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Excellence In Education: Parent Training

Popularity 7Viewed 3924 times 2015-6-16 04:30 |Personal category:Education|System category:Life| learning, children, raising, policy, China

Having the one child policy in China, parents get one chance at raising a child and learning what to do and not to do with that child. Fortunately, most of them have had a great model in raising children which they learned from their own parents. So, it is not like that have no instruction in child rearing. 

Today, though, I think it is a bit different because there are different challenges facing parents that were not present a generation ago. One of the biggest challenges that most face is the decisions and directions that must take in education for their child.

I've been in China for 4 years as of August 25. I've taught several thousand classes. I've taken on a class load of as many as 32 classes a week and never less than 24 classes a week. I hesitate to say that it has been a lot of hard work even though I teach nearly twice as many classes per week than the average teacher. The reason I don't like to say that I've worked so 'hard' is, I enjoy what I do. Even at 56 years old, I have a lot of energy for teaching classes though some times I do get exhausted.

I think one of the biggest advantages I've had as a teacher, is, I pay attention to every detail. I've got two decades of professional educational experience behind me in addition to the nearly two decades of getting my own education. I've always looked for ways to help my students learn faster and easier while maintaining a happy positive environment. This is way I recently implemented parent trainings in my classes.

I know without question that parents are the most important person in a child's education. Even though us teachers want and do play a significant role, it is the parent that is supreme for a child getting good education.

A few months ago, I started a new phonics class for first grade students. These are kids who had a zero basis for English learning. Several moms came to me and asked me start this class. I had taught one phonics class for a year and at least knew some good curriculum to use. Also, having taught hundreds of high schools and middle school classes and a few thousand students, I've become very aware of the common problems that Chinese students face later on in their English education.

For these reasons and with this background, I've started a parents' training, teaching the parents of these 6 and 7 year old students how to get involved in effectively teaching their child English. Here's a couple of observations and discoveries I've made.

1. Getting the mothers (and  a few fathers) involved in teaching their child will not only benefit the child's education in English, but, it will get them involved in all of their child's studies in the future. This can and will make a massive difference in the education their child gets. Most of these parents don't know how to help their child outside of the classroom. I've chosen to train the parent in order to educate them on educating their child.

2. It will allow me to give the quality of service that I believe every parent deserves from educational training. My goal is to give my best and rise to a standard of excellence in teaching Chinese children English. I don't want to do 'enough' in teaching a child. I want to do more and give more than they are paying me to do. My focus is creating excellence in education. I don't like 'average'. Students and parents deserve more than that, in my opinion.

3. The tangible results will come faster for their children. The children will in fact learn faster when momma is involved and has herself been trained in what to do in helping her child in his/her education. This gives the child a distinct advantage in excelling and achieving more in their education.

4. Training the parent sets an environmental mindset in my classes (and all of my endeavors) of positive involvement and attitudes. I've encountered a few parents who seem to be constantly unhappy about something regarding their child's education. They complain against teachers, schools, teaching styles and many other aspects of their child's education. This is a burden on teachers that further inhibits their effectiveness in teaching their child and a source of unhappiness for all. The final result is that the child suffers from a parent who cannot find a way to positively move forward and provide what they need to provide for their child's education.

In the few trainings I've already done, I can see major progress in the students' knowledge and participation in my classes. In fact, it has been quite amazing to see how smoothly they are learning and how we have affected their positive forward progress.

There are three people involved in effective education. The student, the parent and the teacher. When the teacher and the parent build a close and effective cooperation, the child will learn faster, easier and have a much happier educational experience.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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