Updated: Feb 6
For thousands of years we have understood the purpose of education is to prepare a person to be ready for society. We also understand a person who is ready mentally, physically, and spiritually, is a person that is well balanced with enough stability survive and often succeed in their goals. The three facets of mind, body, and soul are represented in many areas of life as they often demonstrate a sense of completion and wholeness of being. For example, in the tenets of the Christian faith, having an awareness of the Holy Trinity of God (mind), Jesus (body), and the Holy Spirit (soul) provides the way to a complete faith, a complete salvation. Although the understanding of the balance of the mind, body, and soul is a basic, universal concept, the world of education often forgets this simple idea. The truth is, the concept of mind, body, and soul needs to become a staple for education to be effective. The trinity of education should be: teacher (the mind), student (the body), and parent (the soul). This concept is not new in the world of education, but its practice seems to have decayed in public (and sometimes private) education abroad. The connection of teacher, student, and parent is necessary for education to be worth the value everyone wants it to be.
The teacher, or educator, is the mind of the whole education process. As early as primary and elementary education, they provide the materials and information to be processed, dissected, and learned by the students. They are the crafters of the intellectual training and create the world where learning can take place effectively. This world often mirrors actual society on a smaller scale all the way up until college, the last formal level of a student’s learning.
Students represent the body of the trinity. They are the vessels that carry the knowledge given by the teacher like the way the body follows the commands of the mind. How the mind interprets the information and perceives the situation, the body sets the parameters of how the information can be carried out. The body houses the mind and soul; whatever the body does is an outward manifestation of what has been put into the mind and soul.
The parent (which could also be seen as the family), the final part of the trinity, puts the soul of the student in place. The spirit of a student comes into play before they ever step foot in a classroom. A child’s temperament, stability, and emotional well being are all set by how the parents or guardians run the household from the time of the child’s birth. Plus, since a child is the product of their parent, the spirit of a child often mirrors the spirit of the parent. The child is an extension of the family’s bloodline into the future, carrying the spirit of the family with them.
In order for an education to be an optimal situation for a student, all parts of the trinity should be strong and in place. The best case scenario is a student that has a keen mind and a strong spirit. Such a student is able to meet challenges whether they are intellectual or physical, and their spirit should be strong enough to help them persevere and help their fellow man in the process. The problem is that either one or more of these three facets are not as strong as they should be to provide for our students’ best interests. Either the teacher or administrators are disconnected from the student and/or parent, so the parent has no clear idea of the academic issue with their student until it is too late. Parents who are left out of the loop begin to mistrust the educational process because they feel they can’t rely on the school to inform them of problems that arise in their child’s learning. When students already have a disconnection with the teacher in addition to seeing the disconnection their parent has with the school, most students will take advantage of the miscommunication and bask in the lack of being held to accountability of proper performance. The result, students often misbehave and/or assignments don’t get completed. Many of these types of problems exist nowadays in education; however they can be avoided.
Here are a few ways to improve teacher, parent, and student relations:
Communication of Expectations: Teachers must continually communicate expectations of assignments, behavior, and assessments to parents. Parents must be receptive and in tune of what’s expected. Both teachers and parents must convey the expectations to the student and demand they be carried out. Teachers and parents have to be a united front for students to be accountable. Email & texting should make this easy. Teachers, compile an email list for all of your parents at the beginning of the year. Then, use the list regularly.
Conferences w/ Student Present: What better way to impress upon a student that they have to be accountable than to have them face the teacher and parent together? Any disconnect between the three will be brought to light if this is done enough.
Parent Appearances at the School: This one keeps teachers accountable. If a teacher knows that they can be watched or seen at any time by parents, they will be more apt to run a tighter ship. In addition, your child will tighten up if you make random, regular guest appearances. Parents, become involved and volunteer your time at a school. Your presence makes a difference.
Study, Study, Study: Do not fall for the “I don’t have any homework” line. Just because they aren’t bringing books home doesn’t mean they can’t study or do an assignment to help them learn. Google has information and free worksheets on ANY subject. Put them online and make them study what they are learning in school. The main job of a student is to study. They should be doing it more than anything else.
There are many more ways to improve the relationships of teachers, parents, and students to turn around academic performance. A few resource links are Parent-Teacher Communication, Keeping Parents Informed and Involved All Year Long (Great creative ways to keep the lines of communication open), and Effective Parent-Teacher Communication (a printable handout for teachers and parents with great bulletpoints).
We owe it to our community to be invested in education. If you are interested in finding out more, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact EBO:
Jamal L. Burt, M.Ed.
EBO Educational Services, LLC