The school is the zone of influence of teachers. They are its direct representatives and custodians. At the same time, parents want to monitor their child’s education even outside the home. When confronting worldviews meet, conflicts often arise.
There is an opinion that overcoming a conflict situation leads a relationship between teachers and parents to a new level. Another view is that conflicts destroy relationships and must be prevented.
So is it worth avoiding conflicts or is it necessary to teach adults how to effectively overcome them? Who should have the right to the final word? Is it possible to talk about the absolute dominance of teacher’s opinion over the parental views or vice versa?
The causes of conflicts between teachers and parents
To understand who should have more rights in a fight of adults, first, we need to understand what leads to the problems between them. Usually, quarrels start with a conflict between a teacher and a student. A child cannot always be obedient, and a teacher – always patient. It is a human factor, and there is no escape from it.
Specific causes of conflict situations in the “teacher-parent” system from the point of view of the parents:
- incompetence of a teacher: “He teaches not what is needed, not how is needed, cannot communicate with parents normally “;
- inability of a teacher to find an approach to a child: “My child is talented, but he is afraid of her”;
- teachers divide all children into “favorites and others”;
- academic performance of a child: understated marks, prejudiced assessment, overstated requirements;
- teacher humiliates children, insults them;
- he speaks badly about parents in the presence of children.
Pedagogues have the following reasons for the battle for domination:
- failure of parents to raise a child in a right way: they do not give their son/daughter due attention, do not fulfill the basic requirements, for example, do not make sure that the student goes to an educational institution in a school uniform, has the necessary clothes for physical training;
- elevated, often groundless demands on the teacher: “Why cannot the class teacher be with the children during all the breaks, help them do homework?”, “You must love our children”, “You must put the high mark”;
- mom and dad think that their child is ideal, the teacher is to blame for any problem;
- parents rely on their casual and external observations of the school;
- they do not penetrate deeply into anything, judge teachers superficially;
- do not control the child at all;
- teachers are required to raise their children;
- parents often interfere in the learning process;
- “A class teacher is not suitable for our child.”
Proceeding from the pedagogical practice and some scientific research, the most specific causes of conflict situations between parents and teachers may be distinguished:
- different levels of general and pedagogical culture, an inconsistency of strategy and tactics of upbringing (pedagogical disagreement);
- incomprehension of the complexity of the educational process, the dependence of its effectiveness on many factors (except school and family) by parents;
- difference in attitude towards a child as a person.
How to establish contact between parents and teachers? Ways of interaction
A special place in school life is occupied by the organization of communication between subject teachers and parents. In many respects, it depends on the strategy of the class teacher whether there will be a confrontation or communication will develop constructively. As practice shows, many class teachers accept the role of the mediator, arbitrator only when the conflict has already erupted or is about to burst. What are the ways of interaction?
It is worth changing the communication strategy in advance. To do this, it is necessary to clearly understand that the basis of success lies in the joint nature of activity, when each of the parties follows his role and performs certain functions. Parents should be considered as full participants in the pedagogical process, and not as an instrument used only when teachers fail to cope with the situation.
Responsibility for organization of the cooperation between parents and subject teachers in solving important tasks of education and upbringing lies on the shoulders of a class teacher. Such pedagogue should:
- Create a mechanism for direct communication between parents and teachers.
- Systematically, and not episodically, develop and improve interaction with subject teachers.
- Continually include parents in the life of the class.
Recommendations for teachers:
- remember that the priority of emotions over the mind is often observed at the moment of conflict;
- use a multi-alternative approach to solving a problem (do not reject the suggestions of another person, accept your right to make mistakes, carefully analyze all the options);
- reconsider the conflict (determine what is really important, what will happen if the situation does not resolve, be guided by the solution of the problem, and not by the emotions associated with it);
- try to reduce the internal tension (make sure that there is an outlet of emotions – not a surge; detente is necessary, but not at the expense of another person).
Forms and methods of conflict prevention
A whole arsenal of forms and methods of work to prevent conflict situations in the school environment is used by many educational institutions in practical work with teachers and parents of students.
- Forms of work with teachers: a pedagogical council, a scientific-practical conference, a meeting with the director, vocational training, methodological seminars, etc.
- Forms of work with parents: school and classroom parental meetings, conferences, psychological and pedagogical lectures, a roundtable, discussions, parent effectiveness courses, intellectual games.
By promoting the convergence of teachers and parents, school management can minimize conflicts between them. Then adults will not have to prove their dominance. They will try to ensure the well-being of children together.
Of course, modern students are very independent. In case of difficulties, they find answers on the Internet, use auxiliary online tools (such as a paper writing service or an online encyclopedia). But without the support of pedagogues and relatives, it is still very difficult for them to reach academic heights. So adults (by default, cold-blooded and reasonable people) should throw off personal motives and strive for unity. It is not so important who has more rights to decide the fate of the child. First of all, it is worth considering whose ideas may bring him more benefits.