Archive for the ‘Parent Teacher Association (PTA/PIBG)’ Category

Parents’ association wants action against abusive teachers

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

SHAH ALAM: The association representing parents of children in Chinese schools is calling on the Education Ministry to act on teachers who exhibit violent behaviour.

Wong Foh Sang, president of Jia Zong, said despite multiple cases of teachers using violence on students, the ministry has taken no action.

“Teachers will become daring if the ministry does not handle these situations accordingly,” he said outside the Selangor Education Department following the submission of a memorandum detailing cases of student mistreatment over the last two years.

The handing of the memorandum and protest by some parents came following a case of a Year Five pupil in Ijok, Selangor, who was said to have been verbally and physically abused by her teacher on Wednesday.

The pregnant teacher allegedly insulted and hit the pupil early this week over homework, but had blamed it on her hormones.

Other than hitting the pupil, the teacher also overturned the pupil’s table and mocked her for coming from a broken family.

Tee Lay Goon, the pupil’s mother, said the actions of the teacher had left emotional and physical scars on her daughter.

“Hitting her and overturning a table is bad enough, but she also taunted my daughter for not having a father.

“Not having a husband is my business, not my daughter’s fault. The teacher cannot use this to belittle my daughter,” said the mother of three who noticed red marks over her daughter’s body after she came out from the shower.

Tee claimed that the school headmistress had also warned her daughter “to keep her mouth shut” regarding the matter.

Two of the school’s senior assistants brought the teacher to Tee’s house to apologise later that evening.

“The reason the teacher gave me was that she is pregnant and hormonal fluctuation led to her losing her temper.

“The teacher is an adult. If she is unable to control her emotions, then it’s best for her to not be a teacher in case she causes harm to other children, too,” Tee said, adding that her daughter had been sent for a medical check-up and she had lodged a police report.

by LEE CHONG HUI.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/10/15/parents-association-wants-action-against-abusive-teachers/

    NUTP plans code of ethics for parents

    Sunday, September 18th, 2016
    Kamarozaman talks about plans to draw up guidelines for a code of ethics for parents while NUTP secretary-general Datuk Lok Yim Pheng (right) looks on.

    Kamarozaman talks about plans to draw up guidelines for a code of ethics for parents while NUTP secretary-general Datuk Lok Yim Pheng (right) looks on.

    PARENTS overreacting to complaints by the child and rushing to school to confront his or her teacher, sometimes physically, is no laughing matter.

    To offer them a better approach, the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) plans to draw up guidelines for a Code of Ethics.

    Newly-elected NUTP president, Kamarozaman Abd Razak, who assumed his new role at an exco meeting last Saturday said: “With the code of ethics, parents will have to follow a standard operating procedure, such as setting up a meeting with the principal, instead of going directly to a teacher to voice their complaints.”

    Kamarozaman clarified that this move is not designed to persecute parents, but to protect teachers.

    It will also ensure that parents take a more disciplined approach to solve an issue they are unhappy about. That, in turn, will set a good example for their children and other students.

    “There are various codes of ethics for teachers, but none for parents. But these codes exist in other countries, so we can use them as a guideline to deter parents from taking things into their own hands,” he said.

    The idea for a set of guidelines for parents was proposed by NUTP to the government three weeks ago at a meeting between both parties.

    “I understand why they want to do this, as parents these days can be quite a handful,” said a mother of three, Ellen Kiong. “But I also want to know what the guidelines entail.”

    Kiong said she had seen parents getting upset with teachers when their kids fall and scrape a knee during playtime in school.

    Another mother of three, Sagayah Mary Puttagunta, said: “I don’t think we need a Code of Ethics. We’ll only be wasting paper!”

    She elaborated that parents these days are more hands on and involved in their child’s school because there is a need to.

    “We don’t get circulars from the government telling us about a new ruling, so we have to find out on our own,” she said.

    Abdul Wahab Kadir, who has one school-going child, also does not support the idea for a Code of Ethics for parents.

    by OOI MAY SIM.

    Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/09/18/nutp-plans-code-of-ethics-for-parents/

    Schools Urged Against Holding Special Assistance Payment – PIBGN President

    Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) — The National Parent-Teacher Association Collaborative Council (PIBGN) has appealed to schools against withdrawing the RM100 special assistance provided by the Ministry of Education.

    PIBGN president Associate Prof Datuk Mohamad Ali Hasan said schools had previously withdrawn this assistance giving reasons that the money was needed for payment of PTA fees and other costs incurred by the school.

    “The money can ease the burden of parents especially those affected by the recent floods. Some of the students have no uniforms to wear as they were damaged or washed away,” he told Bernama here today.

    He was commenting on a statement made by Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan requesting schools in the state to not hold payment of the RM100 special aid provided by the ministry.

    Earlier on the ministry had received reports of several schools in the country not handing over the money to students.

    Mohamad Ali said schools should be flexible on this matter in the wake of rising cost of living and financial problems faced by families who had been affected by the floods with some left homeless.

    In addition, PIBGN hoped that the ministry would waive PTA fees for all schools affected by the floods to ease the parents’ financial burden, he said.

    “Government-linked companies (GLCs) are also urged to provide financial help or volunteer their services to help in school restoration works and purchase school equipment which have been damaged in the floods,” he said.

    Meanwhile, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) President, Hashim Adnan said parents should also cooperate with schools to ensure their children take care of the textbooks provided by the ministry.

    BERNAMA.

    Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1100718

    Parents have role, too

    Sunday, July 8th, 2012
    PLATFORM FOR IMPROVEMENT: What is the role of parent-teacher associations today? Do they contribute towards enhancing the quality of schools and the education of their children? Are parents even interested? Chandra Devi Renganayar finds out.

    THE Education Act 1996 stipulates that one of the key objectives of a parent-teacher association (PTA) is to provide a forum and service for the welfare and development of students.

    It also states the association is to act as a platform for parents and teachers to discuss issues pertaining to their children’s education.

    These objectives, however, appear to have taken a back seat.

    Parents sitting in PTA committees now focus on raising funds to upgrade school facilities, said Nik Elin Nik Rashid, a past committee member of several PTAs.

    She said in some schools, PTAs are nothing more than “showpieces”, set up to meet the requirements of the Education Act.

    “How effective a PTA is depends on the principal. If the person is accommodating and welcomes views from the parents, then the PTA will be involved in matters concerning education.

    “In most cases, however, the principals and teachers don’t want to engage parents on issues related to their children’s performance as they are afraid it would interfere with their job.

    “They fail to realise that by working with parents, they can better meet the needs of the students.”

    C.K. Teoh, a former PTA committee member of a school in Klang said many parents shy away from speaking up for fear their children will be victimised by the teachers.

    He said some teachers take advantage of a clause in the Education Act which states the PTA cannot interfere in a school’s administration.

    “They prefer PTAs to play a diminutive role such as raising money for school activities. They want PTAs to focus on beautifying the school rather than equipping it with better learning materials.

    “Parents are there to merely endorse what the headmaster and teachers have decided.”

    by Chandra Devi Renganayar.

    Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/parents-have-role-too-1.104128

    Stamping Out Teen Smoking

    Thursday, February 9th, 2012

    Teen Smoking Rates Decline, but Quitting Is Still a Challenge

    Sixteen-year-old Haley A.’s New Year’s resolution is to not criticize other people. As admirable as that goal may be, Haley’s mother wishes her daughter had made another resolve: to quit smoking. But the teen is indifferent to the idea. She enjoys smoking, and at five or six cigarettes a day, does not believe she is addicted to nicotine.

    “I think if I had something to motivate me, I could stop really easily,” Haley says. “For me, it’s a boredom thing. Whenever I’m bored, it’s something to do.”

