I have been an educator for thirteen years now and I absolutely love getting up every day and going to school. Now, that wasn’t always the case. As a child going through elementary school I struggled with my reading and speech which caused me to be placed in the remedial classes.This made me feel isolated and different from my friends. After elementary school, next came middle school. The dreaded middle school years....now, I hated school even more. I always made good grades but I was the shy, quiet kid that didn’t really fit in. But I have to say that I had some of the best teachers in middle school and here is where I met my favorite teacher of all time. I believe this is also where my love of science developed!
|Study and homework reinforce the|
skills we learn in class.
From here on out I was inspired to become a teacher, thanks to Mr. Fischer. He believed in me and always encouraged me to do my best in everything no matter what anyone said. He gave me the confidence in myself that allowed me to open up and participate more in class. To this day I always think about my 7th grade science class and I try to model my science class and my teaching after Mr. Fischer's.
This week is American Education Week and it is a great time to honor the educators who have made a difference in our lives and to commit ourselves to ensuring that every child gets quality education. The National Education Association has some great ideas for how to celebrate educators this week.
The joys and obstacles of teaching......
I love teaching. Each day is an adventure and you never know what each day might bring! I feel lucky and blessed that I have the opportunity to teach children and that the parents put their trust in me to educate their children. With that said, sometimes the biggest hurdle in education is parent support. What can parents do to support their child’s education? The most important thing I can say is get involved! Research has shown that students with involved parents are more likely to:
• Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
• Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits
• Attend school regularly
• Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school
• Graduate and go on to post-secondary education
So what can you do as a parent? Attend open house and meet your child’s teachers, go to conferences, attend PTO meetings, become a mentor or volunteer at your child’s school. Schools love when parents come to school functions because it shows that they really do care about what is going on in the schools. It also shows your child that you as a parent hold education as a high priority. Parents have the most influence and are the biggest role models for their kids. Show your child that education is important by getting involved!
One of the most powerful things a parent can do to support their child’s education is to study and help their child with homework! Now I know the subject of homework is a touchy one. There is so much controversy over “to give homework or not” and how much homework is too much.
What are the benefits of homework? Homework is the extra practice of a particular skill your child has been working on at school. Now, no one ever has a problem with baseball or football practice, right? Practice helps you get better! That is what homework does…it helps your child get better, the more you practice the better you become. Now I know parents have very busy schedules but making the time to study and share in your child’s homework time really does benefit your child. Most children long for the opportunity to share what they have learned with their parents. I tell my students all the time to go home and share what you learned today with your parents and some kids say, “My mom doesn’t have time or she doesn’t care!” This saddens me because homework time is a great way to bond with your child. There are some great tips to help your child with homework in our previous article, Ending the Homework War.
Believe me, I know sometimes homework time can be a struggle but from personal experience students do benefit and they really love when their parents get involved and take the time to help them study.
How to talk to your child’s teacher
|How do you talk to your|
• Establish a good relationship from the first day. Be in contact with your child’s teacher often and maintain it throughout the year. It’s important to discuss issues face-to-face or over the phone. Email can be misinterpreted too easily.
• Always put the child’s needs first. Explain in detail what you see as the concern and how it’s affecting your child. Be sure to listen to the teacher’s perspective and ask questions if you do not understand any of the information they provide.
• Offer to meet with the teacher to discuss in more detail.
• Ask the teacher what you can do to support his or her educational efforts. Work together to put a plan in place for how the issue can be resolved, including follow-up communication from both the parent and teacher.
• Approach with a smile and a positive attitude … it’s contagious!
Parents and teachers are like a team. All good teams are successful if they work together! Let’s work together to make sure that the children are successful at school and in life. Get involved and show your child that education is a top priority and that with a good, solid education they can go far in life Now, will every day be easy? No, it will not, but keep at it and someday your child will thank you for being so involved in their school lives!
|Inspired to become a teacher|
by her 7th grade science teacher,
Kim Walter now teaches science.
Kim Ryan Walter
Fifth Grade Teacher at Midway Elementary School in Georgia