Teacher to Parents
Guided by Indian Springs’ philosophy of Learning through Living, faculty members understand that their relationships with students and parents are dynamic.
When new students arrive, a great amount of parental involvement is often the norm. As students progress, their academic freedom is balanced by academic responsibility. Learning through Living enables students to claim ownership of their learning and to grow as they encounter the outcomes of their choices. At Indian Springs, we remind students regularly that even failure can make us stronger when we choose to profit from its lessons. While encouraging student responsibility and accountability, we strive to provide regular feedback to parents and to reach out proactively when we believe students need additional support. Our faculty and administrators are always here for parents and just a phone call or email away.
A good teacher at Indian Springs School understands that an evolutionary relationship exists between the student, the parents, and the teacher. Learning through Living establishes a different dynamic between parents and teachers, one to which many parents may be unaccustomed. When new students arrive, a great amount of parental involvement should be expected and fully encouraged. Parents whose students are coming from a middle school setting have been encouraged to be actively involved in the academic life of their child. As a student progresses, teachers must convey to parents that Indian Springs’ philosophy of academic freedom is balanced by academic responsibility, and the primary bearer of this responsibility is the student. Parents should also realize that a tenet of Learning through Living is the belief that when students are given opportunities to claim ownership of their own learning, they can, and do, encounter various levels of success and failure that result from their choices. We must recognize that growth can be promoted by way of learning from both positive and negative outcomes. Even the most disappointing failure can make us stronger if we choose to profit from its lesson.
While encouraging student responsibility and accountability, teachers must assure parents that should they ever have concerns about their child's experience at Indian Springs, our faculty and administration are but a phone call or email away. When parents initiate conversations with faculty or administration, they must first listen carefully in order to determine why the parents have come. Often parents seek out faculty because they want a problem solved or advice given. Because they are not at the school on a daily basis, parents often depend on teachers to provide information and explanations that might complete their understanding of their child’s experience. Indian Springs’ parents tend to be supportive of the school and are given to reasonable discussion. There will be, however, occasions when teachers will have to deal with parents who, for any number of reasons, will be upset. Careful listening is the initial step toward making the discussion productive — even if it means letting the parent vent frustrations or anger. It is the job of the faculty and/or administration to remain professional and helpful.
To create a successful partnership with parents, teachers must provide responsive and timely communications. While maintaining Indian Springs’ academic integrity, all communications should be descriptive and prescriptive. Teachers must also remember that it is imperative to respond to phone messages or emails from parents at the first opportunity, certainly within 24 hours.