    The honor roll student who says she’s the only smoker in her circle of friends is bucking a national trend. Monitoring the Future, a new survey released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, shows teen smoking in grades 8, 10, and 12 is declining “at a vigorous pace.” This is a direct contrast to the early 1990s, when researchers saw a dramatic increase in the number of teens lighting up. Among eighth-graders, smoking rates fell from 21 percent in 1996 to 12 percent in 2001; and among tenth-graders, from 30 percent to 21 percent. Among high-school seniors, smoking rates dropped from 37 percent in 1997 to 30 percent in 2001.

    The study attributed the decreases to the demise of the Joe Camel ad campaign, the increase in anti-smoking ads, and the jump in cigarette prices in most states.

    “Young people are price-sensitive in their use of cigarettes,” says the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Lloyd D. Johnston of the University of Michigan. “When the price goes up, it is less likely that (kids) will proceed to greater use.”

    Parents, Not Just Media, Need to Send “No Smoking” Signals

    What about the influence of parents? While the latest survey didn’t ask teens to describe parental influence, anti-smoking activists insist that what moms and dads say — or don’t say — can have an enormous effect on teens. In other words, parents shouldn’t just breathe a sigh of relief over the new decline in smoking rates and think TV ad campaigns have more influence than they do.

    The National Youth Tobacco Survey, taken every other year for the federal government, has found significant racial and ethnic differences in the ways that parents deal with smoking. Researchers say that Hispanic parents, even if they smoke themselves, are less likely to allow teens to smoke in the house. The rules appear to have the effect of discouraging teen smoking altogether, not just smoking at home, because Hispanic teens smoke at lower rates than white teens do.

    Haley A.’s mother also has established a no-smoking rule at home, but the teen says there has been little discussion of the issue.

    “She knows that I know about the consequences,” says Haley. Although the teen doesn’t particularly want to quit, she says she might be motivated to kick the habit if the penalties were severe enough. “I think if I was grounded every time I got caught smoking or if my phone got taken away, then it would definitely make it harder to keep smoking.”

    Do’s and Don’ts for Parents: Keeping Teens Smoke-Free

    These suggestions for parents come from Lyndon Haviland, executive vice president of the American Legacy Foundation (a public health foundation created as part of the 1998 settlement agreement by the states with the tobacco companies):

    1. Do take nicotine addiction seriously. “When I talk to parents, I sometimes hear, ‘It’s only tobacco’ or ‘They’re just experimenting,’” Haviland says. “It’s critical to understand that teenagers do become addicted, and it’s critical to intervene. For one thing, research shows that cigarettes can be a gateway to use of other drugs and alcohol.”
    2. Don’t assume teens know the dangers. While the latest teen smoking stats are promising, there are still warning signs hidden behind the headlines. The Monitoring the Future study showed that 43 percent of eighth-graders still do not believe that there is a great risk associated with a-pack-a-day smoking.
    3. Do talk about (immediate) health consequences and the cost. Teens tend to believe they’ll never get pregnant or die in a car crash, so it may be a waste of time to talk about “someday” dying of lung cancer as a result of smoking. Instead, Haviland and other experts advise parents to focus on short-term health and economic effects: “You get a lot of sore throats because you smoke.” “If you want to run cross-country next semester, you’ll have an easier time if you quit.” “Your teeth are starting to get stained.” Or focus on the money they’re spending: “Gee, you could probably afford your own car if you weren’t spending so much on cigarettes!”
    4. Don’t underestimate your own influence. “We’ve talked to teens who say, ‘If my mom and dad really cared, they’d push me on it,’” Haviland reports.
    5. Do talk to your child’s healthcare provider, athletic coaches, and guidance counselors. The more caring adults who know your child smokes, the better, Haviland says. “You’re surrounding your teen with support for cessation behavior. There is nothing wrong with saying to a soccer coach, ‘My daughter will be playing on your team in the fall and I want you to know that she began smoking over the summer.’”
    6. Don’t turn cigarettes into a “forbidden fruit.” No-smoking rules are fine, but only if they are premised on the dangers associated with cigarettes, not just “Those are my rules and you must obey.” Make sure you tell your teen how much you admire and respect his or her decision not to smoke, or to quit.
    7. Do look for help. The American Lung Association has a comprehensive program for teens called “NOT.,” — “Not On Tobacco.” Check their website for details at www.lungusa.org. Or visit www.quitnet.com. This site has a calculator to help teens (and adults!) calculate the savings they reap when they kick the habit.

    by Katy Abel.

