Sunday, August 16, 2015

Welcome Back to School! 5 Things Teachers Want Parents to Know

      That time of year has arrived!  As we excitedly welcome another group of students to our classrooms we also open the door to build a great working relationship with their parents.  If I could create a crash-course to assist parents as they support their students, this would be it! Read on to find out what I would (and do!) tell my parents whenever given the opportunity.

“Welcome Back to School! 5 Things Teachers Want Parents to Know” 

1-It’s okay for kids to fail  
Educators get it! Parents don’t want to see their kids fail. But, did you know by allowing the opportunity for failure we are allowing students to learn?  Through struggle and persistence to overcome difficult tasks, students can learn that they don’t have to get things right the first time.  There is plenty to be learned from mistakes and those mistakes drive improvement. Our school is a safe place for children to fail because teachers and staff are here to support their failures. We’re teaching students how to get back up, learn from their mistakes and try again. At the same time we are helping to instill in your child the lifelong skills of grit and perseverance. As parents, you can reinforce your child’s ability to cope with challenges. Encourage learning from failure by asking your family members, “Who had a great failure today? What did you learn from it?”  

2-Be involved & stay involved
An involved parent greatly increases the success of a child. There are several ways you can be involved in your student’s education this year.
  •      Talk... a lot!  Take time to discuss what your students are learning at school.  Be sure to ask open-ended questions that elicit deeper conversations.  
  •      Plan to volunteer at the school as often as possible.  It takes a village to educate a child!  Your talents are greatly needed and appreciated.
  • Check on homework regularly. (But please don’t do it for your student!)  Homework is assigned to reinforce the skills they have learned during the day.
  • And most importantly- require your student to read everyday.  Set them up for success with this goal.  Read to and with your young children daily.  Discuss what your students are reading, no matter what their ages.   Check out this visual to find out more about how important reading is!
3-Test results are not the be-all, end-all
While assessments help teachers drive instruction, we believe education is about much more than a test score. We aren’t here just to get your child to pass that high-stakes end of year assessment.  As a parent, it is good to remember that just because your child may score poorly on an exam does not mean they lack intelligence.  Also, just because they may score high, doesn’t mean there is nothing left to learn.  A teacher’s overall goal is to help every student enjoy learning and be prepared for the great big world out there.

4-Healthy kids are better learners  
Nutritious meals sustain your child’s ability to learn far longer than empty calories or an empty stomach.  Make sure your child has a healthy breakfast every day.  Even a piece of toast eaten on the way to school is better than a grumbling stomach during math class!  Carefully consider what you send with your child for snacks and lunch.  Examine how much sleep your child should be getting per night and adjust bedtime routines to accommodate those needs.
       3-6 year olds need 10-12 hours
 of sleep
       7-12 year olds need 9-11 hours
       12-18 year olds need 8-9 hours

5- Be organized & establish a study routine
You probably already know the importance of providing a dedicated time and place for your student to do homework.  You may also know to arrange a spot to store backpacks, lunch boxes, and homework folders.  Did you know that there are other important study skills that can benefit your child?

Studies have shown that students who review information a few minutes before bedtime increase their ability to recall that information later. This is because all learning is “downloaded” into long-term memory during sleep.   Does your child need to remember spelling words, math facts, or history content? Consider implementing the “Bedside 5” in which your student spends the last five minutes before bedtime studying the most important information from the school day. In addition, we encourage you to limit screen time and strongly suggest turning technology off at least an hour before bedtime.  Turning of the tech along with a Beside 5 helps prime the brain to
 first “download” the school day information once your child falls asleep.  
(This research and information comes from the great educational supporters at Quantum Learning Network.

       We believe the best place for your child is in our classroom!  We are grateful for the associations we have with you and are excited to work together to create a successful experience for your student.  Here’s to a fabulous school year!

Font credit: KG A Year Without Rain

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