Supportive Parents Supporting Schools Part 2 – Consistently Knowing What to Expect

Your child’s teachers are working every day to create a consistent environment so all of their students, including your child can succeed. But as school budgets get cut and class sizes get larger teachers are hard pressed to give as much individual attention to children as they would like. Your child’s teacher needs a partner in your child’s education and that partner is you!

I am a parent as well as a teacher. When my children go to school I want them to be in an environment where they can learn and be able to succeed. I will help my child succeed every time, but I have to know what the teacher expects. I am sure you are the same way. So how do you know what your teacher expects?

Knowing Teacher’s Expectations

Teachers are always trying to communicate their expectation effectively. With technology at everyone’s fingertips communication is even easier.

Teachers use a class syllabus, online grade books, a class website, an online calendar, some teachers even post their lesson plans online.

Class Syllabus

Many teachers will send home a paper syllabus with their expectations. Not only with their classroom rules, but it will outline major test and assignments. This is the least amount of technology use for you, but with MS Publisher and Apple’s Pages program these once boring piece of information are becoming more useful for parents.

Online Grade Book

Just about every school uses an online grade book. Parents can log in and see exactly what grades their child has at anytime of the year. No more waiting until midterm or the end of the grading period.

Class Website

For my band class, I have a website that is hosted by Wikispaces. More teachers are using websites each year. Some schools require website from all their teachers. Important dates, project materials, even classroom forms are uploaded to the website to help students and parents.

Online Calendar and Lesson Plans

More teachers have been using the Google Calendar App since it is a free public calendar that can be used. Many teachers will load the assignments on to their calendar and still have their students copy the dates into their daily planners.

Even lesson plans posted online can show students and parents exactly what will be taught throughout the week. Some online grade books come with the ability to show lesson plans, other teachers post them to their websites.

What You Can Do

The unfortunate thing is that many times the students will still act like they had no idea an assignment was due. That is where the teachers need your help as a parent. They need a partner.

When your child brings home their syllabus, or you check the teacher’s website, lesson plans or online calendar take out your personal calendar and mark those important dates like big test and projects.

That way when you won’t be running to Walmart at 11:00 PM the day before your child’s history project is due. You can work the glue and glitter into your normal shopping list. Check every few weeks.

The most successful students in my class are successful because their parents care about what my grade book, online calendar, and website says. This helps you stay on top of your child’s progress.

Teachers have about 40-60 minutes a day to teach a class where your child could be 1 of 30 students. To ensure that your child becomes a successful student, become a supporting pillar in your child’s education and use the time when your child is your 1 of 1 and help support the teacher’s expectations consistently.

Published on: May 21, 2013
About the Author
Photo of B.C. Tozer
A veteran educator and musician, B.C. Tozer is also an author. His new book, The Four C's of Successful Teaching: Consistency, Contingency, Compassion and Courage, empowers readers to take control of their teaching situation, take ownership of their actions and align the results with success for themselves, for the community and their students.
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