By Jincy Dean
Most teachers have encountered well-intentioned parents who believe that with the right teaching technique, their child has the potential to excel in all areas. They expect the teachers to be available for consultation at all times. They fix their child’s mistakes with hand- delivered lunches, faxed homework, and parental edits of homework assignments. Hence, creating students who are beautifully prepared academically but too fragile to survive away from home or have not developed the intrinsic pleasure in learning.
In these pressured times, when parents want academic perfection at early ages nothing helps a child succeed like an involved parent. Willingness from a child’s parent can work wonders in the classroom.
Parents want their children to succeed in school, but a parent’s role in that success should not be underestimated. In school as in life, consistent support from parents is crucial to sustaining a student’s confidence and sense of achievement.
A Cheerleader Role: Children thrive on encouragement. It’s just as important to support a child who doesn’t perform well as it is to congratulate them for success. Real learning is not based on reward, but on the value your child places on the process itself. It’s important to make something positive out of failure and to teach young children this vital skill. Help them see the importance of the “keep trying attitude”.
Be A Friend: Learning about math and reading isn’t the only struggle your child may face in school. Maybe they will have a problem with a group of friends, or a difficult situation on the playground maybe even the teacher. Sometimes what they really need is someone who is willing to hear what they’re thinking and that someone may be you. Extra stress decreases self-esteem and motivation. Listening respectfully can be a major confidence booster.
Be A Teacher: You can’t just leave it all up to the teacher. Of course it is their job, but event the best and brightest can be hard pressed to address the individual needs of every child regardless of the size of the classroom. Children need personal attention, so it is your role as the parent to provide that attention. Keep up with your child’s assignments, tests and ongoing projects. Show enthusiasm and show them helping is not a chore. Make a connection with your child’s teacher on a regular basis. Be active in getting your child extra help, if necessary.
Be The Enforcer: Sometimes you have got to be tough. But there’s more to it than just discipline. Help your child set and keep schedules, reach goals and complete assignments on time. Be respectful and unwavering with the basics and your child will catch on. These are a few ways you can help create a mutually respectful parent-school partnership.
Jincy Dean is the regional director for Christian Montessori Academy and is a nationally recognized childcare advocate. She is a member of numerous teaching and childcare organizations and is a past recipient of the Nevada “Mentor of Year”award.