    Read more @ http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/smoking/29739.html?detoured=1

    Homework Tips for Teens – Setting the scene.

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

    At this point, your teen has probably established his favorite place to do homework, so your main role at this point is to stop nagging. If you were to visit households of some “grade A” high school students, chances are you’d catch one doing homework with MTV blaring in the background; another talking on the phone while completing a history paper; another working in the kitchen with his feet on the table; and yet another sprawled across the family room floor keeping up her A average. If you looked really hard, you might find one actually working at a desk in a quiet bedroom, but boy, is she the exception.

    Despite that, get a desk for your teen’s room—be it a hand-me-down from Grandma’s house or something from the unfinished furniture store. Why? Because whether or not he uses it for study, it represents a concrete family commitment to schoolwork—and provides an excellent place for storage, too.

    If the desk doesn’t have a file drawer, visit a stationery or office supply store and buy a file box (they cost under $20) so your teen will have a place to store the current year’s papers. A simple, accessible filing system will let your teen find previous notes, tests, and reports quickly and easily.

    Items you want to save for “posterity” are best stored in accordion file folders with elastic wraps. Place the best-written papers or projects in them, label them with your teen’s name and the year, and store them somewhere out of the way.

    Tools of the (Homework) Trade.

    Just as cooking is a drag when you find you don’t have the right ingredients, homework is tough without the necessary tools. At the beginning of the year, ask your teen what school supplies she needs. Don’t be surprised if she mentions paints, nails, or textiles; with the new emphasis on experiential learning, many middle and high school students have to create, cook, or fashion something for class.

    Be flexible. If the plastic protractors he uses for math keep getting broken in his backpack, do the smart thing: buy two and tell him to keep one at home and leave one at school.

    Stock your home library with a dictionary, thesaurus, and possibly an atlas. A good dictionary is worth the $30 price tag for hard cover; and thesauruses are available in paperback.

    Consider whether you can afford a computer. If you can’t add one to your household, investigate other ways your teen can work on one. Some communities give access to school computers during specified evening hours; some schools are investing in laptops that can be checked out like a library book; and many public libraries feature computers that anyone can use.

    Homework Made Easy:

    By the time your teen enters middle or high school, your teen has almost certainly established some type of pattern for the way she does her homework, so you may feel your job is done.

    Not so fast. Even a bright, well-organized student may have trouble pacing herself for long-range assignments and juggling the work of six or seven classes every night.

    As a parent, you want your teen to get homework done without having to impose rules; you want your teen to assume responsibility so you don’t have to stand over him menacingly with a ruler (just kidding!).

    To help, you might begin each year with a discussion of your teen’s upcoming schedule. If she plays soccer or has a role in the fall play, then talk about when it makes the most sense to do homework. When she gets home? After rehearsal? Or maybe after dinner is the best time for her to buckle down to work. To help establish this pattern, you might pick an amount of time—say, 30 to 45 minutes a day—and state that even if she has no homework she’s expected to read or do mentally challenging work during this “homework period.”

    Read more @ http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/parenting/48435.html?page=1&detoured=1

    Talking with Your Teen About Drugs and Alcohol

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

    Talking with your kids about drugs and alcohol can be difficult. It is a highly sensitive topic, but the possible consequences of drinking and taking drugs are far too dire to ignore. So even though you might stumble and falter, the stakes are too high for you to remain silent.

    Communicating your beliefs and values about drugs and alcohol gives your children a set of guidelines and limits to help them make healthy decisions. One “big talk” (like the “birds and bees” lecture) is not the route to follow; you can find many opportunities to introduce your opinions, beliefs, and questions. TV shows, news reports, movies, and newspaper stories are good starting points for a conversation.

