Educators launch every school year focused on helping their students start fast.
It’s natural, of course: Students who get focused on goals, study as they should, communicate with teachers, and participate in activities and athletics will succeed. That’s only half of the quick start that educators seek, however.
We need parents to understand the vital role they play as our partners. In District 218, that means attending Meet the Teacher Night on Thursday, August 30 and getting to know the professionals who will work with their sons and daughters.
The event allows parents to follow an abbreviated form of their student’s academic schedule. They see each teacher and learn academic expectations and the curricula. Parents can get all their questions answered, too.
“There is not a better way than a face to face dialogue with a teacher and parent to establish clear lines of communication and student learning expectations,” said Josh Barron, principal at Shepard High School.
Indeed, whenever parents participate in their children’s lives – sports, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, swim lessons, anything we could name – they convey a clear message that it’s important. Education should top that list.
"When a student knows that his parents and teachers are communicating and have built a trusting relationship, it leaves the student no choice but to rise to the level of expectations that has been set for them,” said John Hallberg, the principal
at Richards High School.
Once students start high school, some parents believe they don’t need to stay as
involved academically. In fact, as much as any time in a student’s life, teenagers need to understand that mom and dad value education.
“Any teacher will tell you they just want a parent who will provide a supportive home environment that demands students study and complete their homework. Any parent will tell you they just want a teacher who truly cares about the individual needs of their son or daughter,” Hallberg said.
Participating actively in school sends a clear message to children. Education works like every other value (whether religion, morals, or choosing a Chicago baseball team to support): If it’s important to parents, it will be important to children.