Focus on successes, not failures
For every 'critique', let's try to provide three compliments. We can always find things that need improvement; when we do need to comment on them, then find a positive way to talk about them with your child.
Make direct contact with the school
Try to make early and positive contact with your child's teacher. We encourage you to visit the school or phone your child's teacher with any questions or concerns.
Set the bar high!
Encourage your child to always do their best! This does not mean "perfect", and learning is not the same as high grades. Children, like adults, need the freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them.
First things First
Show your child, by example, that learning is a priority. Your attitude toward school attendance, education and involvement in the school makes a strong and lasting impression on your child.
Always, show a keen interest
Make school an item for discussion every day! Rather than, "what did you do today?", good leading questions include:
w What questions did you ask today?
w Did you have a good laugh today?
w What confused you today in school?
Further, read, read, read! Have your child read aloud to you and/or read to and with your child from a variety of materials.
Facilitate a learning environment in your home
Set up an area for homework away from noise and distractions. Post a family calendar that schedules school project deadlines, after-school activities, and report card dates.
They can't learn if they don't attend
Some kinds of absences are unavoidable, but taking students out of school unnecessarily is disruptive for learning. Work hard to arrange for medical appointments outside of school time.
Our schools are your schools. Attend school activities such as open houses, parent/teacher interviews and PTA meetings. When your children see you involved, they will also see education as a high priority. Interpreters are available for parent interviews.
There will be times when you will have a concern related to the school. It is perfectly legitimate for you to contact the school and have your issues addressed. Here are several points to consider when problems arise.
What kind of problem is it?
As best you can, get the facts: who, what, when, and how. Remember,
"we promise not to believe everything that your child says about you if you promise not to believe everything your child says about us!"
Come forward with possible solutions:
This can help in setting a positive tone indicating you want to work in partnership with the school to resolve the problem.
Communicate with the appropriate person:
If the issue is with the classroom teacher, you need to communicate with this person before going to the school principal or Board Office (unless it is a potential child abuse issue)
Be positive, we want to find solutions:
We find that we are able to find solutions much faster when all the people involved approach the issue positively.
Follow the chain of command:
If you and the teacher are unable to resolve the problem, you can certainly contact the employee's supervisor; in our organization, the progression would be: teacher, principal, superintendent, school board.