    Discussions about these issues should begin in early childhood, long before the teenage years. Adolescence is actually the worst time to begin talking to kids about drugs and alcohol; teens are the most likely to reject their parent’s advice and to be influenced by their peers. In spite of this, it’s never too late to begin the dialogue.

    Why do they do it?

    Why did you drink, smoke, or take illegal drugs as a teenager? Was it peer pressure? Curiosity? Or did you just want to feel happier and better about yourself? Your teen’s reasons are probably the same.

    The vast majority of teenagers don’t take drugs or drink because they are clinically depressed, suicidal, or lacking in self-esteem. They do it because it gives them pleasure, in the same way that drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, drinking liquor, and taking drugs (prescription or illegal) gives adults pleasure.

    Just say no!

    “Just say no” is absurd advice to give teenagers when it comes to drugs and alcohol. It grossly simplifies a very complex issue; it insults the kids it purports to help. It’s part of an adult mindset that says “good kids” don’t take drugs or drink alcohol; “good kids” know these substances are bad and simply repeat the mantra “just say no” to conquer temptation. Oh, if all of life’s tough problems could be solved simply by repeating a campaign slogan!

    Taking drugs or drinking alcohol has nothing to do with your teens’ being “good” or “bad” kids. It’s got everything to do with the allure of experimenting with “forbidden substances” that promise pleasure, status, and acceptance.

    You can prohibit your teenagers from drinking or taking drugs, but that does not necessarily mean you can prevent it. This does not mean that you should casually accept your child’s alcohol and drug experimentation. Your biggest concern should be the prevention of chronic use and addiction.

    Do as I do

    Do you “have to have” your morning coffee, your after-dinner cigarette, your evening cocktails, your stress-relieving Valium? How often do you turn to over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal drugs to relieve your symptoms or to make you happier? Do your kids see you drink and drive? Through your own example, what messages are you sending your kids about drugs and alcohol?

    Your teens will notice any hypocrisy on your part. Talk is cheap. Serve as your own example of your beliefs and values concerning drugs and alcohol. Don’t just preach it — LIVE IT!

    Give them facts

    Teenagers don’t buy the argument that trying a “milder” drug means they’ll soon be shooting heroin. They aren’t scared by this “domino theory,” because they rarely see it happening in real life. In place of scary theories, you can give them facts. You and your teen should know the names of all popular drugs, what effects they have on young minds and bodies (short- and long-term), and the legal penalties for drug possession and use.

    Tell them that drugs and alcohol make teens more prone to dangerous accidents. Tell them that they can never trust the quality of drugs or know exactly how they will respond to them. Tell them that drugs can poison and kill them. Tell them that their lives are too precious to take these chances. Tell them that you love them.

    Drinking and driving

    Drinking and driving is the biggest killer of adolescents. You must be steadfast and clear about your rules concerning drinking and driving. You have every right to insist that your teenager not drive after drinking or ride with a driver who has been drinking. These same rules should apply to any drugs.

    This rule should be accompanied by a heartfelt promise: If your teen is ever faced with drinking/drugging and driving or riding with an intoxicated driver, he MUST call you up. You will pick him up (regardless of the time) or arrange to have him picked up. Upon his safe return home, you promise you will not question, punish, or lecture him. If your teen fears calling you, he may drive drunk and never make it home.

    Doing your best

    You can’t eliminate your teenager’s curiosity about drugs and alcohol; you can’t shield her from the social pressures to use them. Keeping silent and letting her come to her own conclusions about this is unconscionable. You can encourage her self-worth, give her the hard facts, establish firm limits, set a positive example, and always keep the lines of “communication without condemnation” open.

    Source:

    by Carleton Kendrick Ed.M., LCSW

    Read more @ http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/drugs-and-alcohol/29743.html?detoured=1

    Homework Tips for Teens – Making the Time.

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

    Perhaps the greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of time management. (Okay, okay, so you’re disorganized. Don’t worry; what you need to teach your teen is right here. And wouldn’t this be a perfect time to get better organized yourself?)

