This past week most of the children in our area have returned to school to begin another year of academic rigor in preparation for taking those dreaded tests in high school that complete the cycle enabling them to receive their diploma. The Class of 2016 is beginning their final year and the Class of 2029 in enjoying their first week in Kindergarten. By the time the 2029 kids are graduating, the 2016 graduates will be sending their children off to Kindergarten.
This time of year means that we must be extra alert as the children are walking to and from their campuses and they don’t always watch where they are going. Before we judge them too harshly, our parents were complaining about our behaviors, and not looking where we were walking.
The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is important to remember this time of year. We all have a stake in the game when it comes to education. Kids who learn to read at grade level by the third grade have a far better chance of succeeding than those children who don’t. One mid-western state predicts their prison population needs 20 years into the future based upon reading levels in the second graders of that state’s schools.
The parents of school children have an obligation to their kids and to the schools. Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest. Send your child to school with the proper supplies. Have your child adhere to dress codes. Check their homework and make sure it gets into the backpack/notebook. Don’t do their homework for them. Teachers need to see what the child understands and what they do not understand. Be connected with your child’s school through meetings, school papers, on-line information.
When your child experiences a failure at school use that experience to teach them how they could have done a better job. Help them figure out another method. Teach your child to follow the rules and accept the authority of the teacher/administration. Rules and regulations/policy are necessary for good reasons.
Expect your child to do their best and whatever their best is parents must accept that. Not everyone is an A+ student - most kids are average. If your child is sick, keep them home. If they are well send them to school and don’t keep them out for frivolous reasons. Read with them or to them every night. Be a parent not a friend. Remind them of the need for a good education.
Those of us without children in the schools have an obligation. This past month I have been reminding the kids at my church and others in my life that when they have a fundraiser they are to be sure to call me to allow me the opportunity to support them in their academic endeavors. I want them to know I am in their corner.
Donate directly to the school in your area. Oakhurst Elementary has a Bike Buddy Program. Offer to buy one of the bikes. Other schools have similar programs so call and offer support. Buy a gross of pencils or a case of copy paper. Drop a check off for supplies that are needed at the principal’s office. If you are waiting to be asked by the principal then consider yourself asked.
When I served as a middle school principal or as a classroom teacher, I knew the value of verbal support but I also saw the tremendous value of the additional financial support.
Our area teacher’s pay is much less than they could make in the larger districts. The trade- off for many are the smaller campuses and lifestyle afforded here in our area.
However, the teachers still must balance their own budgets and that means that while they often spend out of their own pockets their pockets aren’t very deep. Help support our schools. You were able to read this so now you can thank a teacher.