I had the privilege to be part of a panel of speakers Thursday night at a community event at The Shul of Bal Harbour, sponsored by Ohel and the Yehi Or division of Jewish Community Services of Miami-Dade, discussing how to raise healthy and resilient children. In my remarks, my focus was on the school’s role in raising healthy, resilient children and supporting a healthy home. By sharing my ideas with you, I hope for the ultimate benefit of our students, your children.
In order for there to be a healthy partnership between home and school that works for the benefit of the children, there are mutual expectations that are necessary and appropriate.
The parents have the right to expect the following of their child’s school:
A commitment to help every child succeed in school
A concern for the entire child – more than just academics
To promote and protect the child’s physical and emotional well-being
Is forthright in sharing objective information (Resists tendency and pressure to gloss over problems)
Is responsive to parents’ concerns
Engages in supportive, collaborative problem-solving
The school has the right to expect the following from their students’ parents:
To support school’s efforts – be a partner, not an adversary; recognize you’re both on the same team
No badmouthing of the school – share concerns with those who can help the situation
Be forthright – don’t withhold information until there’s an “explosion.” Share information about an emerging challenge.
Be open about past issues that may still be relevant.
Be responsive to school’s suggestions – seek outside help when recommended
Have patience for measures to have an effect – the challenge may have built up over years – it will not disappear overnight. Treasure small gains.
The key to our children’s success in school is trust between parents and school. Trust needs to be earned, but it will happen a lot easier and quicker, if each side judges the other favorably, recognizing that they both sincerely have the child’s best interest in mind.Best wishes for a wonderful Shabbos,
Rabbi Kalman Baumann