Child Guidance


Chapter 54—Teachers and Parents in Partnership

Need for a Sympathetic Understanding—The teachers in the home and the teachers in the school should have a sympathetic understanding of one another's work. They should labor together harmoniously, imbued with the same missionary spirit, striving together to benefit the children physically, mentally, and spiritually, and to develop characters that will stand the test of temptation.1 CG 318.1

Parents should remember that much more will be accomplished by the work of the church school if they themselves realize the advantage that their children will obtain in such a school, and unite wholeheartedly with the teacher. By prayer, by patience, by forbearance, parents can undo much of the wrong caused by impatience and unwise indulgence. Let parents and teacher take hold of the work together, the parents remembering that they themselves will be helped by the presence in the community of an earnest, God-fearing teacher.2 CG 318.2

Disunion May Nullify Good Influence—A spirit of disunion cherished in the hearts of a few will communicate itself to others and undo the influence for good that would be exerted by the school. Unless parents are ready and anxious to co-operate with the teacher for the salvation of their children, they are not prepared to have a school established among them.3 CG 318.3

Teamwork Begins in the Home—The work of co-operation should begin with the father and mother themselves, 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. Let them yield themselves to God, seeking help from Him to sustain each other. Let them 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 when sent to school will not be a cause of disturbance or anxiety. They will be a support to their teachers and an example and encouragement to their fellow pupils.4 CG 319.1

The children will carry with them into the schoolroom the influence of your training. As godly parents and godly teachers work in harmony, the hearts of the children are prepared to take a deep interest in the work of God in the church. The graces cultivated in the home are carried into the church, and God is glorified.5 CG 319.2

If parents are so engrossed in the business and pleasures of this life that they neglect the proper discipline of their children, the work of the teacher is not only made very hard and trying, but often rendered wholly fruitless.6 CG 319.3

The Teacher's Work Is Supplemental—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. In all that concerns the well-being of the child, it should be the effort of parents and teachers to co-operate.7 CG 319.4

The instruction given the child in the home is to be such as will help the teacher. In the home the child is to be taught the importance of neatness, order, and thoroughness; and these lessons are to be repeated in the school.8 CG 319.5

When the child is old enough to be sent to school, the teacher should co-operate with the parents, and manual training should be continued as part of the school studies. There are many students who object to this kind of work in the schools. They think useful employment, like learning a trade, degrading; but such have an incorrect idea of what constitutes true dignity.9 CG 320.1

The Home May Be Blessed Through the School—If he [the teacher] labors patiently, earnestly, perseveringly, in Christ's lines, the reformatory work done in the school may extend to the homes of the children, bringing into them a purer, more heavenly atmosphere. This is indeed missionary work of the highest order.10 CG 320.2

The watchful teacher will find many opportunities for directing pupils to acts of helpfulness. By little children especially the teacher is regarded with almost unbounded confidence and respect. Whatever he may suggest as to ways of helping in the home, faithfulness in the daily tasks, ministry to the sick or the poor, can hardly fail of bringing forth fruit. And thus again a double gain will be secured. The kindly suggestion will react upon its author. Gratitude and co-operation on the part of the parents will lighten the teacher's burden and brighten his path.11 CG 320.3

Parents May Lighten the Teacher's Work—If parents faithfully act their part, the work of the teacher will be greatly lightened. His hope and courage will be increased. Parents whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ will refrain from finding fault and will do all in their power to encourage and help the one whom they have chosen as teacher for their children. They will be willing to believe that he is just as conscientious in his work as they are in theirs.12 CG 320.4

When parents realize their responsibilities, there will be far less left for the teachers to do.13 CG 321.1

Parents May Be Counselors to the Teacher—We are to talk the love of God in our homes; we are to teach it in our schools. The principles of the Word of God are to be brought into the home and school life. If parents fully understood their duty of submission to the Lord's revealed will, they would be wise counselors in our school and in educational matters; for their experience in home training would teach them how to guard against the temptations that come to children and youth. Teachers and parents would thus become laborers together with God in the work of educating the youth for heaven.14 CG 321.2

The parents’ intimate knowledge both of the character of the children and of their physical peculiarities or infirmities, if imparted to the teacher, would be an assistance to him. It is to be regretted that so many fail of realizing this. By most parents little interest is shown either to inform themselves as to the teacher's qualification, or to co-operate with him in his work.15 CG 321.3

They [parents] must feel it their duty to co-operate with the teacher, to encourage wise discipline, and to pray much for the one who is teaching their children.16 CG 321.4

Teachers May Be Advisers to Parents—Since parents so rarely acquaint themselves with the teacher, it is the more important that the teacher seek the acquaintance of parents. He should visit the homes of his pupils and gain a knowledge of the influences and surroundings among which they live. By coming personally in touch with their homes and lives, he may strengthen the ties that bind him to his pupils, and may learn how to deal more successfully with their different dispositions and temperaments. CG 321.5

As he interests himself in the home education, the teacher imparts a double benefit. Many parents, absorbed in work and care, lose sight of their opportunities to influence for good the lives of their children. The teacher can do much to arouse these parents to their possibilities and privileges. He will find others to whom the sense of their responsibility is a heavy burden, so anxious are they that their children shall 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.17 CG 322.1