That time of the year at your child’s school when you have no clue about what to expect. A sense of happiness or the timidness which is prevalent in every parent’s face that day. The PTM! The day when the teacher unfolds the unseen or the unheard side of your little buddies. It is indeed normal for anyone to contain an anticipation about this Parents Teachers Meeting, as this is the only forum where the parents can discuss their concerns with the teachers in a systematized way with proper details and reports pertaining to the student’s performance in a given semester or a term. Not just the curriculum based performance review but the overall behaviour of the ward will be considered a point for discussion during these sessions.
What is the necessity of such meetings? What value does this hold in the academic year of a student? What difference does this make in the mind of those parents who leave no stone unturned to see their kids reach all heights of success?
PTM encourages a close link between the parents, teachers and the students. It builds a strong working relationship among the above mentioned 3 elements in support of the satisfactory student life tenure which fails to work smoothly if one of these three fails to reciprocate satisfactorily.
Let us today discuss this amazing platform of performance oriented meeting called PTM in a 3 dimensional perspective.
A teacher is not just a person who teaches what is written in the books or what is mentioned in the curriculum. Children spend their huge chunk of the day in the school. During this time, a teacher is the one who is always surrounded by the students who depend on her/him for many things. A preschooler needs a teacher to wipe her tears in the absence of her mother, a 5th grader needs help to know about his conflict of the mind to follow both his passions of science and sports or it might be a 10th grader who would hesitantly approach her teacher to talk about the issues between her parents. A teacher can be supportive and destructive if given either less or no interest towards the concerns of those students who approach them with a lot of trust and confidence.
- Staying calm and composed during the meetings by expressing the problem areas as the concerns and not the complaints is a task by itself.
- Not loosing cool and at the same time not accepting abusive behaviour coming from the parents is really important.
- Each parent is different or they might be same and repetitive. Patience is the only weapon. They might ask questions so unfair and irrelevant. Try to convince and console them that their children are in safe hands. Do not ever jump into conclusions by judging the kid’s behaviour based on the parents’ conversational patterns.
- If any concerns about the child, chart out the remedial methods together instead of always suggesting something about the parenting or the upbringing skills. That might sound offensive.
- If a child is doing well, acknowledge the parenting capabilities of the parents. This will for sure help to build a respectable relationship. The parents will also feel that they and their child are moving together in a same direction.
- Teachers are humans too; they do not possess super powers to change things overnight. Kindly enter the school premises with this thought. If any problem persists, expressing that in a civil manner and having a healthy discussion about mending some unpolished skills of the child will fetch long time victory.
- School does not function just for a single child. It is a collective effort of many students to adhere to the rules and regulations of the school no matter how different these rules are from what is followed at home. Never expect to change them for the sake of your child. The discipline and the decorum have to be considered.
- Instead of pondering over many things and beating around bushes killing time, make a list of those concern areas about your child. This will save time on the parents who are behind you waiting for their turn.
- Being good at studies and seeing A+ although the report card should not be the only agenda. Ask about your kid’s upcoming school day dance performance or the football match which is round the corner.
- Your children, who are the way you think, might not be the same at school. Listen to the teachers patiently about any behavioral changes which were unnoticed by you.
- Ask for steps taken for improvement in some shady areas. Suggestions of the teachers definitely come handy as they have seen many children like yours and all you know is just your sweet little child.
- Both your parents and the teachers love you. PTMs are just a simple meeting to know your performance at school. Not a complaint box which would be presented to you which just says – “Lack of Improvement” or “Scope for Improvement”. DO NOT PANIC.
- If there is a PTM coming up and there are any concerns from your side which has to be addressed, kindly reach out to either your teacher of your parents depending on your comfort level. There is nothing in this world that cannot be solved. Talking and sharing things can solve half the problems. During the PTMs your concerns would be attended confidentially and with utmost dignity.
- Losing hope and lack of trust in both your parents and the teacher will fetch no results to the demon you are struggling to fight inside you all alone. Speak out! There will definitely be a shoulder next to you.
- Take charge, act responsibly. When your teacher and your parent try to convince you about the possible areas of concern about your behaviour or the studies, never give up on them. Always remember- your parents were the ones who clapped with a teary eyed joy when you laid your first step without a help. It was your teacher who beamed with pride and happiness when she saw you getting a 45/100 as compared to your usual 30 or 32. Any problem small or big…listening to them with an assuring look of positive improvement will make no harm. Your win is their victory.
So PTMs can prove different to each one of us. But the final motto is the same – To build an effective student life and maintain a healthy equilibrium for a smoother functioning of an educational institution. A parallel march of ideas and ideologies can get many things to track. A unidirectional thought process can create an irreparable dent in the mind of parents who give up on their child, the student whose levels of frustration will reach an intangible height or the teacher who makes a baseless effort to mend and bend the innocent mind which succumbs to a lack of effective communication.