As both a parent and a teacher, I want the same things for my children as I believe all parents want for their children: for them to be safe, happy, supported, appropriately challenged and successful in whatever their interests and ambitions may be.
Great teachers put children at the heart of all their decisions, and they know that the relationship between home and school is a crucial one. When both parents and teachers work together in a supportive and harmonious manner, it can be fantastic for all involved, and ultimately children benefit, thrive and flourish.
It's true that children spend a lot of their time at school, but it’s also true that they spend even more time at home with their families. Effective, open communication is what both schools and families need if they are to fully support children in their academic, personal, emotional and social development.
This communication differs, develops and grows depending on the age of a child – it can be the sharing and reading of stories at home, the practising of times tables, the sourcing of resources for a science investigation or help with finding a relaxing space at home to study in peace and quiet.
If this is all done with patience, warmth and good humour, children feel secure and valued, and this helps them bounce into school with a smile and a sense of excitement knowing they have the confidence for the day that lies ahead.
Teachers and parents should complement each other, and the trust developed should be reciprocal. It's fair that parents should have both a clear understanding of what is learnt at school and how they can offer support from home. There is much value in understanding the journey that a child is on, without surprises.
Some parents may naturally want to help more than others, and here, too, communication is key. All children are individuals and each family is unique, and so if both schools and parents know what they want, the appropriate support can be provided and, subsequently, fantastic progress can be made.
The celebrating of success is key to developing self-esteem and confidence, and great teachers know that finding out what children are good at outside of the school day – whether that be music, art or sports – and supporting that success with a kind word in school builds highly effective and long-lasting relationships.
Parents want to know that their children are in safe hands with teachers who care about them, know them, and recognise and acknowledge their skills, interests and achievements. It's important that news from home related to a child, whatever that may be, is shared and understood by all.
Balance is crucial in developing and sustaining productive home-school relationships, and there is much value in encouraging resilience, being courageous and asking children to do their best. Parents showing support for school advice, whether that be by limiting time spent on gadgets and gaming, supporting home learning, being a role model in actions and words, and demonstrating the value and importance of education, is always appreciated by a school.
Ultimately there is no one-size-fits-all approach and great teachers know this, taking the time to build relationships. Open and transparent communication, trust and good humour go a long way in making sure that home and school complement each other in bringing out the very best for all children.
Simon Jodrell is the principal at Dubai British School in Emirates Hills