    • Some schools provide students with school planners. If yours doesn’t, then you should. Take her to a stationery store and let her choose a daily calendar that she’s comfortable carrying. One that devotes a page per day and leaves plenty of room for keeping track of assignments. (Some students prefer a small flip-top notepad for assignments.)
    • Teach her to note the following information for each assignment in each subject: date, subject, assignment, due date, and date handed in.
    • Purchase homework folders for each subject, and teach your child the merits of categorization. That way, when it’s time to pull out the social studies handout, your teen knows just where it will be.
    • If your child needs help with time management, hold his telephone calls until after his homework is done.

    Doing Homework in Bites

    Help your teen to break a long-term assignment into parts. Sit down with her and help her break down the steps that might be involved in writing her year-end term report on China, for example. Those steps might include the following:

    1. Choose a specific topic by doing some general reading.
    2. Get the topic approved by the teacher.
    3. Visit the library and check out books, periodicals, and computer reference materials on the topic.
    4. Read and take notes. (Most students could benefit from some guidance here. Slogging through an entire 600-page book on China’s Long March is overkill for an eight-page report. Show her how to use resources selectively.)
    5. Write a rough draft and edit it.
    6. Produce a finished copy.

    Starting with the project’s due date, show your teen how to calculate how much time she can devote to each stage. Mark a due date by each step.

    Foiling Procrastination

    A lifelong bad habit like procrastination starts with simple things, like chores and homework. If you sometimes procrastinate (and don’t we all?), you know the feeling. You wait and wait, hoping the task will go away…then when it doesn’t, you’re stuck sweating it out at the last minute, doing a halfway job. You never feel good about it—not before, or during, or after the project.

    Here are the five major reasons people procrastinate, and what you can do to help your teen get past each of them:

    • They don’t know how to do something. If your teen is stuck, encourage her to go in early to get some help. Middle school kids are usually quite open about problems, so if you start this “academic coaching” early, you’re more likely to have some influence later on. If you’re a math whiz, for example, you may find that you and she develop an extra bond because she can turn to you with her algebra questions.
    • They have poor work habits. Much of this advice will help here. A good time management trick that can take your teen a long way is teaching her to do the hardest assignment first. After she’s finished with that, it makes the rest of the night look easy.
    • They’re afraid of < ahref=”/teen/reading/48436.html”>not doing well, so they don’t try.
    • This has to do with your teen’s mind-set. Don’t pressure her when it comes to scholastics. What you want to instill is curiosity and a pleasure in learning that will help her tackle things she’s never tried before.

    • They’d rather be doing something else. This is where plain old self-discipline comes in. You can help by setting guidelines; for example, homework should come before television or telephone time.
    • They feel it has to be perfect.Perfectionism is equally insidious. Writing and re-writing an assignment before it is finished is not good use of homework time. Teach her quick-fix methods (like using correcting fluid, erasable pens, and computer word processing programs) and don’t push for “perfect.” If you already have a perfectionist, give her a limit on the number of times she should allow herself to re-do something (two times?).

    Read more @ http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/parenting/48435.html?page=2&detoured=1

    Tips for Effective Parent-Teacher Communication

    Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

    It is said that teachers lay the basic foundation in building your child’s successful future. Probably that is why teaching is known as a noble profession. Apart from educating pupils, a teacher’s professional duties extend way beyond just formal teaching. They have the ability to influence a student’s perception. Parents no doubt are equal partners in shaping the future of their kids. Moreover, parental involvement can boost a child’s motivation for learning and develops a positive attitude about the school in general. When parents form an effective partnership with a teacher, they can definitely help their kid do well academically as well as professionally. So, how do you develop a great rapport with the teacher? From the teacher’s perspective, how do you react if a overwrought parent shows up? Given below are tips for both teachers and parents respectively to effectively communicate with each other.

