Want success for learners? Here are the rules

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 05:00 | By
KNEC working on summative assessment of learners
Students in a classroom. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Over the course of a child’s school career, there will be many  challenges, ups and downs, setbacks and successes.

But while it is always uncertain what the future may bring, the chance of increasing the success of a student’s educational journey improves dramatically if the three pillars, which are the main role players in the journey, play their respective parts consistently.

In every educational journey, there are three role players – parents, students and teachers. Each of them have certain duties during the course of the journey which, if exercised to the best of their ability, will make a huge difference to the ongoing and ultimate success of a student.

It is important for all the three to do their part, as leaving one out of the equation will undoubtedly have an impact. Parents are the first pillar, as they are involved right from the start of their child’s life.

Parent’s responsibility is to take interest in their children’s well-being. They will be selecting the school best suited to their child’s interests, and are tasked with ensuring they do due diligence before signing up with an institution. Then, once at school, they need to stay involved. For instance, if there are issues at home, share that with the school so that they can better serve the child’s unique needs.

It is also worth teaching children the value of perseverance. If there are difficulties, do not simply move the child to another school, but rather work with the school to address concerns, building character and resilience.

Continually engage with the school to help your child grow, particularly where disciplinary issues are concerned. Children take cue from their parents, so if parents speak derogatorily about a school, or a teacher, that child’s ability to thrive is immediately limited due to a lack of trust.

Get involved in school and extra-mural activities and seek to become part of the community of growth in which you enrolled your child.

Teachers are the second pillar towards educational success, and their role extends well beyond conveying information. Any teacher should be able to answer the question “Would I want my own child to be taught by myself?” affirmatively.

If you would not want a teacher such as yourself to teach your own child, you need to consider how you can correct this as this test is the excellence standard for teachers.

Teachers should seek to cultivate positive engagement with parents, and inculcate the understanding that children are not just ‘seat-fillers’.

Every child is precious, and you have the biggest influence on a child’s personal development when they are away from their parents. A child that misbehaves often has a reason for it, so get to know the children you teach and their families.

Lessons must be properly prepared without exception, so that if a child does not understand, you are able to adjust your mode of teaching until they feel comfortable with the subject matter at hand. Being prepared and empowered in the classroom also allows teachers to take charge when conflict or challenges arise within the three pillar relationship.

Finally, children must be encouraged to respect rules, engage in lessons and ask questions.

Parents must encourage open and honest communication between themselves and their children, and teachers and children. Help your child set goals and work towards attaining them. Help them cultivate discipline by doing their homework and taking accountability for their performance. Doing so will for the most part eliminate the need for tutors as crutches, and will build resilience and a willingness and ability to move on from failure.

— Coetzee is Managing Director at Crawford International School Kenya while Ouya is Education Director at the Makini Group of Schools

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