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Student discipline: Parents vs Teachers

Photo by Thao LEE on Unsplash

Teachers and parents have always been debating on who's responsible for nurturing a sense of discipline and order in the classroom. The environment where learners are engaged with what they're learning, keeping a positive behavior of respect and rules of conduct.

In an ideal world, which isn't always the case, we as teachers expect our students to be as obedient to the classroom rules as possible, to us this is the least we could expect coming into a classroom. It comes as a huge obstacle finding out the opposite is the reality that creates considerable amount of problems that not only inhibits the efficiency of the lessons, but lowers teachers' moral and motivation for teaching.

So why is it important then to talk about this topic and to distinguish roles of both parents and teachers? and who's responsible for students' misbehaviors in the classroom? these are questions that arise from a curiosity perspective of a teachers who can be confused of the extent of their role, but also important for parents to consider to what extent their role extends.

To a clear view we need to look at both roles more closely and see where they overlap.

Teachers role:

  1. Instruction and Academic Support: Teachers are responsible for delivering curriculum, providing instruction, and facilitating learning in the classroom. They design lessons, assess student progress, and offer academic support to help students achieve their educational goals.

  2. Classroom Management: Teachers establish a positive and organized classroom environment, including setting rules, managing behavior, and promoting a safe and inclusive space for learning. They address disciplinary issues within the classroom context and maintain order to facilitate effective teaching and learning.

  3. Assessment and Feedback: Teachers assess student performance, provide feedback on assignments and tests, and track progress. They play a crucial role in evaluating students' strengths and areas for improvement, identifying learning gaps, and tailoring instruction accordingly.

  4. Social and Emotional Support: Teachers support students' social and emotional well-being by fostering positive relationships, promoting empathy and understanding, and addressing individual needs. They provide guidance, mentorship, and create a nurturing environment for students to develop socially and emotionally.

Parents roles:

  1. Nurturing and Care: Parents provide a loving and supportive home environment, meeting their child's basic needs and ensuring their overall well-being. They offer emotional support, encouragement, and create a stable foundation for their child's growth.

  2. Values and Character Development: Parents instill values, morals, and ethics, helping shape their child's character and guiding their behavior. They teach responsibility, respect, empathy, and other important life skills, laying the foundation for their child's personal and moral development.

  3. Parental Involvement: Parents actively engage with their child's education, maintain communication with teachers, attend parent-teacher meetings, and support their child's learning journey. They provide additional resources, assist with homework, and promote a positive attitude towards education.

Overlapping Roles:

  1. Discipline: Both teachers and parents share the responsibility of guiding and disciplining students. While teachers primarily address behavior within the classroom setting, parents reinforce discipline at home and support the teacher's efforts by setting clear expectations and consequences and their roles is highly crucial here.

  2. Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration between teachers and parents are vital for a student's success. They should share information, exchange insights, and work together to address academic or behavioral concerns. Collaborative problem-solving can lead to better outcomes for the student.

  3. Educational Support: Both teachers and parents contribute to a child's educational support system. They may provide additional resources, identify learning difficulties or challenges, and seek appropriate interventions to help the child succeed academically.

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The question of how involved teachers should be in student discipline is a complex and often debated topic. Different educational systems, cultures, and philosophies have varying perspectives on the roles and responsibilities of teachers and parents in shaping student behavior.

Ultimately, a collaborative approach that recognizes the complementary roles of teachers and parents in student discipline is likely to achieve the best outcomes. By working together, they can create a supportive and consistent environment that promotes positive behavior and enhances the overall educational experience for students.


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