There are around 100 children aged 8 to 14 who take our English for kids courses each semester, but we often have very little contact with their parents. So when we decided to change that and put on a meeting with them, what were we to do?
Maybe you remember something like it – the biology classroom, neat rows of desks, a tense atmosphere, faces of the parents and teachers tight in concentration. Inevitably either the parents or the teachers (or both) find it unpleasant, and everyone feel rather deflated and tired afterwards.
This could be your classic picture of a parents’ meeting at school – it certainly is here. Unfortunately, that less than pleasant stereotype doesn’t reflect well on this important relationship affecting every child – that of their teachers and their parents.
And so, as you may have guessed, Salem Social Village decided to change the accepted order of things by holding a rather unusual parents’ meeting (at least by local standards), where people were actually given positive messages and joy was encouraged!
In the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere of the cafe, the Mums and Dads who came were treated to freshly baked cookies whilst learning more about the place where their precious offspring study and having the chance to put their questions to the English Centre teachers.
As well as the refreshments, the parents were given some short presentations about everything else that we do at Salem Social Village besides teaching English, and also a chance to personally meet the professional teaching staff that make up the English Centre. We also wanted to help each parent do everything they can to help their children succeed, not just in English, and so at the end of the evening the teachers shared some helpful ideas and some recommendations from their own professional experience.
We were very pleased to see every parent who was able to find the time to come to the meeting and find out more about the life of their delightful little one – and judging from the feedback, they were very pleased too!
Ah, good. Another unhelpful stereotype challenged and done away with.