I was sitting on a plane recently next to a lady talking on the phone to her child asking him if he had completed all his homework. Being duly impressed by her long-distance attempt to monitor her child’s school work, we subsequently engaged in an interesting discussion about the role of the parent in a child’s education.
How far should a parent actually go to monitor a child’s progress in school? Is there an age at which you throw up your hands and just say,”I’m done! Let them figure it out on their own.” ? I believe that we are forgetting that they are CHILDREN, no matter how tall they grow or how much facial hair they have to shave each morning. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the educational process is mandatory throughout the first eighteen years of their life.
This pulse-taking requires a firm understanding of the duties and responsibilities of all parties involved in the educational process. So the second question in this Series of 31 Questions is: Because learning is a collaborative effort between student, parent and teacher, will you define the roles you expect each of us to play in my child’s success in this class? Some teachers may already have a written form of this “contract” which they require to be discussed and signed. If you find that this is not the case, use this Collaborative Responsibilities for Student Success worksheet. Print it out and take it to school with you when you talk to your child’s teacher. Add your own items as you, your child, and your child’s teacher discuss the best ways to make your child’s school year the best one yet.
Make copies of the final contract for all three parties and refer to them often with your child throughout the year. Unfulfilled expectations are the shortest path to big disappointments .