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Building their spark

Learn how to work with the school to build your teen’s spark.

Mother helps son with homework

Listen to Justin Coulson and Dr Michael Nagel explain how to work with your teen’s school to help build your teen’s spark. Having school staff as an ally can make a big difference. Your teen’s relationships with their teachers can form a big part of their success in school and life.


Narrator: Remember when parents and teachers work together, young people are far more likely to enjoy going to school and achieve success. Working together with the school is a great way to build your teen’s spark and help your teen make good choices about their future.

Justin: As our children get older and move further and further into high school, parents tend to step away from schooling and leave it all to the teachers and to the school. Well, that’s understandable and is very easy to do. For our children to remain really positively engaged at school. There seems to be some research that suggests that parents should actually stay at least a bit involved. We should know the names of our children’s teachers and maybe even send them an email every now and again just to check in. How’s my child doing? What can I do to help? How can I support my child’s learning at home? Having staff as an ally in your child’s educational journey can make an enormous difference.

Michael: I think there are two things that parents can do. One is to help identify what those things are that their young person likes to do and why it drives them. And the second thing is to work again in the school community with teachers to convey to the teachers what that actually might be. Because one of the most important things we know in terms of all educational literature and educational psychological literature is the fundamental thing that seems to drive academic success for teenagers through high school is not the academics they take, it’s the relationships they build with the teachers. And so teachers and parents should be working together to to help light that passion or light that spark, because doing it in isolation can be very difficult, but doing in tandem allows a more fertile environment for young people to succeed.


Last Updated: 08 December 2022