Learning goes way beyond grades. The report card aside, teachers often want to share aspects of your child’s development in terms of confidence building, social experiences and their inherent learning abilities.
Once every few months, you and your spouse sit down at your child’s pint-sized desks for parent-teacher meetings. Why? Because it’s a great opportunity for you to better acquaint yourself with your child’s teacher, and more importantly, learn how your child is progressing at school.
Progress in terms of academic performance is one thing, but we know that learning goes way beyond grades. The report card aside, teachers often want to share aspects of your child’s development in terms of confidence building, social experiences and their inherent learning abilities. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time during the PTM to discuss these things since parents are often eager to discuss the grades first.
So let’s cut to the chase. Just as parents have expectations on their children’s teachers, teachers have a set of expectations from the parents too. Having worked in education for nearly a decade, I’ve been privy to information that says..
Here’s what teachers wish parents knew
1. Cut back on screen time and give your child real world experiences.
You would think this is an obvious one, but this is a pretty common statement you’d hear from teachers. Teachers shared that they were taken aback by the number of kids who regularly spend their free-time playing games on their iPads or watching TV. It’s a given – but kids must be exposed to real world experiences such as going to the zoo, growing a garden, learning a new art skill or just playing a team sport outside of school hours.
2. Pay attention
Teachers have shared that they can tell right away which of their students have attentive parents and which ones don’t. It makes the teacher’s job just that much more difficult when parents don’t pay attention to student school planners that include homework time, test preparation or class project deadlines. Most schools try to make it as easy as possible for you to stay in the loop. If there’s another way of contacting you, let them know! Get in touch with your child’s teachers if you have any questions about their school work and involve yourself proactively.
3. Self-regulation begins at home.
Children need practice in regulating their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. They need to know what is acceptable and what is not, when dealing with themselves and those around them. Develop a toolbox of self-regulation strategies for different circumstances: for when emotions are running high, when something dangerous seems worth the risk, how to regain composure and how to develop patience. Develop and practice these skills at home before your child tests it out in school, where the consequences would mean a loss of learning for him and his peers.
4. It’s your child’s homework. Not yours!
Teachers know what a seventh grader can do, and what an adult with an engineering degree can do. So please don’t do your child’s homework for her. Children need to make mistakes and struggle through challenges, independently. That’s how they learn.
5. Your kids do as you do, not as you say.
You will always be your child’s first and all-time favourite teacher. But you can’t tell them that it’s rude to talk that way, or that they should learn different things. You have to show them! You are going to have to exhibit all those behaviours and habits you want you child to model.
Teachers have a short span of time to provide your children with all the skills they’ll need in the future, so you have to help. And it definitely needs to be more than about what’s on the report card.