For parents and teachers, it can be challenging to bridge that divide between the educator and the person who is raising a child. After all, one job belongs to the parent, and one belongs to a teaching professional. But in modern-day child-raising, this concept is more blurred than ever.
With children spending upwards of 40 hours per week in school and classrooms, is it just the parents raising their children independently of what they learn at school?
Teachers raising children
There are many different schools of thought surrounding raising children. Some parents believe they are the ones who raise children, outside of the classroom and other settings. Some believe that teachers play an integral part in supporting a child being raised in a healthy, educational, and practical environment. Some even think that the parent-teacher partnership is a must to ensure children can succeed in the long run.
Especially for younger children, school is about much more than just learning and achieving good grades. It’s a way in which they grow and develop into fully fledged adults, and teachers help to support that goal by offering them ways to manage situations, cope in different settings and even work on relationships outside of the classroom. According to Diana Levin of Wheelock College, an excellent parent-teacher relationship is vital to provide consistent support and open communication, allowing children to be raised in a more positive and supportive environment.
Beyond simply teaching the curriculum, teachers provide far more support to parents than they might think.
Just a few of the additional ways in which teachers help to raise children include:
- Development of social and communication skills with students of similar age, as well as with adults in authority positions, through talking with classmates and teachers
- Reinforcement of manners and polite behavior in a more public setting, such as asking politely for something or waiting their turn to talk
- Improvement and monitoring of fine motor skills and other physical skills such as walking, running, playing and other behaviors requiring physical activity and movement
- Teaching children how the world around them works, from the value of money to which adults they should trust, and what they should do in dangerous situations
- Providing students with the means to improve themselves and develop interests and passions for specific topics and areas through positive reinforcement
More than general education
When written down in black and white, it’s clear that teachers do far more to aid parents in developing children than simply providing education. When it comes to ensuring children are provided with consistent feedback and development from all perspectives, the relationships between parents and teachers is integral. This is especially true when it comes to less tangible skills such as the development of empathy, behavior around others, and even the understanding of emotions and how to deal with them. Teachers can support parents by continuing the work done at home and offer children consistency – something needed for those all-important skills to be thoroughly ingrained.
Of course, this consistency requires parents to follow along the same lines as the requirements of the teacher. In the majority of schools, teachers will have 30+ students to support and educate. Teachers can’t provide that same one-on-one care that parents can offer. If, as a parent, you’re choosing to raise your child along highly specific guidelines that don’t line up with what their school offers, there is going to be greater difficulty in teachers offering that same ability to help raise your child. However, this doesn’t mean that school isn’t suitable – it simply means a little more adaption is required.
The things that children learn at school are universal. The same applies when it comes to how teachers can support raising children. Emotional understanding, manners, and empathy are all things that should be instilled in all children, no matter what their upbringing, making these positive ways in which teachers can influence the lives of children for the better. Many parents understand that teachers already go above and beyond their job descriptions to provide their children with the best future, and this support is just another extension of that care that teachers provide.
Are teachers actually raising children?
Not solo, but when it comes to providing children with the education they need beyond Math, English or Science, teachers certainly play a role. Angela Anagnost-Repke at PopSugar has made the point that with teachers doing so much for the children in their care it can’t be expected that they raise children also. But by reinforcing those key traits and behaviors, from instilling organization to promotion polite behavior, teachers can undoubtedly support parents in their role.
It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to the way they raise their children, parents have priority. While there is no formal educational background for becoming a parent, it’s imperative for teachers to equally acknowledge that there isn’t one right way to raise a child. It’s also important to note that no-one is perfect 100% of the time; and that goes for everyone, from children, to parents, to teachers. Supporting children along the right path takes an excellent parent-teacher relationship, and for children to be as well-adjusted as possible, allowing them to freedom to learn from others is just as vital.
Do you think teachers raise children just as much as parents do?
Perhaps you consider providing your children with more places to support their growth is the most important thing. Or maybe you prefer to raise your child solo on your terms.