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How Teachers can Connect Effectively with Students and Families while Maintaining Professionalism

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How can teachers connect effectively with their students and families while maintaining professionalism? What do teachers do teachers communicate to parents? How do they do so in the best interest of their students and to effect the most positive changes in their students and families? Do teachers communicate only during undesirable moments? Do they communicate only significant improvements in their students? What are the ideal ways of communicating with parents that exude professionalism and maintain confidence of teachers and confidence of parents and students in their teachers? 

Teachers can be caught in the most awkward situations at times when students bring problems from home to school. Troubled students are easy to spot, as they may be present physically, but their minds will be some ten thousand miles away. What can teachers do to ease their students' pain while maintaining professionalism? How can they connect effectively with their students and families and achieve a win-win situation where possible?

Under any circumstances, teachers must put the students' needs above all. There will be occasions where teachers must recognize that they must never step in, such as parental relationships with each other and with the student. Teachers have no right to impose their personal beliefs and practices on the students or families of their students.

Some cases are straightforward. If students come from financially disadvantaged family conditions, there are proper venues of aid. Although teachers may give a once-off contribution, they must not be seen as fairy-godmothers with a magic wand to grant all the desires of students and their families.

Think long term solutions. Tap on the School's team of counsellors who are trained to provide both financial and emotional help to students and their families from a neutral stand. The rationale for this approach is clear. Teachers are not equipped with personal finances to feed the world. If teachers are tempted to help a student in financial need, they must do likewise for another student under similar circumstances or be seen to be biased. Counsellors will be able to investigate the real needs of the students and family members, and connect with the appropriate channels for the funds.

Teachers are paid to teach well. By focusing on their teaching and how their students learn, their students will be most pleased to be in their class. Often, teachers make the errant thinking that if they taught well, their students would learn well. Unfortunately, students learn in many ways, and even the best teaching may not replace the individual monitoring that, for example, students with learning conditions need to be able to learn something well. If teachers are able to connect with the learning needs of their students and meet those needs, their students will feel a connection to them and that bonding will motivate their students to learn as well as they can.

Student networking within the classroom is an important factor that aids in student-student and student-teacher connections. Their may be shy students who are not able to connect with teachers on a one-on-one basis. They are, however, at ease with having one of their classmates be their 'voice'. This works well for young students and shy foreign students who may not be adept in conversing in a foreign language. Teachers can find the most appropriate approaches to meeting these students' needs and helping them understand that they are there to help them through.

It takes sharp teachers to be able to connect with every of their students. It takes lots of time and creative strategies to be able to do that. Teachers may find themselves spending more time outside subject matter and meeting comfort needs first before students can finally focus on lesson content. Once teachers are able to meet these needs, however, they will find their students happier in class and more willing to learn. When parents discover positive changes in their children, they will usually gain trust in their children's teachers, and be more co-operative.

More about this author: Lokemun Magar

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