Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back To School Blues

What a fantastic summer it has been for our family which included vacations, camps, and a little hard work to keep those academic juices flowing! But now school has either began or is about to begin after Labor Day depending on where you live in the United States. Although I treasure the time when my children are on their way back to school to learn new things, participate in new adventures, and socialize with their friends, starting a new school year can be a daunting and stressful time for parents.

Any parent who wants the best for their child is usually involved as much as they possibly can be in their academic development. This means partnering with the teacher to create a successful year in academic achievement, being a part of school activities (PTA, curriculum nights, etc.), and encouraging your children to experience new challenges such as science fairs and contests to name a few. But what if your child's teacher is unapproachable or if the way your child learns is not how the majority of the class learns? What if your child has a problem with a classroom bully? Or, what if the administration is not supportive of new ideas that could benefit the school as a whole?

Now, these possible challenges have not yet impacted our family, but in speaking with other parents, they do exist and have been a reality for some.

I personally believe that their are great teachers in classrooms across America but all teaching styles are not suitable for all children. Because I know the needs of my children, I am aware what kind of personality and disposition a teacher needs to have that will be conducive to my children's learning experience. If there were a situation where my child's teacher is not good for him or her, I would have no problem moving him to a class with an instructor that would be better for him.

In the instance of dealing with a classroom bully, document the incident, schedule a meeting with the teacher, parents of the bully, and the principal to resolve the issue and discuss consequences. If nothing changes, make a move to the board of education for that county and meet with the superintendent of the school system.

In reference to a closed administration, if it does not have an open door policy with suggestions that can be voted on or taken seriously, then maybe that environment is not good for you and seek other options and places where your child can receive the kind of education that will make him or her successful. Whether those options are switching from public to private school or vice versa, no school is perfect but there are happy mediums out there. Don't be afraid to explore.

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