    Parent-Teacher Communication Tips

    Tips for Teachers

    • When you call on your student’s parents, make sure you are cool and composed. Don’t make it sound serious or like something is really wrong, we need to talk. Remember they are parents they are sure to panic and might scold their kid, after they hang up the phone. Don’t discuss the issue over the phone, but give them some hints so that they are mentally prepared when they come to see you. In the meeting too, slowly unveil the issue, discuss it and come to a conclusion, which is approved by both of you.
    • After you call up the parents, there is every possibility that the parent might rush to the school to see you. Make it a point to not entertain them at that time, even if you are free. Stress on scheduling a meeting later on the same day, or the following day. This will give you a chance to prepare yourself for the meeting and the parent will cool down too. It is important that neither of you are excited or paranoid about the issue, a cool head can bring out the best results from a discussion.
    • It is not easy for any parent to digest the fact that their child is a “problem child” and as teachers it is important you don’t encourage such thoughts in parents. No doubt it is important for you to address the issue related to the child, however don’t just put forth the problems, at least come up with some concrete ways to tackle the problem. Let the parent know they can trust you! Explain the strategy, ask for their inputs, if any, and together reach to a conclusion. And make sure the parent too is equally involved in addressing the issue concerning their child.
    • Sometimes, when parents come to meet you even when they are not called for, it is because they want to make sure that their kid is performing well at school. Hear them out, probably they want someone to hear them out, or want to voice their concerns. Assure the parents about their kid’s performance and be positive. Teachers should never communicate negative news about the child as that is more likely to discourage parents. Tell the parents about their child’s learning activities, accomplishments if any and tactfully tell them how they can improve their child’s learning at home.

    Tips for Parents

    • The most common mistake parents make is that they sit back and wait for the teachers to come to them with issues. If you know your kid is a little weak at grasping things, make it a point to communicate with his teacher regularly. Keep a weekly or monthly track of his/her improvements. The teacher in such a case will definitely understand your concern and help you in all ways she can, to resolve the issue.
    • When you are called by the teacher, don’t panic. The teacher in the first place called you because she is concerned and wants to see her students do well. Realize the purpose. Go with a cool head it will only help you to come to a better conclusion. Be open to strategies and ideas the teacher introduces you to. Together work on the same, it will only help you raise the kid better.
    • Your child’s teacher may be younger or older to you, whatever the case may be respect her. Because a teacher can handle something with your child in a better way than you can, since they are trained that way. She is definitely concerned about your child, the reason why she is helping you out with the same. Everyone likes to be praised. If the strategy drawn by the teacher is working, or you see your child favorably responding to the problem, let the teacher know it. Thank her for the same, or at least acknowledge her efforts.
    • There will be cases when neither of you would want to agree on some common point, in such cases don’t storm into the principal’s office individually, make sure both of you approach him/her together and sort out the matter. It’ll help both the parties to maintain cordial relations amongst themselves, which in turn will be beneficial for your child.

    by Divya Bichu.

    Read more @ http://www.buzzle.com/articles/tips-for-effective-parent-teacher-communication.html

    Save Your Teen from Smoking

    Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

    Teen Smoking Rates Decline, but Quitting Is Still a Challenge

    Sixteen-year-old Haley A.’s New Year’s resolution is to not criticize other people. As admirable as that goal may be, Haley’s mother wishes her daughter had made another resolve: to quit smoking. But the teen is indifferent to the idea. She enjoys smoking, and at five or six cigarettes a day, does not believe she is addicted to nicotine.

    “I think if I had something to motivate me, I could stop really easily,” Haley says. “For me, it’s a boredom thing. Whenever I’m bored, it’s something to do.”

    The honor roll student who says she’s the only smoker in her circle of friends is bucking a national trend. Monitoring the Future, a new survey released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, shows teen smoking in grades 8, 10, and 12 is declining “at a vigorous pace.” This is a direct contrast to the early 1990s, when researchers saw a dramatic increase in the number of teens lighting up. Among eighth-graders, smoking rates fell from 21 percent in 1996 to 12 percent in 2001; and among tenth-graders, from 30 percent to 21 percent. Among high-school seniors, smoking rates dropped from 37 percent in 1997 to 30 percent in 2001.

