05 October, 2022

Create the village to raise your child

Create the village to raise your child-Create the village to raise your child-moscow blog 1

After over 25 years of professional experience in education and many fewer as a parent, I have often found that our capacity to super-charge a child’s personal growth and academic success lies in our ability to work together as parents and teachers. The saying that it ‘takes a village to raise a child’ is less a well-worn saying than it is a direct recipe for success.


Fortunately, your child’s school presents the perfect opportunity to surround them with a community of people dedicated to aligned values and goals.


In a positive school environment, colleagues at every level care deeply about your child’s personal growth and academic development. They share your sense of ambition for the future and are ready to take action to make it a reality. Around Nord Anglia schools, we have a simple saying to remind us of our shared priorities: “You want the best for your child, and so do we”.


However, developing a ‘village mindset’, with productive relationships and shared values, takes time and effort. So here are four suggestions for parents to help ensure your child experiences the full joy and rewards possible from their school experience:

Develop a mutually supportive relationship with your child’s teacher and school leaders.


Nord Anglia teachers and leaders are skilled professionals who are strongly aligned with your own goals of growth and development for your child, so a meaningful partnership should be a priority.


Much as with a neighbour, friend or family member, open communication is the key to success. Friendly messages of thanks and support are always welcome, but you should also feel empowered to express any concerns you may have and request personal meetings whenever necessary. Professional educators at Nord Anglia schools are very welcoming of respectful and robust discussions with engaged parents.


Whenever you participate in meetings about your child’s progress, I recommend that you take your discussions beyond measures of academic success. Parent-teacher meetings are a terrific opportunity to discover more about your child’s personality at school. Are they resilient and self-disciplined? Are they expressive and creative? What aspects of their character can you work together to strengthen?


These are the types of shared understandings and goals that will lead to sustained success for your child. When teachers and parents combine their efforts, the results are powerful indeed.


Build social links with other families in school.


Nord Anglia schools will offer plenty of opportunities for parents to gather for events or even connect online. As with school staff, your parent peers will often share similar hopes, values, and ambitions to your own. What a wonderful opportunity then to meet like-minded people and discuss ways to enhance your children’s school years.


Over my career, I have seen parents help create wonderful experiences for their child’s class. From sharing their cultural celebrations to inviting friends to birthday parties, or from volunteering to reading with students, or even simply agreeing on a Friday evening at the cinema or museum, parental links can really bring your child’s school years to life.


Even if you are not the type of person with the time to organise events or volunteer in this manner, you can simply thank and cheer on those parents who are. After all, it takes all types of people to form a true ‘village’.

Engage with your child’s schoolwork to link home and school.


Consider how much work your child completes in an average school day, and how much of that you might ever see. If you ask for permission to view your child’s schoolbooks, you will have a terrific opportunity to praise and motivate them. These opportunities can also form the basis of informed discussions with your child’s teacher over time.


Imagine how motivated your child will be in their lessons, knowing that both teachers and parents – and possibly even siblings – are interested in their everyday work.


Anytime you browse your child’s work, please remember that children must be given plenty of space to make mistakes and experiment. In fact, errors can be cause for praise! A Maths book with errors in it may very likely be a sign that your child has a strong and resilient character and feels confident pushing their abilities to the limit. Take the time to ask which pieces of work make them most proud, and you will have valuable insight. Most of all, enjoy being a source of encouragement for your child and watch them beam with pride.


Participate in events and a broader school life as a parent.


School events are a colourful, fun, and lively way to honour your child’s school life, which we must never take for granted.


You might wish to be a vocal member of your class’s parent community, encouraging others to join in events too. Or perhaps you’d like to invite your child’s grandparents and other family members to school events. Your child will grow in confidence when they realise how important their school life is to you and their ‘village’ community.


The years we spend as parents in a school community are so valuable. Although the years will pass us by before we can truly appreciate their meaning, the memories, and lessons we instil together will build the foundations of a lifetime.


Mr. Justin Noack is the Head of Lower Campus at The International School of Moscow.

Create the village to raise your child-Create the village to raise your child