Monday, September 19, 2016

Advocating 1st Quarter

For many families, the first quarter of school will wind up soon. Now is an excellent time to have an in-dept check in with teachers. If things are going great, no problem. At least, you will know there's nothing to worry about. If things are going poorly, it's better to know sooner than later. Many times schools encourage parents to wait until fall parent teacher conferences to "give the process time." The longer I have been around advocating, the more opposed I become of this approach.

Here are a few reasons.

  • Fall conferences are often as late as mid November. There is no way to "get the semester back" that late in the game.
  • Sometimes, a teacher unleashes her frustration with a child, when the parents come for conference. It is very emotional for everyone. Often, this causes hard feelings between parent and teacher for the duration of the term.
  • A great deal of time has be lost. Some teachers do not contact parents before conference unless there are extreme behaviors. This means, parents must take the innitiative. Next week's post will share some possible ways to initiate this communication.
  • A child who struggles with academics, attention or behavior can lose so much ground quickly. Often, once the habits and structure is lost, it is so hard to get back on track. It is much easier (though you may be viewed as a helicopter parent) to address these before things go awry.

I remember my mother telling me, "Learn as much as you can at school today. You can never get that day back." In a similar way, stay on top of the advocating process. The sooner things in the classroom are working for your child, the faster he will progress toward his goals.