Have you ever considered that a child’s school day is almost as long as an adult’s work day? If you haven’t, think about your child as a worker bee and his teacher as his direct supervisor.
Since I entered the workforce during the late 1990s, my idea of supervisors is that they actually care about the advancement of their subordinates. I came up at a time when on-the-job training and mentorship in corporate America were synonymous with success. So this is why I am using the work model as a means to understand teacher support.
Like a supervisor in the workplace, teachers are responsible for more than one student. In elementary school, some classes have up to twenty pupils. That is a lot to handle. The teacher, while getting every student to successfully complete lessons the state requires, must find ways to help motivate each child to learn at his or her potential. This is where parents come in.
The first thing we must do, even before our children set foot in a classroom, is to decide that education is important enough for us to be our child’s first teacher. Prepare your child for the classroom in his pre-school years. The next thing we must do is be discerning about our child’s capabilities. It is great to think your little one is perfect but everyone has strengths and weaknesses academically. For example, I’m a pretty good writer and can comprehend almost anything with words but give me the simplest math problem and I panic.
Beyond academics, children must be socially adept. A friend’s child had the opportunity to skip a grade but she and her husband declined because her child, although academically capable, was not socially on par with children his own age. Putting him with older children would have been a challenge.
Then, there are health factors. When your child has any sort of disability you must work even harder to level the educational playing field. That means knowing when it is necessary to schedule teacher conferences and seek additional support via Individualized Education Plans or 504 Plans. Admitting that your child needs help is the first step in achieving long-term educational success.
I know that I wrote about teacher support while discussing tasks that you should accomplished. Teacher support relies on you doing your best to make your child’s educational experience enjoyable. As parents our role is to be a support to teachers by preparing our child for the classroom and by being there to help.
When was the last time you had a conference with your child’s teacher?