For a school year to be deemed successful, parents, teachers and children must be involved in building strong relationships and partnerships with mutual respect.
As our kids return to school, ready to start another school year, it is important that parents, especially those who have kids entering school for the first time, be on the same page.
A successful school year starts with parents and children not only in the same band and marching to the same tune, but are fully committed to strategies of cooperation and communication with teachers and administration.
Being on the right foot starts when clear goals and objectives are created, and parents and children each fully understand the part that they must play in making the school experience the best it can be.
Another important component of educational success is for parents to be actively involved in their child’s education. Plainly stated, the child needs to see from the beginning that parent and teacher are on the same team, thus parents are called upon to form positive relationships with the school and school personnel. Remember that the school is on your side, so parents never let your child see or hear you speak, or leak anything about the teacher or any school personnel in a depreciatory manner.
Relationship problems develop when parents visit the school only when they are called to do so—usually when the child is in trouble. Keep in touch with the teacher via email, phone, student agenda, or any other modes of communication deemed appropriate by the school.
Of further importance is the fact that it should be instilled very early in the child that instructional time is precious and every minute counts. Efforts lead to rewards. Too often we see school children heading to school walking as if they did not have a care in the world, or school was waiting on them.
Get children in the habit of reading as a routine, for reading unlocks the mind for learning. Remember, he who reads leads. Each night, parents should read with the child for at least half an hour. This helps prepare the child for learning and also improves reading and comprehension skills. Parents can also have the child read to them, and they in turn read to the child, and in the process ask questions to establish comprehension. Also, set up regular times to schedule children’s library visits and let them choose books that they want to read and at the correct level. However, speaking from stark experience, most community libraries cannot boast of our children being among their frequent users. Have daily conversations with your children/child about what is happening in their lives, listening carefully for signs of bullying or being bullied. Opening lines of communication can effectively prevent underlying problems or concerns about peer pressure or other problems.
Parents need to know and understand that learning begins at home and that they are their children’s first pedagogue, while painstakingly instilling in the child that education is a lifelong undertaking, is powerful and should not be taken for granted. In the process, discuss with them your expectations about academics. Education is one thing that no one can rob you of.