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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Power of Parents

I have taught in a wide range of schools.  High performing schools, low performing schools, rich areas, middle of the road areas, and really poor areas.  It doesn't matter what community I am in, when a child has a supportive parent who teaches them values and hard work while being involved in their education, without fail I have seen those students shine and be high achievers!  It's amazing to me that no matter how hard I work for the 6 hours a day I have students, there is no way I can be 100% effective unless the parents are supporting their child at home.  Parents must not realize the power they have to help their children because it seems that if they knew, every parent would be involved!  It's remarkable to see the difference a parent can make!  Here is a list of ways I have found parents to be truly effective...

1.  Be educated...my highest achieving students are always the ones with the highest parent education
2.  Value education and let your child know how important it is
3.  Be active in the school.  Know the teachers and office staff and be aware of what classroom your child in.  If you've been nice and a friendly supportive face, most likely the office staff will put your child where you want them.  I know a lot of parents work, but you can still be friendly and make yourself known, even if you can't be there often.
4.  Communicate with your child's teacher and do so effectively.  Let them know you are there to support them and help your child at home. 
5.  Accept that your child isn't a prince or princess and that they should NOT be exempt from all the rules.
6.  Make sure you have an active role in a homework routine, but please don't do homework for them, give them answers, or complain to them about their homework.  And if you don't know how to do it, do some research so you can help your child.
7.  Attend the school functions and show excitement about it so your child can know that their education is important to you.
8.  If your child gets suspended at school please do NOT let them go home and watch TV and play video games.  A day on suspension should be far worse than a day at school!  I will never forget my brother being suspended for 2 days and how he became a slave around our house!  Just seeing him miserable inspired me to never get myself in trouble!
9.  Love your child.

I am sure there are million more things I could add to this list, but that's all for now!  What do you feel is the best thing a parent can do to support education?

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