Thoughts About a Strong and Effective GNS-Parent Partnership

Over the past few weeks, I have had the great fortune to meet and speak with many GNS parents. The high level of interest and engagement GNS parents demonstrate is impressive. During each interaction, I have emphasized the importance of communicating concerns (no matter how small) to the teacher or adult most closely connected to the issue. In my time at the school, I have been fortunate to engage with teachers in a number of meaningful ways and I understand that our faculty is absolutely committed to doing their very best for our students. A critical element of this, they realize, is how a strong home—school partnership can amplify and augment their own experiences in significant ways. Teachers are also very aware that students act differently with them than they do at home. By speaking with parents, teachers are better able to understand a student in a more complete sense, thereby allowing them to do their best for each child.

Strong partnerships are generally characterized by regular, positive interactions and a routine exchange of ideas and information. It is, therefore, a sensible idea to speak with a teacher sooner rather than later. It is also helpful to touch base again, in close proximity to the first meeting, to ensure your question or concern is both understood and being addressed in the best possible manner. The thinking and processing that occurs between the first and second visit can often be invaluable. A follow up also helps establish greater clarity and understanding, allowing all parties involved to work together in unison.

At this point in the school year, as regular routines begin to emerge, you may already see something in your child's behaviour or hear something in their retelling of the day that elicits a question or concern. Taking the time to reach out now is advisable, as it will assist the teacher to be more attuned to your child's individual needs. You are also likely to learn more about your child's engagement at the school, allowing you to support him or her more effectively. By creating a positive partnership now, you and the teacher have the greatest opportunity to work in a partnership that maximizes your child's potential to do his or her best throughout the school year.

On occasion, having worked with a teacher to exchange ideas and establish a partnership, you may still feel the need to talk to the principal involved, and if this situation arises you are encouraged to do so. If your concern remains or you continue to feel unclear about something, you are invited to connect with me as Head of School. At the end of the day, my view is that we must be fully committed to working together to create the most effective path that will allow each student to reach his or her full potential over the long run. To assist us to work effectively with you to do our best for your child, I hope you will take an active and constructive role in establishing a strong and effective home-GNS partnership.

by Glenn Zederayko, Head of School