I have taught many children online, respectively. What did I see and what did I feel? I sometimes would see the parent with the child in the lesson. After a while, I noticed patterns of HOW the parent would intervene or TRY TO HELP the student say a word. I almost felt as if I was a teacher assistant at some moments. Who is teaching here? Myself, as the teacher, or the parent? What happens when a child hears both the teacher and the parent, at the same time? I can tell you…CONFUSION. One part of the child is trying to listen to the teacher and at the same time, trying to make the parent happy by listening to them. As much as it sounds weird, it is.
Exercise for you, the parent – Try and visualize yourself having a conversation with 2 people at the same time and trying to answer them. One person is talking with you about the weekday and the other is trying to talk with you about a person, all the while, trying to respond and listen well. Could you do it? As adults, we don’t see the child’s point of view of HOW they feel in these moments. Children usually don’t know what is going on in the moment or how to deal with that situation.
What did I feel in these lessons with the parent and child? I would feel a high level of pressure that the parent would put on the child so that the teacher can give them a good rating.
My reflection of lessons with children and parents. Let’s go into the shoes of your child. See how they feel, how they want to make you, the parent happy and also the teacher. Children do have bad days as well. Sometimes their productivity is lower than normal, so my job as a teacher is to adapt to their level of productivity. I also would expect the parent to do that as well. It’s not lowering expectations or the outcome of a successful lesson but I believe to really have compassion for your child on their “off” days.
“How can I REALLY help my child?”
Be there with them if you would like but it’s not necessary. Look at the lesson as if you’re a fan watching a baseball or football game. Think of yourself as a teacher assistant. Maybe your child needs paper or some pencils but they can’t find them so you will be able to help them.
“How can I REALLY not help my child?”
Control the lesson or translate what the teacher is saying. This makes a very confusing dynamic between the teacher and parent. The child will not know who is the real teacher or won’t know who to focus on. Another one, I don’t believe in, is yelling or hitting. This DOES NOTHING, except HURT emotionally and physically your child.
To all the parents out there, I totally honor that you care for your child and want the best for them but if you could trust my advice, I believe your child will feel more confident and want to learn English, if you, as the parent, put more confidence in the teacher and their abilities.