One of the most important components of your child's scholastic success is your involvement. An involved parent who pitches in to their child's education both at school and at home is an invaluable resource and a strong predictor of success. That is because it is imperative that children receive similar levels of support and feedback at home and at school.
Good parenting provides the foundation for your child's success at school and good teaching can help to further that success, but when parents, teacher, and child can work together to achieve their learning goals the results are often amazing. Still, there can sometimes be friction between parents and teachers as they try to learn to navigate what is best for the child together. For that reason it is important to consider your approach carefully and try not to interfere in the classroom unless you are asked to by the teacher.
Improve Your Child's School Success
Parent-teacher relationships are dependent on good communication, just like any other relationship. As a parent, you want your child's teacher to hear what you have to say about your child and your goals for them, but you need to recognize the teacher's right to be heard as well (and vice versa of course). Take the time to introduce yourself to your child's teacher and communicate regularly with him or her via their preferred method. Many teachers prefer email, which can be answered at their leisure and without interrupting educational business. Make sure to give the teacher a few days to respond before e-mailing them again or attempting to contact them in another way; teachers are very busy and may not have time to respond immediately.
When you check in with your child's teacher, ask how your child is doing and whether there have been any changes in behavior or performance that you should know about. Your child's teacher can often clue you in to important information about your child simply because they see a different side of him or her at school than you do at home.
Volunteering at School
Another way to involve yourself in your child's success is to volunteer at the school or in the classroom. There are usually lots of opportunities to do this and it is a great help to both your child and the school itself. Remember that the school needs to be success for your child to be a success, so if you can help by assisting with fundraising or chaperoning a field trip, then you are ultimately contributing to your child's education as well as that of their classmates.
Preparing Your Child to Succeed
Finally, you can be involved in your child's schooling simply by engaging with your child and properly preparing them for each day. Make sure that you check your child's grades, that you know what they are studying and how they are doing, and that you help them accomplish it. This can be done in as simple a fashion as making sure your child goes off to school rested, fed, and with completed homework. A child that is properly prepared to face their day will be much more likely to achieve success as a result of your care.
Success in School in the News
While it isn't as breaking as crime or politics, educational issues often fall into the news cycle. Earlier this year, an article from We Are Teachers highlighted the importance of support at home for success in school. Parental support was identified by teachers as the number one most important factor when considering a child's success in school. Parents who were supportive and attentive, but not over-bearing or unfair, were labeled as ideal for student success.
Respect, emotional and social intelligence, coachability, critical thinking, and intrinsic motivation were noted by teachers in this article as the other values they see in successful students. Some of these, like emotional/social intelligence and critical thinking, take time to develop. Others, like respect for others and coachability, can start at a young age. These skills are highly dependent on the child's home environment; if a child knows that their parents expect certain things out of them, it will help motivate them to achieve those things. Of course, keeping your expectations realistic as a parent is also very important.
Keep an eye on your local news cycle for stories about ways you can help your child succeed at school. News reports that incorporate thoughts from teachers are generally the most useful; avoid opinion pieces that don't come from educators with experience in the field. Teachers live and breathe education every day; they are the experts when it comes to helping students achieve success in school.
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