Could Do Better

20th January 2006 at 00:00
COULD DO BETTER: HOW PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR CHILDREN SUCCEED AT SCHOOL. By Noel Janis-Norton. Barrington Stoke pound;14.99

It didn't take me long, as a teacher, to realise that for children school is a game with many complicated rules. The winners are the children who are compliant but not too quiet, bright but not pushy, funny but not cheeky, neat but not obsessive, determined but not selfish. I was reminded of this by Noel Janis-Norton's list of "Mature Habits (without which) a child cannot fulfil his potential or be successful at school, no matter how bright he may be".

These include "Keeping a polite tone of voice, even when frustrated or upset", and "Paying attention to all details of a task". She also lists five good classroom habits, which include waiting patiently, understanding instructions first time, using common sense rather than asking questions, working in silence and working in a team.

Noel Janis-Norton writes from huge experience as a teacher, head and consultant, and does an excellent job of describing what works in the home-school axis. She's particularly good on developing a non-confrontational relationship with teachers: recasting complaints as requests, knowing teachers' names, remembering to express appreciation of good teaching. In the end, though, I found the sheer efficiency of this approach vaguely depressing.

I was left feeling that surely there must be more to sharing your child's learning than turning to him or her in the supermarket with the words:

"Tell me the names of four salad vegetables you can see."

Subscribe

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Subscribe
Already have a TES Digital Subscription
Enter subscription number

Comments

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today