Another school year is upon us and we’re already thinking about the supply lists, schedule pick up, meet the teacher night, and a plethora of additional things that will kick another year into high gear. With the arrival of August we begin hoping for exceptional teachers, new friends, and a school year that is filled with happiness and growth.
Most parents understand they’re in partnership with the schools and have mostly positive experiences, but a few perceive educators negatively or don’t realize the impact parents have on the success of a school year. As a former teacher myself, I thought it would be a great idea to share tips from those who interact with your children daily. So I interviewed several of my educator friends to glean their advice on what they want parents to know about fostering their child’s success. Here are their top recommendations:
1. Read to your children or have them read every day. Reading a book many times is productive, and memorizing a short book is good too. Have your child create stories from the pictures. Let their imaginations run wild and free! Middle and high school students can share with you the favorite parts of their books. Always be positive. Reading and writing should never be punishment activities.
2. Find ways to keep up with what your kids are doing. All of us are busy, but make this a priority. Ask questions about their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and friends.
3. Hold your kids accountable. School is their JOB. How they approach school probably indicates what kind of adult and employee they will be. They’ll rise to the occasion if you expect them to. Don’t be their friend; your job is to be their mom.
4. Contact teachers for updates. Email or call us weekly or monthly to touch base. The parent that checks in regularly shows teachers they care about their child’s progress and desire to work together.
5. Let your child falter sometimes because they learn from mistakes. Don’t be the “helicopter mom” that tries to protect her child from all difficulties. Learning from mistakes and still pressing on is a valuable life skill.
6. Teach your kids to be organized. Use a calendar to write down your appointments so they see the example. Give them a calendar and help them learn to schedule and prioritize. As age appropriate, kids should learn responsibility for deadlines and time management.
7. Monitor your children’s grades closely. When you see changes, immediately take action. Implement procedures for helping faltering grades, but also find ways to reward hard work and success.
8. Teach them how to problem-solve. Demonstrate how to talk through a situation listing the pros and cons and the consequences or outcomes. Give them opportunities to make decisions in the little things so they are ready for the big events. Praise your child for solving problems creatively.
9. Assure your kids teachers are not “out to get them.”Once a student walks through our classroom door, we love them as our own. We will do whatever is needed to create success for them. We don’t hold grudges; every day is a new day!
Your children are in your home for such a short time. The way you approach and talk about school, teachers, and responsibility will impact the rest of their life. Develop a positive working relationship with your child’s teachers, make school a priority, and be involved in their daily events. It will take effort, but you’ll be so glad you did.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/