Today’s post, “What Your Child Doesn’t Tell You about School”, is the seventh post in a ten-day series to help you go Back-to-School in peace! Be sure to read all of the posts in this series and enter the final, BONUS giveaway for this series – 3 Gifts for 1 Winner!
Congrats to Anita A. for winning the personalized Back-to-School labels or bag tag from Country Huddle!
One of the wonderful advantages of living in America is our freedom on choice on schooling options. There are primarily three main options – public school, private school, and homeschool – and within each of those options there are advantages and disadvantages to each as is with anything in life.
My experience as a teacher is in public schools, so today’s post comes from my observations there. This by no means suggests that every school or classroom is the same. This is just one observation I made over the years.
Children, generally, do not tell their parents everything about school.
Let me explain.
Regardless of how you look at it, as an advantage or disadvantage, in a public school classroom there are students with a variety of different needs – academic needs, emotional needs, physical needs – you name it and there is a child who needs it.
The teacher’s dilemma is serving, and hopefully meeting as best as possible, all of the children’s needs. However, realistically this is an impossible feat every day of the week. Not because the school or teacher does not want desperately to meet every child’s needs every day, but if you think of it in terms of real-life, none of us can meet anyone’s needs every, single day, and none of us get our needs met every single day (as far as our needs from other people). God is the only one who can meet all of our needs every day.
One day in my fourth grade classroom I had a student who had many needs on many different levels. She had an extreme outburst in the classroom filled with hostility and curse words. It was so disturbing that I had to remove all of the other 26 students from the classroom and leave her there with the counselor. The rest of the class and I walked around the school until they could remove the student from my room.
As a teacher I have dealt with my fair share of outbursts. I have almost been punched. I have been cursed at numerous times. And I have been scared. As a side note, too, I have always taught in suburban neighborhoods in schools you expect in mainstream America. I have never taught in the inner-city or environments such as that. I only mention that to tell you that the incidences I experienced as a teacher, over the 14 years that I taught, occur in, I would say, every school in America.
The next day after the incident in my fourth grade classroom I asked one of my students if she talked to her parents about what had happened the day before at school. To my surprise she said no.
Now, I went home feeling distraught that day, so I couldn’t believe that this student didn’t go home feeling the same way and want to talk to her parents about it.
Weeks after that day I expected to get phone calls and emails from parents about exactly what happened, but there were none. The parents never knew.
As a parent, I would want to know about incidences such as these not so that I could be noisy or yank my child out of the classroom or pitch-a-fit in the office, but so that I could talk to my child about what she saw and heard to make sure that she is processing the incident appropriately and according to God’s Word.
To find out what your child doesn’t tell you about school, it is important for you as a parent to:
1. Be involved.
It is not always possible to volunteer in the classroom or at the school often. However, you can be involved in other ways by attending conferences, open houses, special programs, and outside of school activities. Try to know the families that your child goes to school with as best as possible. Also, get to know your child’s teacher by encouraging her and lifting her up.
2. Ask your child open-ended questions.
Most children get the standard, “How was your day today, dear?” question when they get home from school. But asking some open-ended questions where your child has to really think and explain his day gives you a lot of information about the events of the day and the dynamics in the classroom. Try asking these questions instead:
- What exciting happened at school today?
- Who did you play with today?
- Who do you like playing with best in your classroom? Why?
- What new did you learn today?
- Were there any changes in your usual schedule today at school? If so, what were they?
- What exciting happened in the cafeteria, gym, playground, or bus?
- What do you like best about your classroom, teacher, school? What do you like the least?
By knowing the events of your child’s day, you are better prepared as a parent to communicate with her and give her the security she will need as she grows and faces more complex issues.
This is the final giveaway for our series, and it’s a BONUS! Three giveaway gifts for one reader!
Enter to win a:
Personalized correspondence set from Paper Chick Boutique! Great to use for notes to the teacher and to send in lunch money, etc.!
Personalized chore chart from The Barber Shoppe! A fun way to get back into the routine of school!
A fabulous eBook for those busy nights – 20 Minute Meals: Giving Weary Chefs Grace While Keeping Families Healthy by Leigh Ann Dutton!
Be sure to read the other posts in this 10-day series!
Day 1: The Night Before Party
Day 7: What Your Child Doesn’t Tell You about School
Day 8: What Your Child’s Teacher Doesn’t Tell You
Day 9: Being Christian in Today’s Public Schools
Day 10: Your Child’s Education is Your Responsibility
What are your suggestions for encouraging authentic communication between you and your child about school?
Today I’m linked up with: Women Living Well