Work together with students for success. These five tips will guide you to academic achievement together.
by Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM
Share these tips with parents so that they can help you ensure their student’s success.
1. Student preparedness
A good day begins with quality sleep the night before! Students then need to wake up to a calm routine. That includes eating a protein breakfast, taking possession of the day’s materials (school bag, project, lunch, signed permission slips, PE clothes, musical instrument), and arriving at school on time. They need to organize learning tools (textbooks, notebooks, writing utensils), produce completed homework, copy assignments, and establish a system for filing and tracking paperwork, tests, and quizzes. They should eat a nourishing lunch, pack all necessary materials for home, preview the next day before going to bed, and, finally, pack whatever items will be required for a successful day.
2. Academic Performance
Report card grades represent quizzes, tests, classwork, homework, projects, and participation in class. Regularly review and sign written work. Oversee the correction of errors. Make adjustments in study habits as needed. (Rule of thumb: 10 minutes per grade level.) Maintain a personal grade book so you can estimate the general average on any given day. At the first sighting of a “red flag,” discuss your concerns with the child and then initiate communication with the teacher.
Teachers measure effort by patterns: the way the student prepares for class, stays on task, participates in class, cooperates with teacher instructions and expectations, obtains required parent signatures, copies assignments accurately, completes them neatly and accurately, submits homework on time, and meets deadlines.
Teachers evaluate conduct based upon the consistency with which the student cooperates with teachers, adults, and peers. Cooperative students include others, listen, practice patience, demonstrate a positive attitude, show respectfulness and enthusiasm in class, follow directions, keep on task, practice self-control, and make a positive change in behavior if they are corrected.
Attendance affects learning and socialization. Try to schedule routine medical visits for after-school hours and free days; if that is impossible, return your child to school as soon as you can. Hold your child responsible to obtain and make up whatever work was missed.
Honor the published school calendar when planning vacations. If that is not possible, make arrangements to obtain and keep up with daily school work. A vacation on your part should not create responsibility on the teacher’s part. Apply the sage rule that if a child is too sick to attend school, he or she is also too sick to leave the house for any activity, have friends over, or use electronic forms of entertainment.
Dr. Patricia McCormack is an international consultant and public speaker on issues of whole-person formation. Contact her at the IHM Office of Formative Support for Parents and Teachers or DrPatMcCormack@aol.com.