Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5 Tips: How To Piss Your Child's Teacher Off

Parenting.com recently posted an article that shared some pet peeves that teachers have. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Not knowing the school's discipline policies, and then getting upset if they're different from yours.

2. Pressuring your child not to mess up or misplace her clothes.

3. Trying to discuss a problem during dropoff or pick-up.

4. Being late for Circle Time. a crucial part of the routine, and if your child misses it, she might feel a little lost, especially if she's the only one who isn't clued in.

I thought this article was well written, and offered valuable insights for parents. However….I would like to keep it all the way….funky dunky real. If I could have written the article, I would have titled it “5 Surefire Ways To Piss Your Child’s Teacher Off.” Here they are:

1. Don’t show up for scheduled conferences…especially the ones that they kindly scheduled before or after school…you know…the time that they have to spend with their own children.

2. Don’t ever (I mean NEVER) check their homework.

3. Do their homework for them so that they can get 100%. Even though their teacher knows that they cannot read or write but somehow managed to use the word “expeditiously" correctly.

4. Always curse at them when they call to let you know that your cutie pie was rude and/or disrespectful to staff.

5. And of course….Always buy the light up and sparkly sneakers for your child…especially if they have been diagnosed with ADHD.

So, of course you know me well enough by now to understand that I am being extremely sarcastic and tongue in cheek about this issue. However, I do want to stress that setting the framework for a successful parent/teacher relationship has to start at the beginning of the year. One of the best things that parents can do is to make themselves known to the teacher. What does that mean, g? Well, it means...show up for the open house at the start of the year so that the teacher can put a face with the name. It’s sad to say, but there are many teachers who go through the whole year and never meet certain parents! Of course, we are all busy, and most of us don’t have the ability to be the coveted room-mom. But consistent communication between home and school is critically important for academic success. So if you want a great 2011-2012 school year, follow these tips:

1. Do meet the teacher at the start of the year, and let them know that you are invested in your child’s academic success.

2. Do establish a set homework time each afternoon/ evening to discuss and review assigned work. Let the teacher know if some of the work is a bit over your head because they willingly set up tutorial time to give individual assistance.

3. Do ask for help as soon as possible if you suspect that your son or daughter is having significant difficulty comprehending age and grade appropriate concepts. Your school system has a wealth of resources available to you and your child and early intervention is key!

4. Do make sure that your child uses a planner to document homework and project assignments. Also make sure to sign the planner each day so that the teacher knows that you are aware of daily expectations. (It’s also a great way to chart behavior concerns) Do

5. Do start your child’s academic day with a belly filling breakfast. Kids learn best when they are well rested and fed. If you are experiencing a financial hardship, you may find that your family qualifies for free and reduced school meals. It’s a wonderful program available to families. Also, School Social Workers are a fabulous resource to families, as they can link you up with helpful community programs that may ease financial hardships.

Here's To A Happy & Productive School Year,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

What Would You Do?

Here in the state of Georgia, most kids have traded in their swimsuits for backpacks and new sneakers because it is back-to-school time. Despite this reminder that the summer has officially come to an end, I am still vacuuming sand from the carpet in my car. See, my family spent most of the summer lounging and playing on various beaches. As a non-swimmer (Yes, I know it’s pathetic), I have always been extremely…I mean ├╝ber paranoid of my children swimming out of my reach in the ocean. That is why the story of Charles Ostrander immediately caught my attention.

Charles, who goes by Dale, was visiting Long Beach, Washington with a church group a few days ago. Somehow he got caught in a very strong tide. Upon hearing his cries for help, a 12-year-old girl named Nicole Kissel defied her father’s objections and immediately paddled out to Dale who struggled to stay afloat. She managed to reach him, and helped him onto her boogie board. Reportedly, the two youths paddled in an attempt to reach shore. The water was extremely rough, and Nicole remembers thinking "We're going to die. I can't die like this!”

A large wave knocked them both off. Although Nicole successfully climbed back on her board, Dale disappeared into the violent waters. Nicole eventually made it back to shore, but it took some time before rescue workers found Dale’s lifeless body about two feet below the surface of the water. CPR was immediately commenced, but Dale was lifeless. As imagined, his family braced themselves for the worst. But, his pulse returned once he reached the hospital, and a day later Dale opened his eyes. He soon uttered a few words to his family. Then, again later when Nicole visited him, he spoke. According to news reports, Nicole stated that Dale was having difficulty focusing his eyes for most of the 15-minute reunion. But as she left, he made direct eye contact for the first time and said, "Thank you."

No doubt, Dale has a long recovery ahead of him, as he was underwater and without oxygen for approximately 15 minutes. I wish him the speediest recovery, and given how he has defied the expected…he most definitely has the fighter spirit needed to do so.

Nicole’s actions were so completely selfless and heroic! She acted without hesitation because she saw that someone needed help. She can serve as an inspiration to those of us who stand in the background when we witness something that we know is wrong, or when we know that someone is in harm’s way. Here is clip from the popular TV show titled What Would You Do. This particular segment shows various scenarios in which a pedophile attempts to lure away a 10-year-old girl. Do you think all the adults present intervened and reported the attempted abduction? Watch and see…..then ask yourself “What would I do?”

P.S….. I often role play with my kids and pretend to be the “tricky adult.” But, I watched this video with them so they could see someone other than mommy or daddy being the “stranger” that tries to lure them. Their reaction was very moving to me. They were fixated on the characters that tried to harm the young girl because it made it very real to them. The discussion that we had after viewing the video was so very instructional and important. So, I strongly urge you to share this with your school-aged child. You might be surprised by their definition of the word stranger.

An open and honest blog about what matters most...CHILDREN AND FAMILIES!!!