Irrational decisions are made when they are the result of a knee jerk reaction and when you are at your emotional peak. It is a choice you have made and decided to act upon based on your feelings and usually clouded by misinformation. Decisions made on the spur of the moment and under emotional conditions have almost always been the wrong decision, which leads to one feeling embarrassed and the need to apologise followed by the necessary mending of the relationship.
Both teachers and parents find themselves on many occasions acting out of emotion which has a snowball effect of heightened aggression and no practical solution. When parents talk in the car park and find out information that causes frustration, there isn’t even time to go home, which may have allowed for rethinking on the issue, but instead an email sent via mobile has reached the inbox of every email address that the parent can remember in order for answers. The teacher reads the email and feels unjustly accused. They then retaliate with an emotional outburst in defense, but unwanted words have already been used. Now mediation must take place as the damage has already been done.
When faced with situations like the one mentioned above, it is in my opinion that the best cause of action for both parties is to think about what has been done or said and to act upon it when they are calmer and have had time to gather all the correct information. Teachers need to listen and hear the parent’s point of view and explain their thinking behind the events, as sometimes the parents have not always received the correct information and a miscommunication has resulted in this outburst, and vice versa.
Let us not forget that the teacher and the parent have one common goal – to get the child successfully to the end of the year and to instill in them the desire to become the best that they can be.
By Gareth Martin, Teacher at The Bridge Assisted Learning School