READING, WRITING AND ROSTERS: FIFO FAMILIES AND SCHOOL
We all remember what it was like when the teacher put us on the spot and asked us if we had any questions, but the questions around school and FIFO lifestyle can also be a bit tricky.
We have looked at community support before, but we thought that a closer look at what support FIFO families can find, specifically around schooling, would be useful.
Whether your child attends a private or public school there are support services available. Many parents and students think these are only for when there is a crisis or urgent need, however there are people available to talk to at any point about issues or questions you might have.
Firstly, there is your child’s teacher. For feedback about day-to-day schoolwork and behaviour in class, or concerns about homework, it is great to make a time to chat with the teacher. Sometimes even a quick email to the teacher can sort out an issue quickly.
Most schools will have a school psychology service. School psychologists help schools meet the social, emotional, learning and behaviour needs of students. They work closely with the school administration, teachers, students and parents. If you have any concerns about your child’s needs contact the school. It is good for the student to know that they can ask to see the school psychologist if they want to raise an issue.
Many schools also have a School Chaplaincy Program. School chaplains are part of the school’s pastoral care team. They also offer a counselling role and in addition, guidance around spiritual issues. Again, you can seek this support out if you feel it would assist any issues at school.
Some schools have a social worker that can support with mental health issues and provide information and networks with further resources.
One of the often talked about issues is an increased absenteeism of students when the FIFO parent is at home. It is quite understandable that families want to spend as much time together as possible and there may be ways to look at maximising time together without missing school. When we spoke to FIFO wife Amy she talked about how when Paul was home he would volunteer time at the boys’ school in the classroom and with sport. Not only did this give the family more time together it gave Paul as a FIFO father a better idea of what the boys did at school.
It is also worth asking around to see if there is already a group of FIFO families formed at your child’s school. The school’s administration staff and the P&C would be able to help you. Being able to chat with other FIFO parents at the school same can be really useful.
“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live”. John Adams