School and education is a huge emphasis in our home. Having taught for over 10 years in the public school system, I value the importance of education and hold my own child to high standards when it comes to his academics. Throughout my years of teaching, I have watched the standards and expectations become more and more rigorous. I’ve also watched parents struggle with how they can help their children rise to these new heights. In this series, 5 Ways to Organize Your Student For Success, you’ll find tricks and tips created by me, an educator and mom, to help parents and students stay focused and on top of the ever-changing world of education.
In Part One of 5 Way to Organize Your Student For Success, I talked about the first tip to creating success for your child in school. Getting to know your child’s teacher is the first step in building a solid relationship with them. Having a strong home/school relationship is imperative to seeing success in your student’s achievement. I’ve witnessed this with students in my classroom, as well as with my own son. Read Part One to find out ways you can get to know your child’s teacher and get them started on their path to success.
5 Ways to Organize Your Student For Success
- Become familiar with your child’s classroom procedures and policies
Knowing how your child’s teacher/teachers run their classroom is the next important step in organizing your student for success. As a teacher, I can tell you that children feed off of consistency and knowing what is coming next. This is why having classroom procedures and policies are so important. I always had a daily routine in my classroom primarily because of my own sanity, but I promise you without a schedule the students would literally be bouncing off the walls. In addition, having clear classroom policies allowed students to know what to expect from me at all times. If homework was forgotten or a planner wasn’t signed, the students knew what the consequence was without me ever having to raise my voice or be mean.
As a parent, why would you want to know this routine, and more importantly, how does this help organize your student for success? It’s simple. When you know how your child’s classroom is organized and the policies set forth for them, you know the expectations being placed on your child and how to help them achieve to that level. Let me elaborate a little. Every morning, when students made their way into my classroom, the first thing they did was pull out their homework from the night before along with their daily planners. They would leave the homework on their desks and then head over to the board to write down the agenda for the day inside their daily planners. As the teacher, I would write down what we were doing that day in class, any homework, and any upcoming tests or events happening within the week. One of my classroom policies was that parents were expected to sign the planner each night for their child. My goal in doing this was that students were forced to show their parents the planner each evening and that parents would be able to know exactly what was going on in our classroom each day.
As a parent who knows the classroom procedures and policies, you would know exactly where to look each night to see what is happening within the classroom and if there were any homework or studying needing to be done for that evening. You can then have your child work on these assignments so they are prepared for the next day. It would be my hope as the teacher that someone at home would be able to look over the homework and provide assistance in any way they could. If assistance wasn’t able to be provided, or if the parent clearly saw that the student was still struggling, a note in the planner or an email to the teacher would be recommended so that he or she could help support the student in school the next day. Do you see how this home/school relationship works? Now the teacher and parent are both working together to help the student achieve to their highest potential and identifying any barriers getting in the way.
As children move into middle and high school, I’ve noticed that the level of involvement tends to weaken. A few contributors to this lessening of involvement, in my opinion, would be wanting to give your child some independence and freedom as they grow, along with the fact that keeping up with your student’s 7 – 8 teachers and their classrooms is hard. Listen, I get it. I taught middle school and I have a high schooler so I’ve been there, done that and am currently still doing some of it! That’s why this tip is so important. Understanding your child’s classroom procedures and policies allows you to know exactly where to go to look for assignments and upcoming tests or events. With 7 or 8 teachers in the upper levels of school, you don’t have time to go searching every single day for what your child is doing in school. Formalizing yourself with these procedures and policies will keep you up-to-date on your student without losing all your hair in the process 🙂
Now that I’ve convinced you of the importance of knowing your child’s classroom procedures and policies, I’m sure you’re wondering where you find all this information from. All of this information should be thoroughly discussed at Open House or Meet The Teacher Day. In addition, students should come home during the first few days of school with handouts on classroom policies and procedures. This is the norm from elementary all the way through to high school. Zach came home with syllabi for all his classes during the first week of school. I will warn you, with technology on the rise, some syllabi needed to be accessed digitally so be aware of this. If you do not have any information by the end of the first week of school, I would start by checking your child’s backpack. Sometimes things get lost in there or they simply forgot to give you the papers. If you still can’t find it, I would contact the teacher by email. They should easily be able to provide you with their classroom procedures and policies. I can tell you as a teacher that’s it been mandatory at every single school I’ve worked at to provide this information about my classroom to parents.
And there you have it. Part Two of 5 Ways to Organize Your Student For Success is to formalize yourself with your child’s classroom procedures and policies. Knowing the expectations being placed on your child each day at schools helps you continue that learning and growing at home. It also helps you identify areas where your child may be struggling or even areas where they need a more challenging curriculum. I hope you found this helpful and I look forward to continuing on this journey in Part Three of 5 Ways to Organize Your Student For Success next week.
Click here if you missed, Part One of 5 Ways to Organize Your Student for Success. Part 3 | Conclusion