How Can Students and Parents Help Each Other?

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In a world where parents and students often work with different sets of rules and regulations. A “No Child Left Behind” school policy that is not followed by either party can be a real hindrance to a student’s ability to learn.  Teachers and students are often divided by policies which mean that some teachers cannot spend all of their time with certain students and expect them to learn.  And conversely, certain parents cannot spend enough time with their kids and expect them to grow. This supposed mutual understanding is apparently the law in the school setting, but what about in the home?

Prior to “No Child Left Behind”, parents and students were expected to teach each other.  This included taking turns for things like setting house and yard rules.  Of course, there were times when parents were the victims of angry parents, or parents were remiss in their responsibility.  But these situations were rare.  What happened instead was that parents learned to teach their children.  What about during those “ABCDE” lessons when a student didn’t understand a rule, or when a parent spoke some nonsense?  Parents weren’t punished for these infractions; they were expected to figure out how to teach their children.  Although parents have their own homes, they usually have to work around public schools.

“Public School doesn’t Know What’s in It”

So, let’s say that the home is a law and the school board doesn’t know what the student is learning, how can that be?  School systems feel the responsibility to teach the students they educate.  They have textbook responsibilities, which are not reduced by having parents and community members come together to teach students. “The Public School is broken and does not teach What’s in It”

So, you believe that the public school is broken?  Then what should we do about it?  Should we continue to spend our tax dollars on it, or should we try some other approach?

I propose that we take a lesson from our neighbors and friends who are making a difference in their students’ learning.  Why not try implementing what works, such as home schooling?  I can think of a few reasons:

  1. Teachers are not always qualified.
  2. Students can become violent or unhealthy.
  3. Parents can get sick.
  4. Teachers have no buffalo-crawls.
  5. Real-time assessment is imperative.
  6. uine learning is difficult.
  7. Materials can be scarce.
  8. A curriculum designed for one grade level may not meet the needs of another.

As educators, it is our job to know whether or not our students are learning.  Is it our job to know?  Of course, it is! It is our job to find out what works and what works at a level that the students can handle.  We need to give them the best chance to succeed, both at the school and in the home.

The “Quality” Question

In a few weeks, we will be taking a look at teaching techniques and strategies.  This will include a look at how to identify our students’ barriers and opportunities for them to learn.  We will use the answers to these questions to help us design a more effective K-3 curriculum. Here is a closer look at how we will “diagnose” our students’ barriers and opportunities for learning:

  • Highlight: 
    • Students with these characteristics may struggle in school.
    • Teachers and parents can assist teenagers with these characteristics.
    • Ask the teacher what you can do to meet with students at home.
    • Teachers can say, “Listen, you have the opportunity to talk about what happened in class.  Or, you and your students can go to lunch together.  No matter what happens, I’m going to be there to help you and your students whenever you need me.”
    • Involve parents by saying, “I want to help you and your child succeed in school.  Here’s what I can do.  I will:
    • be in your home a weekly conversation.
    • connect your home to the school through the school’s bus shelter or hallway lighting
    • place a “school helper” in your home during the school day
    • give students a daily schedule that details what they need to do and what they need to get to.
    • And, there are many more things that we can do to help students and parents become involved in their children’s education.
    • Learning how to have the “parents as teachers” mentality is invaluable.  The more parents know about how we teach, the more they can contribute to your child’s success.
    • regulars at the school who have helped with or observed your children’s behavior and progress can become invaluable resources.
    • We must teach our students that the some of us might be called upon to serve personally at the school.