Parents as Partners

At my school (and elsewhere), we ask parents to be our partners in education. We know that parents are their children’s first teachers–a critical and crucial role parents hold.

I would like to offer some tips for parents for helping your child to succeed in school.

1. Please stay in contact with the teacher and your child.

Read the newsletters, visit the teacher’s website, and check your child’s planner. But also make sure to give as much attention to your child about his or her schoolwork. Ask about the school day. Check over homework.

2. Supervise homework and study time.

Certainly, offer to HELP your child with his or her schoolwork. Please do not do the work for them. We can very easily tell when a parent did the work as opposed to the child. It does not help your child because the in-class assessments are what really matter. And if your child has not had the homework practice, he or she will be less likely to pass the in-class assessment. 

3. Listen to the teacher.

When the teacher is trying to explain to you why a punishment was doled out, please do not try to turn it around on the teacher. Make your child face the consequences of his or her actions, complete the punishment, and MOVE ON!

4. Please do not make excuses for your child.

How many times have teachers heard that the student’s printer ran out of ink? Countless times. And who comes to save the day by running the freshly-printed report to school at the end of the day? Mom. If your kid didn’t do the homework, don’t blame it on yourself, or the printer’s lack of ink, or the family dog. Again, let your child face the consequences and accept the punishment. Quit making excuses for your child and his or her behavior.

5. Volunteer in the classroom.

If you ever want to really appreciate a teacher, forget the Starbuck’s gift cards and scented candles. Spend a day in the classroom instead. Or even better, volunteer to chaperone a field trip. Only then will you truly appreciate the work the teacher does. You will marvel at how she can effortlessly corral 25 students through a crowded museum. You’ll be amazed at the work the teacher does in a classroom of 30 students of varying abilities. You’ll be astonished at the demands placed upon the teacher to make sure every child succeeds. The best appreciation you can give to that teacher is letting her know that you don’t know how she does it all.


What do you think of my list?

I’m sure there are more pieces of advice to add to this list.

Add yours in the comments below.


3 thoughts on “Parents as Partners

  1. I believe strongly in parent teacher cooperation, but I also think that there are a significant number of students who display chronic homework problems, and for them, joint efforts to get the child to comply do not work. Perhaps, they work for some kids, but if they do, you know it and things turn out fine in a short period of time. For children who are persistently homework non-compliant and non-responsive to standard approaches, we need a different model based on an understanding of what actually happens to the child in the face of continued consequences that do not work. I discuss this in my book, The Homework Trap: How to Keep the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. There is more information about my model on my website, along with links to articles that I have written.

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ll have to look into your website and book! I agree that we do need to work on revamping homework. I look forward to looking into your book and approaches more closely.

  2. I used to volunteer as a field-trip helper. Me and this ‘Nam vet would flip a coin for point or drag. We usually got the ‘worst’ six boys. ت. We made them ‘form twos’ and march. The boys loved us. They liked being ‘commanded’ and the teachers loved it too. We never lost a kid.
    I helped LEP kids of many nations learn English too.
    Teaching is a HARD job. It’s quite true you don’t know how hard until you help out a little.

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