Friday, December 28, 2012

Parent-teacher contracts

Here is another homework advice article: Parent or Homework Monitor: Knowing When to Step Back.

It led me to think in new terms about the relationship between parents and teachers. I posted the following comment to the article.

As you say, homework is a contract between the student and the teacher, but it is also a contract between the teacher and the parent. Think of the student-teacher contract as similar to employment, the parent-teacher contract as one similar to rent. You, as a parent, have made an implicit agreement to allow schoolwork to take place in your space, the home. If you agree, as most parents do, ask yourself, have you considered the terms? Are you willing to let homework dominate your home? Are you willing to have your children terrorized in your space, or do you want them to feel comfortable and secure? If I recall, the standard rental agreement includes a provision for the "quiet enjoyment" of the space. Is one of the conditions under which you allow homework that it including such quiet enjoyment? I agree that parents should not hover over kids or do the work for them under the guise of "help." If anything, they should observe what is going on as they might have feedback to give the teacher that will help that teacher educate the child. But overall, full ownership by the parent of the environment is vital for family tranquility and, in the end, for some kids, academic success.

Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.


1 comment:

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