When parents and teachers work together to achieve the same goal — the education of the student — success is much easier to achieve. It wasn’t always this way, of course. Not too long ago, parents would send their kids off to school, assuming their job was done. They thought that once their children were in class, it was the teacher’s job — and his/her job alone — to provide their education.
Today, we know better. We understand that while teachers bear the greatest responsibility in the education of children, parents, too, must work with their kids at home to supplement and support their learning.
So, what do teachers wish parents would do to help encourage children’s learning? Here are a few suggestions:
- Carve out a quiet time to talk about school and work on homework. This is a big one. Love it or loathe it, homework is a major part of the curriculum. Children need to not only complete homework on time but also fully understand it. That means parents must make kids sit down and do it. Extracurricular activities, such as athletics and the arts, should always take a back seat to homework.
- Remove distractions. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. Children need to concentrate in order to complete their homework. Distractions such as television, smartphones and other electronic devices inevitably get in the way. The kitchen table is often a good place to sit down and do homework. Plus, it’s often within sight of other rooms where Mom and Dad are likely to be, so they can keep an eye on the kids and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
- Support your kids’ teachers. This seems like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said. If your child’s teacher asks you to provide something for a project, please try to do so. If he/she asks you to help with your child’s homework for a particular subject, help as much as you can. Working as a partner with teachers will only help improve your children’s chances for success.
- If you have an issue or question, schedule a meeting. Sometimes parents may have a question or problem with an assignment or other issue relating to their child’s education. Rather than trying to deal with it via email or over the phone, it’s a good idea to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the teacher to discuss it. In this case, it’s best to leave the child at home so you and his/her teacher can have a frank and open discussion about the issue to resolve it.
Here at Boys Town, our teachers work with our Family-Teachers — our campus equivalent of parents — to ensure the best possible education of our students. We find that this approach provides the greatest chance for success for our students, which is, of course, the ultimate goal of any educational institution.