SC Blog

Techniques for a Strong Parent | Teacher Relationship

Lower School Perspective
Parents and Teachers are partners in education. Working together will provide children with successful learning environments in and outside the classroom.
About what your child said happened . . .
There are more than two sides to every story. Please make sure to acknowledge the educator’s position, while making sure of a few things:
a) make the teacher aware of what your child has communicated to you
b) allow teachers time to examine the matter closely
c) listen openly when hearing of your child’s involvement/responsibility
Kids can exaggerate. They can also mishear and misunderstand what has been said. Sometimes the exaggeration isn’t intentional. However, one should never underestimate the power of self-preservation on a child’s version of what happened.
About tests . . .
Tests provide educators with an assessment of a student's current skill level in a specific area. They are not the end-all, be-all of education, nor should your child let their grade on these tests identify them. They are a snapshot of academic performance, no more, no less. Success should not signal a reason to ease off studying and consider set-backs an indication to change study habits. It's important to remind your child to slow down. Often, we find that children equate knowledge with how fast they complete the test. Remember to encourage your child to take their time to check every answer and show their work.
About the same old routines . . .
For children to learn personal responsibility and cooperation they NEED to be in an environment with clearly defined boundaries and consistent expectations. At the end of the day, adults are exhausted from working and life in general and can be lax when it comes to routines. Children do best when they know what to expect and what is expected of them both at school and at home.
The balance between Fly-By and Helicopter Parent
Parents, your children benefit if they are taught to be more independent. When they are little, it can be a welcomed opportunity to allow your children to dress themselves and pack their back packs for school. If a child expects everything to be done for them, it can have a negative impact in the classroom. Your child is capable of even more than you can imagine. Try to let them do as much as possible independently according to what is reasonable for their age and set your expectations high. Children who habitually have things done for them struggle with self-esteem and responsibility.
About rewards and punishments . . .
Rewards and punishments are often tricky for parents and schools to negotiate. It’s hard for parents to see their kids overlooked when it comes to prize-giving or leadership positions, or to see them in the wrong. This time of life is about building life-long resilience, not about getting awards. We want to build work ethic, teach them to cope with disappointment, and praise the effort not the result. Let your child experience the consequence of their own mistakes. As a parent, it can be heart-wrenching to see your child struggle. But don’t try to get your kids out of a punishment or make excuses for them. Both struggle and failure are necessary to teach resilience. They allow a child to grow and to understand and appreciate their successes and achievements. Kids need to know they can produce the outcomes they want.
About that schedule . . .
Recognize factors that take a toll on students' classroom performance:
• Consider the possible negative effects of long hours at after-school jobs or in extracurricular activities. Work with your children to help them maintain a balance between school responsibilities and outside commitments.
• Keep your child organized. That means helping teachers with the paper chase. Have your child empty his backpack every day as part of a regular after-school routine. Set up a special place, such as a box in the kitchen, where he can put the day's papers, and provide another spot, such as a desk drawer, for old assignments that you want to save. A bright-colored folder is a good idea for toting homework -- and signed papers -- to and from school. And always keep plenty of school supplies on hand.
About reading every day . . .
Raise a good reader. Even if your child isn’t a natural-born bookworm, you can inspire kids to love literature. Keep reading together, even if your child can breeze through a book on his own. Reading aloud can expand their vocabulary, and your chats about the book will help your children understand and appreciate learning new things. But you might want to shelve books that seem way over his/her heads. Though it’s tempting to push literary limits, the goal is understanding and enjoyment. Also, try audio-books as another tool to inspire love of reading. They’re a terrific way to engage kids in a good yarn.
About how he/she is doing . . .
Teachers want to encourage students to show kindness, care and consideration for those around them – to be a better person as they grow up. Does he interact well with his friends? Is she a good team player? How does he perform when working with his friends on projects? Does she share her thoughts with others, as well as listen to and accept different perspectives? When faced with a conflict, how does he react and is he able to resolve arguments? The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively are important skills your child will need for the future, so find out from their teachers how you can open the door to develop communication skills early.
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Lower School: 11052 Independence Avenue
Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.