by Judy Kent
With today’s technology and the online grading software used by many schools like Academy at the Lakes, there should be no surprises when you see your child’s first report card of the year.
Yet, both students and parents are often anxious when that first report card does arrive.
So, how do we handle and approach these documents that may create cause for celebration or moments of despair?
Here are a few tips to open lines of communication between home and school.
Do not be timid about reaching out to your child’s teachers. I think all educators agree that teaching is a community affair – a joint venture between student, teacher and parent. If you have questions about either comments or grades on the report card, reach out to the teacher and request a conference either in person or by phone.
Although convenient, email may present some pitfalls when it comes to communicating about your child’s progress at school. Use email to set up a time to talk in person or by phone, not as a means to discuss your concerns.
Listen – to both sides.
Discuss your concerns with your child first. Let him share his thoughts with you, but be careful not to pre-judge the situation. Depending on your child’s age, have her join you for the conference. Now, be sure to listen to what the teacher has to say. Sometimes you will be surprised at the different perspectives of a situation. And although we’d like to think our children are always truthful, there is often more to the story than you may hear at home.
Just a snapshot in time.
Remember that one report card is not going to determine your child’s future! Balance your concern with this realization. Help your child set reasonable goals if improvement is needed. Find areas to praise and continue to support your child’s educational journey.
A child’s educational journey should be filled with joy and wonder. It is a journey with hills and valleys, but one that will be successfully navigated with the support and encouragement of all involved – student, teachers and parents!