I had a great tea session with my Grade 4 to 6 parents this week. All of these parents are not new to me, for I have interacted with them informally all these months I have been here at HWA.
A discussion about what “partners” mean arose during the meeting. I was glad to share how my management philosophy guided my interaction with parents in my previous schools. Some schools I know of treat parents like they are the plague (to be avoided at all costs) or as money cows (to be milked and not listened to). Other schools treat parents like they are God and pander to everything they demand, as paying customers.
How about this Principal? This Principal treats parents as partners in the education of his students. And partners should be involved in the many matters of the school community. Some schools, like many not-for-profit or trust schools, take it all the way, with parents represented in the board, and with a strong say in curriculum and branding matters. Right now, we involve parents in events and communicate with them, but I see a need to involve our parents even more in the school, as partners in education.
Complicating this relationship is the fact that our partners have values and beliefs in education that can span a wide range. For every parent who demands more Chinese to be taught, we can find another who demands more English. For every parent who demands more rigour in our curriculum, we can find another who wants their kid to enjoy their childhood.
As such, it is more viable to speak to parent representatives, rather than all parents. It is in the interest of the school to have as diverse a representative in their Parent Support Group as possible. In a previous school I worked in, each community (Korean, Taiwanese, Singaporean, British, American, Indian, Japanese, etc) was well-represented and provided diverse viewpoints when management needed feedback from our partners.
I would like to take the opportunity here to put out a plug for our wonderful Parents Support Group, run by Chairperson Mrs Ruth Li. Together with her core group of parents, they have been instrumental to the success of many of our events, and have given us important feedback to make the school a better place not just for their children, but for the entire HWA community. Please do get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org and be part of this Parents Support Group. I really want to see the views of our entire HWA family represented.、
Writing about educational management can take the fun out of an educator. Time for me to stop and pop by the Math & Science Fair happening right now at the Junior School!
因此，与其和每一位家长交流，我认为和家长代表交流更为可行。 多元化的家长会代表组成是对学校有益的。在我之前工作的学校，每个群体（韩国人，台湾人，新加坡人，英国人，美国人，印度人，日本人等等） 都有各自非常优秀的代表，并且在管理层需要家长的反馈时都能提出很多建设性的提议。
Michael Chan 曾俊成
Hillside World Academy