6 Feb 2018
Meet The Parents
Parental involvement is a key part of ensuring excellent learning outcomes for students of all ages. Aside from the emotional, material and legal responsibility of parents to provide an education for their children, a GEMS education puts emphasis on engaging parents/families to ensure our students maximize their potential. After all, a parent is a child’s first teacher.
Despite the busy schedules of all three stakeholders, that is students, the teachers and the parents we at GEMS Nairobi ensure that our school calendar sets time aside to ensure a cohesive partnership. As our school counsellor, Mrs Jane Mungai put it, a three stone cooking fire simply won’t work if one stone is removed, shorter or not stable. The third stone is the parent.
This term we have had several occasions where our parents have come to school, outside of the usual school runs and events. For primary school parents we’ve had two workshops in January on reading and mathematics. These workshops are part of our effort to get parents involved in their children’s learning process. There are times that parents struggle with helping their children with homework for many reasons but a major one being that they went to school decades ago and things have changed since then. This is a universal dilemma; one specific to GEMS and other schools offering international curricular is that the parents did not go through the same education system and may not be familiar with some aspects of it.
The ‘Reading at Home’ workshop was facilitated by Mary Mcloughlin and Rose Carr, specialists in guided reading from the UK who work with other GEMS schools around the world. They provided some insight into how parents can support their children’s reading efforts out of school.
Mrs Treacher, our lead Maths teacher conducted similar workshop, this time on Mathematics. In class, the students are taught different ways to solve a mathematical problem- this different methods were the highlight of the workshop as they would be helpful to parents when going through their children’s homework or when helping children apply their math knowledge to real-life situations.
Last week, the secondary school parents had a brief meeting at school to discuss the different challenges affecting the students. Teenagers of today have a lot more to deal with, given the advancement in technology. One of the subjects discussed was addiction to gadgets and social media which is something parents did not need to worry about as little as a decade ago. This brings out other issues like cyber bullying. As these discussions cannot be concluded in a day, there are several others scheduled throughout the term to tackle different topics affecting our students and the current generation in general. Such meetings also help in getting parents to know each other and the teachers better.
A parent’s responsibility towards a student goes beyond just paying school fees and at GEMS Nairobi, we do not take for granted the support we receive from our parents. Afterall, School teaches the skills but it is out of school that children practice those skills.