Difficulties With Administrators
Teachers work hard and so do administrators, but sometimes these two groups can clash.
Teachers and admins both have the same goal: to make their schools & students the best they can be. However, sometimes the pursuit of these goals can lead to some headbutting. As a Parent Group, you are in a unique bridge-building position and can serve as a mediator between teachers and administrators in some creative ways!
- Host monthly forums for teachers and administrators to discuss (on as equal levels as possible) the current issues facing the school. Encourage both groups to collaborate on solutions and, when necessary, serve as mediators during the discussion.
- Whenever there is a new teacher or administrator host a fun get-to-know-you event. This will help create personal connections between teachers and administrators, thus helping to alleviate tensions.
- Talk to administrators and teachers to see if there is an opportunity for your Parent Group to be used as a resource. These groups are both overworked, and they might not think of the PTO/PTA as a possible solution. Make sure you take some time to talk personally to principles, teachers, and other faculty and staff to see if there is a problem that can easily be solved by an extra set of hands.
Challenges With Parents
It's not always the kiddos that are causing stress for teachers. Sometimes parents can present challenges for teachers, especially with the current pressure being put on simply getting an "A" rather than getting a quality education.
There are all types of parents that teachers must interact with: the parent that wants to tell the teacher how to do his/her job, the parent who thinks a teacher assign too much homework, the parent that asks too much of a teacher's time, and the list goes on.
There is so much pressure in today's society for our kids to succeed and this is often translated into a burden being placed on the teacher, as opposed to the student.
So, what can we do? A ton! As a Parent Group, you have a huge stake in this challenge. Making sure there are positive teacher-parent relations in your school is a high-priority, and here are a few ways to make it happen:
- Host monthly workshops for teachers to learn how to deal with conflict, how to communicate with parents and other methods for handling difficult moms & dads. Bring in speakers (seasoned teachers, professional speakers, etc.) for these seminars and make sure to promote them as fun, professional development opportunities.
- At the beginning of each semester, have a fun "mixer" for parents & teachers to get to know one another. Make sure you communicate this as something different than parent teacher conferences. Consider bringing in entertainment or providing dinner.
- Take some of the burden off of the teachers when it comes to grades. Reach out to parents via your newsletter or Parent Group website and offer resources, tips and advice for managing homework schedules, keeping grades high, and helping students adapt to different subjects.
Adapting to New Technology
Many teachers are now tasked with adjusting traditional teaching methods to adapt to technology in the classroom. While technology can make for unique ways of learning and interacting with information, it can also put stress on teachers who are either not used to the technology or find that it gets in the way of learning.
Here's how you can help:
- Use some of the funds from your Fun Run (or other fundraiser) to provide tech carts for easy storage and organization of laptops and tablets.
- Host mini-lessons on using technology in the classroom. Make sure teachers are well versed in using laptops and tablets and answer any questions they have about the devices. Consider bringing in an IT person if you're not confident in your own abilities!
- Provide some creative ideas for how teachers can use technology for their lesson plans. Getting teachers excited about using technology in the classroom is one step in overcoming this obstacle.