Today was the first day of school for students in Jefferson County. Some parents are eager to have their children back in school and others are concerned about how the school year will go. Parents in Kansas City expressed some words of advice for other parents.
Parents of elementary-aged students should definitely advocate for their children by being involved volunteering in the classroom and monitoring academic progress. Parents with concerns about a particular teacher should keep in especially close contact to make sure lines of communication are open. Don't wait to speak with your child's teacher when there's a problem.
As students mature they need to learn to advocate for themselves. Parents can help their student think through how to handle a particular situation and then the parent can check back to make sure it was resolved satisfactorily. Again, even in secondary school, it's good for teachers to know parents and know that parents are concerned about their child's academic success. Take advantage of all parent/teacher conferences whether your student is struggling or not.
Students learn differently and as they progress in school they learn skills for how to adapt to different teaching styles. Theoretically, good teachers differentiate instruction for different learning styles, but that doesn't always happen. Moreover, sometimes students just plain clash with a particular teacher. Parents should regularly check-in with their children to see how things are going at school, especially during the first few weeks of a new school year.