What Teachers Want Parents to Know
With the new school year getting underway, we as parents want to make sure our children will have a great experience. This is a goal we share with classroom teachers who are in a position to have a huge impact on a child’s success in this and future grades.
To discover some of the most important things you can do to set your children on the right path to learning, we decided to turn to the source, some real Mississippi teachers! After all, the relationship between parents and teachers is a very powerful factor in a student’s success. Well-Being asked two of Mississippi’s outstanding teachers for 2011/2012 what they would most like parents to know as they send their children off to school this fall.
The first comments are from Mississippi Teacher of the Year for the school year 2011/2012, Stacey Todd, who teaches at Oak Grove High School in Lamar County.
Stacey is a special education teacher, and has a daughter who is graduating high school. She has worked with several church youth groups, and while she feels she lives and breathes teenagers, she offers her number one advice for parents with kids of all ages.
“Be involved in every aspect of your child’s life! When the school year begins, quickly develop a rapport with your child’s teacher or teachers. This does not have to be a conference necessarily, it can be as simple as an email to let the teacher know you are available and want to be informed. If the teacher has a website, check it regularly to help your child keep up with assignments and due dates. Know who your child’s friends are at school. Friends can have a positive or negative impact – but they always have an impact. Talk to your child daily about school and friends. Building trust is the most important thing you can do!”
Our next teacher, Celeste Maugh, the 2nd finalist for Mississippi Teacher of the Year, for last year teaches at Dundee Elementary School, in the Tunica School District.
“The greatest thing parents can give their children to help them with their education is to encourage them to work hard and never give up; set goals and work toward them. A parent should help their child learn how to talk to the teacher and ask for help when they need it. Another thing a parent can give their student is a quiet, structured environment for doing homework. One last thing, and I could go on forever, is for parents to read with their child.”
As the school year cranks up, it’s easy to focus on what goes on in the classroom, but a child’s school day doesn’t end when the closing bell rings. Once a child gets home, homework, independent reading and writing, and practicing math skills, are just a few of the after-school activities that can help round out your child’s education. And, as Celeste suggested, when you spend time reading with your child, you are helping to foster a life-long love of reading that he or she will take into adulthood. Despite the hours your child will spend in the classroom throughout their academic “career,” remember that education is a team effort that starts and ends at home.
Questions for the parent-teacher conference
When you sit down with your child’s teacher for the first parent-teacher conference this year, you can make the most of your limited time together by having a list of questions already prepared. Good communications between parents and teachers is key to a successful learning experience for kids. Your first parent-teacher meeting is just the beginning of a year-long partnership that can have a huge impact on your child’s academic and emotional growth and development.
• What subjects and skills will my child be expected to master this year?
• Does my child seem happy and engaged in school?
• Is my child showing good behavior with classmates and adults?
• Is my child working to the best of his ability?
• How much time do you expect your students to spend on homework assignments?
• What type of learner is my child (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile)?
• Is there a subject or skill that my child is struggling with or that needs more work? If so, what resouces are available to help?
• How can I support your teaching program at home?
• Is there a website where you post daily homework assignments?
• What is your preferred method of communication with parents (email, telephone, notes home, Website, etc.)?