Michael Thompson is one of my favorite educators. He advises teachers to ask their students’ parents what they hope for their child in the future. I have started asking this question when I have a chance, because it allows me to learn a lot about my students and their parents. Nearly every parent I have asked says they want their child to be happy, self-sufficient, well-educated, in a successful career that they enjoy, and healthy. I am hopeful that I can support these goals by holding high expectations of my students.
When I give a homework assignment or long-term project, I am teaching my student skills she will need for success in higher education or on the job. She learns to work independently, manage her time, stay organized, and rely on all of her resources (books, notes, teacher, etc.). She is responsible for thoroughly completing the assignment and turning it in on time. If I allow her to make excuses for why she did not complete it or if parents make excuses, then I am not supporting educational and career goals.
In order to be healthy, kids need to learn to eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and lead a balanced life. As their teacher, I encourage these things and try to model them, but much depends on parents monitoring their child’s activities. One of the biggest issues for current students is the amount of screen time they spend each day playing video games, text messaging, watching television, social networking, etc. This not only affects daily activity but also keeps them up too late at night which affects learning and memory.
Parents and teachers have to work together to help kids grow up to be productive and happy. Parents can support teachers by allowing their children to accept responsibility for their actions. Teachers can support parents by holding high, but reasonable, expectations for their students. Parents and teachers have to form a partnership of support and encouragement.