We are on your side.
Sometimes pupils believe that we are out to get them when we call home about a behaviour issue. There may also be times when parents feel that we are bringing their parenting into question. Neither of these are true.
Our hope is to partner with you to help your child learn valuable life lessons that will shape their character and help children to be the best people they can be.
Even really good children can get into trouble at school.
As young people navigate the changes and pressures of school, it is so easy during this challenging time to slip off the rails. Just because a young person is successful in their academic progress, it does not mean that they have necessarily developed their social skills to overcome tricky situations.
Don’t judge a situation by just hearing your child’s version of events.
If your child comes home and tells you about something that happened at school, don’t jump to conclusions until you’ve done a little investigation on your own. Making sure that you have the full picture will help you in making a sound decision on how to proceed. If you find you have a legitimate concern, we want to help make it right.
Please don’t criticise your teacher in front of your child, even if you believe the teacher was wrong. This may give the student the impression that it is ok to be rude or disrespectful.
Schools are most effective in discipline when there is support from home.
Children are going to make mistakes and it is important for them to learn from them. We can work with a child who is willing to own up to his or her mistakes. When the situation involves a teacher or other student we want to help find opportunities that will help rebuild a damaged relationship.
If parents, schools, and outside services work together, we can solve almost any problem a student is having. If parents don’t support the school at home, we don’t stand a chance.
Your support of the consequence helps us to help your child. One of the greatest problems facing schools today is general disrespect. This is the reason that the teaching profession is in crisis. It is important for parents to communicate to their children that it is never acceptable to disrespect a teacher.
Its ok to let your child fail.
You’d be surprised how many parents do their children’s homework. When your children were learning to walk, you let them fall down so they could learn to pick themselves back up. If you step in every time your children forget to hand in their homework or fail a test, you are not allowing them to learn resilience.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
We have an enormous number of resources at our disposal. We love it when we can be part of the solution. We may have some ideas that other parents have found successful and we’d love to share with you. You can then use the information to make a wise decision regarding your child.
Sometimes even the best teachers and staff need time out.
We might not be the person we strive to be day in and day out. There are times when exhaustion and our lack of patience come out at the wrong time. We need your understanding and forgiveness.
However, we never forget that the Talmud (Ta’anit 7a) quotes Rabbi Chanina, who declared that “I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues and most from pupils.”
Chana Brown is headteacher of Manchester Jewish School for Special Education