September 23, 2011

Regents Daily News:
September 23, 2011

In Loco Parentis and Communication

Two times each year Regents Academy sponsors parent-teacher conferences, planned opportunities for parents and teachers to sit down and talk through children’s progress. But please allow me to offer you this encouragement: anytime is a good time to communicate with your child’s teacher, so if you ever find yourself in a situation in which you have a problem or an issue, go directly to the teacher as soon as possible. Following this simple counsel will promote healthy relationships like no other.

When we have a problem, we are often tempted to gossip about it with others. We are tempted to bury it until it festers into anger or bitterness. We are tempted to send a scathing email. We are tempted to stew over it until it bursts out later. We are tempted to do lots of things that are neither productive nor biblical.

The right response is to go to your child’s teacher with a gracious spirit and simply ask to talk about the issue. In Matthew 18 our Lord taught us that if someone sins against us, we ought to go to that person and tell him his fault. It requires humility in a teacher to be willing to acknowledge his faults and rectify them. It takes wisdom, too, because sometimes the teacher has done nothing wrong or has unintentionally hurt feelings.

Regents teachers are not only willing to talk things over with parents, they are eager to do so. Every week, I see or hear of faithful parents who come to a teacher and share their concern, and the issue is dealt with peacefully and effectively. We live in a community, with teachers partnering with parents to teach and train children for Christ. We are fellow believers — grown-ups — who are called to act in love.

Now, I know that these are your children, and it is easy to get emotional or upset when you perceive that a teacher is out of line. All the more reason to pray, ask for wisdom, and go straight to the one who needs to work it out: the teacher.

What do you do if that meeting doesn’t yield results? That is the time, perhaps, to go to the headmaster and seek another hearing. Maybe there is more information that will clear things up, or maybe the headmaster can go to the teacher and get to the bottom of things and bring a resolution to the matter.

In any case, we should consider what St. Paul taught us in Galatians 5:14-15: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

We do well to practice these words daily — and heed Paul’s warning — as parents and teachers.

And thank you for partnering with Regents Academy in the education of your children. We hold it to be a high privilege, and we aim to be found faithful in this great duty.

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