True Education


Chapter 33—Cooperation

In the formation of character, no other influences count so much as the influence of the home. The teacher’s work should supplement that of the parents but is not to take its place. It should be the effort of parents and teachers to cooperate in all that concerns the well-being of the child. TEd 176.1

The work of cooperation should begin with the father and mother in the home life. In the training of their children they have a joint responsibility, and it should be their constant endeavor to act together. They should yield themselves to God, seeking help from Him to sustain each other. Together they should teach their children to be true to God, true to principle, and thus true to themselves and to all with whom they are connected. With such training, children will not be a cause of disturbance or anxiety at school. They will be a support to their teachers, and an example and encouragement to other students. TEd 176.2

Parents who give this training are not likely to be found criticizing the teacher. They feel that both the interest of their children and justice to the school demand that, so far as possible, they sustain and honor the one who shares their responsibility. TEd 176.3

Many parents fail here. By their hasty, unfounded criticism the influence of the faithful, self-sacrificing teacher is often well-nigh destroyed. Many parents whose children have been spoiled by indulgence leave to the teacher the unpleasant task of repairing their neglect. Then by their own course they make his or her task almost hopeless. Their criticism and censure of the school management encourages insubordination in the children and confirms them in wrong habits. TEd 176.4

If criticism or suggestion in regard to the teacher’s work becomes necessary, it should be made in private. If this proves ineffective, the matter should be referred to those responsible for the management of the school. Nothing should be said or done to weaken the children’s respect for the one on whom their well-being in so great degree depends. TEd 177.1

The parents’ intimate knowledge both of the character of the children and of their physical peculiarities or infirmities, if shared with the teacher, is valuable. It is to be regretted that many fail to realize this. Most parents show little interest in either the teacher’s qualifications, or in cooperating with him or her. TEd 177.2

Since parents rarely acquaint themselves with the teacher, it is important that the teacher seek the acquaintance of parents. Teachers should visit in the homes of their students and gain a knowledge of the influences and surroundings where they live. By coming personally in touch with their homes and lives, teachers may strengthen the ties that bind them to their pupils and may learn how to deal more successfully with their different dispositions and temperaments. TEd 177.3

As teachers interest themselves in the home education, they impart a double benefit. Many parents, absorbed in work and care, lose sight of their opportunities to influence for good the lives of their children. Teachers can do much to arouse these parents to their possibilities and privileges. Other parents feel a heavy sense of their responsibility to see that their children become good and useful men and women. Often the teacher can assist these parents in bearing their burden, and, by counseling together, both teacher and parents will be encouraged and strengthened. TEd 177.4