    The study attributed the decreases to the demise of the Joe Camel ad campaign, the increase in anti-smoking ads, and the jump in cigarette prices in most states.

    “Young people are price-sensitive in their use of cigarettes,” says the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Lloyd D. Johnston of the University of Michigan. “When the price goes up, it is less likely that (kids) will proceed to greater use.”

    Parents, Not Just Media, Need to Send “No Smoking” Signals

    What about the influence of parents? While the latest survey didn’t ask teens to describe parental influence, anti-smoking activists insist that what moms and dads say — or don’t say — can have an enormous effect on teens. In other words, parents shouldn’t just breathe a sigh of relief over the new decline in smoking rates and think TV ad campaigns have more influence than they do.

    The National Youth Tobacco Survey, taken every other year for the federal government, has found significant racial and ethnic differences in the ways that parents deal with smoking. Researchers say that Hispanic parents, even if they smoke themselves, are less likely to allow teens to smoke in the house. The rules appear to have the effect of discouraging teen smoking altogether, not just smoking at home, because Hispanic teens smoke at lower rates than white teens do.

    Haley A.’s mother also has established a no-smoking rule at home, but the teen says there has been little discussion of the issue.

    “She knows that I know about the consequences,” says Haley. Although the teen doesn’t particularly want to quit, she says she might be motivated to kick the habit if the penalties were severe enough. “I think if I was grounded every time I got caught smoking or if my phone got taken away, then it would definitely make it harder to keep smoking.”

    Do’s and Don’ts for Parents: Keeping Teens Smoke-Free

    These suggestions for parents come from Lyndon Haviland, executive vice president of the American Legacy Foundation (a public health foundation created as part of the 1998 settlement agreement by the states with the tobacco companies):

    1. Do take nicotine addiction seriously. “When I talk to parents, I sometimes hear, ‘It’s only tobacco’ or ‘They’re just experimenting,’” Haviland says. “It’s critical to understand that teenagers do become addicted, and it’s critical to intervene. For one thing, research shows that cigarettes can be a gateway to use of other drugs and alcohol.”

    2. Don’t assume teens know the dangers. While the latest teen smoking stats are promising, there are still warning signs hidden behind the headlines. The Monitoring the Future study showed that 43 percent of eighth-graders still do not believe that there is a great risk associated with a-pack-a-day smoking.

    3. Do talk about (immediate) health consequences and the cost. Teens tend to believe they’ll never get pregnant or die in a car crash, so it may be a waste of time to talk about “someday” dying of lung cancer as a result of smoking. Instead, Haviland and other experts advise parents to focus on short-term health and economic effects: “You get a lot of sore throats because you smoke.” “If you want to run cross-country next semester, you’ll have an easier time if you quit.” “Your teeth are starting to get stained.” Or focus on the money they’re spending: “Gee, you could probably afford your own car if you weren’t spending so much on cigarettes!”

    4. Don’t underestimate your own influence. “We’ve talked to teens who say, ‘If my mom and dad really cared, they’d push me on it,’” Haviland reports.

    5. Do talk to your child’s healthcare provider, athletic coaches, and guidance counselors. The more caring adults who know your child smokes, the better, Haviland says. “You’re surrounding your teen with support for cessation behavior. There is nothing wrong with saying to a soccer coach, ‘My daughter will be playing on your team in the fall and I want you to know that she began smoking over the summer.’”

    6. Don’t turn cigarettes into a “forbidden fruit.” No-smoking rules are fine, but only if they are premised on the dangers associated with cigarettes, not just “Those are my rules and you must obey.” Make sure you tell your teen how much you admire and respect his or her decision not to smoke, or to quit.

    7. Do look for help. The American Lung Association has a comprehensive program for teens called “NOT.,” — “Not On Tobacco.” Check their website for details at www.lungusa.org. Or visit www.quitnet.com. This site has a calculator to help teens (and adults!) calculate the savings they reap when they kick the habit.

    by Alvin Poussaint, M.D. and Susan Linn, Ed.D.

    Read more @ http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/smoking/29740.html?detoured=1