participation is an indispensable part of the construction and management of the modern school system. A school education system without the cooperation of family education is bound to be riddled with problems. The way of thinking about reforming school education alone is no longer suitable for this. era.”
2 One-way home-school communication cannot meet practical needs
In recent years, “home-school cooperation” has become a key word in educational exploration in various places. The reporter found that relevant departments have issued a series of guidance on home-school cooperation, and primary and secondary schools in many places are also exploring specific methods of home-school collaborative education. The “Family Education Promotion Law of the People’s Republic of China” that will be implemented on January 1, 2022 has raised family education from a “family matter” to a “state matter”.
The starting point of a series of explorations is to break through the bottleneck of home-school cooperation and help cultivate talents through effective cooperation between home and school.
“For a long time, when people mention education, they immediately think of school education, thinking that education is only a matter of schools. Many educators also believe that education must be carried out by people with professional qualifications. As a result, schools are becoming more and more closed. Teachers are working harder and harder, and schools are shouldering unlimited responsibilities.” Zhao Gang believes that although the Family Education Promotion Law defines family responsibilities, in specific educational situations, it requires an arduous process to change people’s deep-rooted concepts. “There is an urgent need to improve the quality of parents and the level of parent education.”
Many interviewees said that on the one hand, parents have insufficient literacy in collaborative education with schools; on the other hand, they have a strong willingness to participate in school management and supervision, and their requirements for transparency in school management are getting higher and higher. At the same time, there are many problems in the current methods of communication between home and school, which further leads to conflicts between home and school.
“We have statistics that 90% of the more than 2,400 parents who participated in the survey like to interview teachers and think this is the best way, while 72.2% of teachers choose to contact them by phone. If they need to interview parents, 78.5% of teachers choose to go to work Time.” Zhao Gang said, “We can see from the questionnaire results that teachers are ambivalent in terms of the number and form of contacting parents, and are worried that they will spend too much time and money but cannot achieve educational results, which affects the healthy development of home-school relations. One of the main reasons.”
“Parents’ participation in school education is mostly limited to external forms of parent meetings, open days, homework exhibitions, parent training, etc., and rarely touches the deep structure of curriculum construction, teaching activities and school management. Parents feel more like an insider They passively accept some information, participate in some activities as a bystander, and are assigned some tasks as an ‘executor’ that should be completed by the UNESCO. Some parent committees are alienated into spokespersons who ‘speak for the school’ and become low-level dedicated parent volunteers. This one-way communication method does not reflect respect for parents, nor does it guarantee the exercise of parents’ rights.” Zhao Lanbo, associate researcher at the Moral Education Research Center of the Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences, believes that there is currently a lot of communication work between home and school. It still remains on the surface. There is a lack of corresponding institutional arrangements to promote parents’ in-depth participation in education work. The cooperation is not continuous, deep and systematic.
In addition, some schools have shortcomings in handling public opinion and administering education according to law, which has also led some parents to form the misconception that “reporting is a ‘short, flat, and quick’ way of communicating.”
“Parents call the 12345 citizen hotline all the time. Firstly, they may not be able to find other communication channels. Secondly, they feel that other channels may be ineffective because of the school’s ‘conflict’. But once there is a complaint, it will be handled immediately and it will be included in the school’s comprehensive When the assessment complaint hotline intervenes, the school often chooses to keep the matter quiet, or even indiscriminately attack the teacher involved in order to calm public opinion,” a teacher reflected.
3 The best education is when parents trust teachers and teachers give their best
“The best education is when parents trust teachers and teachers go all out.” Experts interviewed believe that only by dispelling oppositional emotions, changing the utilitarian home-school relationship, and strengthening collaboration and emotional interaction can the “heart wall” be broken and properly resolved. The current trust issue between home and school has formed a joint effort between home and school.
This first needs to be based on parents and teachers having a common understanding of home-school co-education.
“If parents lack a clear understanding of their own educational responsibilities and do not have the ability to educate families, how can they talk about empathy and understanding?” Wang Haitao, executive director of Taishan Education Innovation Research Institute in Shandong Province, believes that the current pertinence and effectiveness of family education in many places “Many schools use parent classrooms, online workshops and other methods several times a year to train parents and invite experts to teach, but this is only the first step to ‘awaken’ parents. Only this, parents will feel Empty preaching and divorced from reality. Research and exploration into the professionalism, systematicness and operation of parent education should be strengthened.”
Teachers also need to further improve their home-school communication abilities and skills.
“Due to emergencies, the school had to change the head teacher twice in three months. Finally, I had to bite the bullet and ‘take up the post.'” He convened a parent committee meeting immediately, put himself in others’ shoes, expressed his understanding of the parents’ reactions, and introduced them in detail After explaining the cause of the incident, he gave a detailed plan for class work, and used the key parents with the biggest personal opinions as a breakthrough point to “turn enemies into friends”… An experience of “turning hostility into friendship” deeply touched Lai Xiaofei, a teacher at Yuyuan Primary School in Mentougou District, Beijing. Duo: “When conflicts between home and school occur, do not resist or avoid them, but seize the best opportunity to communicate proactively in a timely manner. You must also open channels to listen to voices from all sides, adjust teachers’ behavior in a timely manner based on reasonable opinions and suggestions, and even provide feedback to the school to promote improvement. “
Zhao Lanbo suggested that in the face of false reports, teachers should not only provide necessary institutional protection, but also actively explore and establish a more flexible, diverse, and in-depth home-school communication mechanism. “Parents can not only communicate in WeChat (groups) and school activities, Communicate with teachers. You can also assist teachers in planning class activities, guiding class emotions, mediating conflicts between home and school, and helping solve difficult problems by joining Parent-Teacher Associations, Parent Committees and other organizations. At the same time, teachers must also think in their shoes and understand parents better. , we should do a good job of division of labor between parents in a more scientific way, and work together harmoniously with parents to protect the growth of their children.”