The relationship between parents and teachers are the most pivotal element in shaping the academic interests and character of a child. But during parent-teacher meetings (PTM), most parents are at a loss as to what to ask teachers. Since there are so many queries to be resolved, they don’t know where to start.

Mostly parents just stick to academic questions like ‘Is my child coping well in his studies?’ ‘ Does he need extra help?’ or ‘Is he falling behind on his school work?’

According to Emma Burke, Parent Relations Executive at GEMS World Academy,  the most important question that a parent should be asking their child’s teacher is what they can do to support their child’s learning from home.

GEMS World Academy is an international, private school, located in Dubai, managed by GEMS Education. Founded in 2007, it follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum and offers education to students ranging from KG1 to Grade 1.

They have a very active parent community within the school, where the parents are involved in promoting the school experience for students. “They are very keen to discuss a vast range of topics; from academics to themed events or more options in the cafeteria. We routinely work with our parents to continually improve the services we offer in the school,’ explains Emma.

During PTM’s Emma opines that parents should understand what the next steps are for the child in the core learning areas such as language, arts and mathematics. ‘There should be a focus on emotional well-being as well. Parent should ask the teacher if their child is happy. On the other hand, the teacher should be able to provide information on the student’s behaviour and the relationship they have with their peers.’

Emma also feels that these discussions should be held in front of the child.

‘I believe that it is important to include your child when discussing their education with their teachers. This will help the child to take ownership of their own learning experience. This also gives opportunity for the child to share their own feedback and opinions. A three way communication strategy ensures that everyone is on the same page,’ adds Emma.

A clear and consistent communication between parents and teachers can help foster a healthy relationship between them. ‘It is important that a parent feels they can contact a teacher regarding both the concerns and celebrations of their child’s learning,’ concludes Emma.

Emma Burke, Parent Relations Executive at GEMS World Academy

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