Parents generally entrust teachers with much of the responsibility for the educational progress of the children in their care without question. Most concerned and motivated parents also recognise that the education of their children is a shared responsibility. It is not surprising then, that parents often wonder what goes on at school.
Parents sometimes hear anecdotes from their children of classroom and playground incidents. They may wonder why their child is not making the progress desired in Mathematics or English, especially when school reports fail to provide a clear picture. It’s right to ask whether the atmosphere during your child’s lessons is really helping them with their study?
Ideally, when a class falls silent every child in the class is engaged in completing meaningful tasks, and they are able to complete the assigned work comfortably. As a teacher, it has been these times that provide the most satisfaction to me. All signs indicate that they are when the students are at their most productive.
That is not to say that students must be silent all the time. There is a place for group work, for asking questions of the teacher and of one another, for discussion and development of social skills. A Music lesson, for example, would never be completely silent. Schools can set up unique learning environments that aren’t easily replicated at home.
Parents routinely check or help children with homework. Some have space set up in the home that is quiet and conducive to learning, while others are able to stimulate learning in an inquiring mind.
One of the features of Extraordinary Kids is the emphasis on creating a calm and quiet place for study. Qualified teachers and resources that match the students’ needs facilitate learning. Such an arrangement may not be available to children at home where they are distracted by siblings, computers and television or pets. Many children attempting to complete work set for them to do at home find it a source of frustration, since neither teacher nor parent is available to assist when help is needed most.
The best advice to parents is that they must assess whether their children have enough of the silent space they need to foster learning. As another educator has said “Reflecting instead of speaking when an idea comes to mind can encourage students to practice focus and self-control.” (Dana Weeks, Source below): Silence for children and adults alike brings focus and concentration essential to understanding learning and intellectual growth.
Nigel Pearson B.A., Dip. Tchg., M.A. Applied Linguistics
Teacher at Extraordinary Kids