WHAT THEY Shabangu, who splits her professional time between Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark and private practice. “If your child sees you working together with the teacher, delivering one consistent message, he’ll enjoy a sense of stabili
There are ultimately two behaviours that ensure a healthy rapport between preschool teacher, parent and toddler. The first is a parent who instils self respect in their child. “Once you’ve done that, much of the rest falls into place.” The second is a parent who works with, rather than against, the teacher: “After all, we do have one very important thing in common – your child.” This is according to three seasoned preschool teachers with almost 60 years of experience between them, in both government and private schools in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. They’ve chosen to stay anonymous here, but because there are lots of little things that parents do unwittingly that create unnecessary stress for both their children and the teachers – and, by extension, for themselves too, they’ve decided to spill the beans. They’re habits that are easy to break if you just know what they are. School time is your child’s time, say the teachers. “Chatting up a storm with your friends when at school is often when the wheels come off, as your child is trying to show you something important to them, or trying to tell you something, and all they get is, ‘Hang on, darling, Mummy’s talking,’” says Teacher B.
“Not paying attention to your child while he’s trying to convey important information to you will make him feel as if he’s not important to you,” says Zandile. “This is their time with you, not to be shared with work or your daily arrangements,” says Teacher A.
A SICK CHILD MEANS NO SCHOOL
“If your child has had a bad night, rather keep him at home,” says Teacher B. “Otherwise, we get a situation where the mother says, ‘Johnny has been sick all night and running a fever, but he seems fine now.’ Then she rushes off and five minutes later Johnny starts vomiting all over the carpet.” Be smart about it, though, because there could be something at play if he’s faking it. “If your child says he’s not well but there’s absolutely no physical evidence of illness, you need to do some investigating. There might be something going on at school that he wants to avoid by staying at home,” says Zandile.