Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt May 10 - 2017
The Home-School-Community Connection
Let's face facts, the youth-related problems plaguing
the society does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. On
every hand, blame is being passed along for the high
levels of indiscipline and deviancy, teenage pregnancies,
drug and alcohol use, high drop-out rate and poor aca-
demic performance. The old adage 'it takes a village to
raise a child' was the proverbial baby that was thrown
out with the bathwater. It is time to take the bull by the
horns, man-up and grow a pair. Everyone is culpable.
It's imperative that parents teach their children appro-
priate socialisation skills, make sure they are equipped with
school supplies, support them with their schoolwork, attend
PTA meetings and liaise with their children's teachers.
Parents need to have regular discussions/conversations
with their children to effectively address any issues that
may be of concern to either their child or themselves and
be part of the children's lives and not leave it up to the
teacher. A teacher's job does not include being a parent to
The hope is that once a culture of proper parenting
permeates the society recalcitrant parents will follow set
Parents the teachers are to provide disciplined prepared
children with an academic education while reinforcing the
positive values you have taught your children at home.
Time spent on continually disciplining children is lost
teaching-learning time that can never be recovered.
Teachers need to spend time getting to know their stu-
dents, planning teaching-learning activities, keeping prop-
er records of student performance and behavioural mile-
stones. The administrative, teaching and ancillary staff at
schools must demonstrate united front if disciplinary issues
are to be eliminated. In addition, disciplinary measures are
to be formulated and implemented to meet the needs of
each school dependent on the issues identified. The disci-
plinary plan should be one that allows for parental involve-
ment and support.
Educational Psychologist George Sugai developed one
such plan- 'School-wide Positive Behaviour Support Model'
(SWPBS). It is a proactive approach based on a three-tiered
model of prevention and intervention aimed at creating safe
and effective schools. Emphasis is placed on teaching and
reinforcing important social skills and data-based prob-
lem-solving to address existing behaviour concerns.
Let's not forget the role of the community in the child's
development. It's an important role as children traverse not
only their immediate community but several others depend-
ing on the location of their school. They see 'life' happen-
ing before their very eyes. Be assured they are 'learning'
what they see. So exactly what type of examples are play-
ing off on the community stage during these times? Are
they appropriate ones or negative ones? Either way, they
are impacting on the impressionable minds of Tobago's
When you see children displaying inappropriate behaviours
do you turn a blind eye and remark, "That's their parents'
problem, not mine"? In the long run, if left unchecked,
their behaviour will become a problem to us all. Case in
point is the rise in gun-related crimes on our lovely island
and the spate of heinous attacks on tourists. Do you think
these criminals were 'born big'?
Where are the leader's in the community? Today's village
needs positive leaders. Long ago, those leaders were usu-
ally clearly identifiable and known within their communi-
ties. Nowadays, things are murky and the apparent absence
of such leaders has led to the abdication of the communal
responsibility to raise children.
My mother always said where there is life, there is hope.
So, come on parents, school administrators, teachers and
community members of Tobago. Let's make the
home-school-community connection a reality and return
our picturesque island home to the hospitable and safe
paradise we once knew.
Dr N. Carrington is a successful parent, educator and sociologist
Autism Week Walk
THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles (back row middle) was on hand to
show support for the Autism Association of Tobago's annual Autism
Week Walk from James Park to the Esplanade in Scarborough on April
28. The group handed out flyers and shared information on autism with
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