Teachers are among the most important people in society, helping today’s children to shape the world for tomorrow, but following a recent parents’ evening, I found myself wondering whether teachers get the support from parents they deserve.
After attending my daughters parents evening recently, I found myself thinking for the most part that the teachers were great, but in one case I found myself sympathising with my daughter as she found a particular teacher very confusing … and so it turned out, did I.
Towards the end of my meeting with him, I realised I had switched off completely as my daughter was probably going to drop the subject anyway so why should I get too involved? As I parted company with him, I saw just for a moment, the look on his face that said perhaps that he knew and I felt a moment of guilt at being less interested than I should have been. I wondered how many other parents had treated him the same way?
At home later I thought more about how difficult it is to be a teacher, about the wider crisis with teacher recruitment and about how in many cases parents can make life difficult for teachers just by being disinterested. Of course parents can make life much more difficult for teachers in many other ways, not least because many will side with their children even when they are plainly in the wrong, while some will physically or emotionally intimidate teachers they don’t agree with or even use social media to spread negative feedback.
Of course it’s a two way street and parents also have the ability to positively impact on teachers too, by getting involved in school initiatives, backing teachers when their children are wrong, and generally maintaining a good positive communication with the school. In fact the majority of parents do value teachers and most of us will remember a teacher or two from our own childhoods that really made a difference to us. That said, most of us don’t go out of our way to say good things about good teachers, and whilst some teachers have the social media nouse to gather their own support, most don’t, and so we’ve decided to create a campaign that is designed to encourage parents to shout out for great teachers as often as they can.
Our business is founded on strengthening the connection between school and home and so the topic is very close to our hearts. We feel that teachers are amongst the most important people in society with an incredibly important job to educate the next generation, hopefully to make the world a better, kinder, fairer place in the future.
We’ll be encouraging the 2.5 million parents that use ParentMail to #ShoutOutForTeachers on social media and we hope other Education and Parenting groups will join the campaign. A teachers job can be immensely difficult and we really hope we can provide a motivational boost and some great positive recognition for ordinary teachers doing a great job every day.
If you have great memories of a teacher, or if you think highly of your children’s teachers, why not join us and celebrate them using their name, school and the hashtag #ShoutOutForTeachers.
This article is written by ParentMail CEO, Paul Hughes, who has been working in the Education Technology sector for the past 15 years.