When I was going to school, the first week of school was usually reserved for socializing and catching up on what everyone else did over the summer. I think times may have changed a bit since then.
This was the first week back to school for our district and already, even before the first school bell rang, my high schooler has been off and running. She’s been working on finishing her summer assignments in time for the first day of school. During open house, when students usually go to scope out their classrooms and meet their teachers, these students were going up to their teachers to ask questions on projects that they were assigned to work on over the summer. You can already feel their anxiety and exuberance before they even sit down for the first class. While it’s nice to see students excited to get back to work, it’s a bit daunting at the same time to see the kind of pressure some of these kids put themselves through.
Parents of high school students now have a different set of worries. The rules are somewhat different and the role of parents have drastically altered. I don’t ever remember my mom needing to be as involved by the time we were in high school. And while I have always been the laid-back mom who tried to stay out of the way and let the kids work things out on their own as much as possible, I am finding with my youngest daughter that I have to be just a little bit more involved in helping her manage her school work.
While we as parents don’t have to be as ‘hands-on’ with our high school students as when they were in grade school, they still need support and guidance. Here’s a few guidelines that have worked for me.
It’s the first day of school for my girls and they all actually got up on time this morning even though they never really adjusted their sleeping schedule and were still living like vampires up until this weekend. They were actually glad to go back to school, I think. I know they’re looking forward to seeing their friends again.
The only one not too happy this morning is my youngest daughter who is starting middle school. The school she’s going to now is much bigger than her elementary school and it’s a magnet school so the kids that she went to school with since kindergarten won’t be there (except for 2 that we know of). Everything is brand new and she is a little nervous. Well, maybe a lot more nervous.
She is excited about her classes though. She’s finally getting to choose her electives and I think that made her feel more grown up and in control. She’s going to a magnet school with a concentration in the arts so her electives this semester are 3D art media and piano; then she has her usual core classes. I can’t wait to pick her up this afternoon to see how she fared.
While visiting other mom bloggers and seeing how they are coping with the back-to-school experience, I ran acorss these useful back-to-school tips for dealing with your child’s teacher from MomSpark:
- Don’t gossip and don’t go behind the tearcher’s back. Make her your ally, not your enemy.
- Do be open and honest with the teacher. Stay positive, not defensive. Tell her your expectations for your child and that you’re willing to work with her to accomplish your mutual goals.
- Do give the teacher a head’s up on anything major going on in your child’s life ( ie: divorce, a death in the family, etc) with a quick phone call or stopping by before or after school. You would be surprised at how many parents don’t do this!
- Do write quick notes or emails to the teacher. Email is a great way to communicate with teachers.
- Remember to read all notes sent home and sign homework folders/agendas/etc. every night.
- If you have time, volunteer! It might give you a unique perspective into what the teacher is dealing with on a daily basis.
The bottom line is, communicate. Stay in touch with your child’s teachers from day one and don’t wait until parent conference time to meet with them and discuss your child’s needs and goals.