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What Do Teachers Most Want To Tell Parents?

I am honored to be named   in Top Global Teacher Bloggers / CMRubinWorld.com / Global Search for Education http://www.cmrubinworld.com/TGTB. The bloggers on this list have been asked to contribute to Huffington Post’s Education blogs for 2017. This month we look to answer the following highly controversial question “ What do teachers most want to tell parents?”

My May blog writer is Kirsti Savikko, my sister, Headteacher in Kähäri school,Turku, Finland.

Ten parental school rules!

  1. You are your child’s best and only parents.

Please, do your tasks as an adult in the family the best way you can. Always reaching for  the truth and justice. And I am your child’s teacher – an expert in education who just wants to see your child to be the most capable person and adult he/she can be. I will do my tasks the best way I can. If you disagree with me – please say it to me not to your child.

  1. Don’t believe everything your child tells you about school!

Or what other students have done!  What the teacher did or didn’t do. So I promise I don’t believe everything she/he tells me about happenings at your home!

  1. Treasure you free time!

Spend your weekends with your family. Make sure that during the weekend you have a special moment(s) where your child is in the main role. She/he needs it and so do you.

  1. Respect your child – so she/he also learns to respect other people – and you.

It’s a habit that sadly has been forgotten by many people. Make sure you are easy to respect.

  1. Don’t underestimate your child’s creativity

It may not always look as art for you but to your child it’s something special and unique. Even if it’s a painting on the wall or cutting her/his hair in a new way.

  1. If you have to get a divorce, please make sure your child is 100% sure that it’s not her/his fault! In your own agony it’s easy to forget this. And also blame your husband/wife to your friends/enemies/relatives/neighbors only – your child deserves both parents.
  1. Don’t steal your child’s childhood.

It’s a one time off. She/he will never get another chance to be a child anymore. Don’t burden your child with your troubles. But be honest and only tell what she/he needs to know – and reassure you will take care of it.

47432650 - a schoolgirl studying with books on the kitchen table

  1. Don’t lie.

I assume you don’t want your child to lie to you? It goes vice versa. You don’t always have to tell the whole truth but don’t mislead your children. If you have promised something just do it.

  1. You don’t have to keep up with the Jones’s

You don’t have to buy everything your child asks for – even if everyone else in the class has them. Teach her/him the laws of sustainable development. Difficult word, but easy for you to follow.

10. The grass seldom is greener on the other side.

Don’t break families – if by any means you can avoid it. Who wins? How many loses? Is it really worth it? And yes, there are situations that the grass really is greener – then make sure everyone wins!

 

How Can We Work to Consistently Cultivate Values of Thoughtfulness and Empathy Without Directly Teaching it?

As part of the Top Global Teacher Bloggers from Cathy Rubin’s Global Search for Education, this is my answer to this question:

Atmosphere of school

In early 2000 British school evaluators were invited to visit some Finnish schools. I was wondering how it is possible that people who don’t even understand our language, can get any picture from our school? Later when I was myself a principal and had the opportunity to visit in many schools around Finland and some aboard, I did understand. Only looking, doing observations how students, teacher-student and teacher-teacher meet and talk to each other, you can get a picture of the atmosphere of the school. Also looking the corridors and common spaces, you get the idea of how students and their work are respected in the school.

In my opinion the ground for good learning environment for students is the prevalent human understanding of staff. How attended the teacher is with every student. I have seen schools where teachers did not say good day when passing by a student! I have been in situations when teacher is more bullying than educating student. Mostly I have seen teachers with sincere care and interest to the student’s life. School has to have values which everyone in the school knows. Every year there comes new students in the school so those values are good for them to know too.  The leader of the school has the most important role to maintain and show that values are respected in the school community.

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Photo: Steve Weaver

Role of teacher

How we behave in daily situations in school? We have hundreds of ears and eyes around us. We are role models for students all the time, even we are not conscious about it.  We can operate as agents of high ethics modelling acceptance and empathy. Furthermore, as teachers it is important to promote the development of social and emotional skills and knowledge in our students that promote mindfulness, empathy and compassion. We can be facing situations like bulling where we are expected to have opinion or solution to solve the situation.

It is important that as teachers we have common ideas when building the rules of schools. Are the rules of the school more for discipline or as a guideline to increase young people’s understanding of wrong and right? There are still schools in this world which have detention time instead of having discussions why the student did something not acceptable. In some countries teachers are still allowed to use a cane to hit and discourage the student! These practices support distrust and unfairness. How to promote the values of thoughtfulness and empathy?

What role do we give for students in the school?

I am so proud of the ways how the biggest celebrations are organized in my school. All the students from the grades 5, 3 and 1 are performing in the end of autumn term.  All students from the grades 6, 4 and 2 are performing in the end of spring term. Teachers have planned such program numbers that every child has a role. Every child is appreciated and have an important role in school community.

In many countries students have their own school faculty, where they learn how to influence and give their opinion what they want to have or change in the school practices. What about when they have a change in planning of their studies? In the Finnish curriculum this is one of the most interesting adding to student’s rights.

Shortly, celebrating unity diversity in different level, opens the doors to ethics and support high values of thoughtfulness and empathy. I hope that schools provide the best education opportunities for every child across the globe.  I hope that schools sets students on positive life tracks that will carry humankind, today and tomorrow.