It’s Sunday evening, time for bed and your child comes up to you and says my project is due tomorrow. Deja Vu! This is not a new problem with distance learning, but sure feels like it!
In my house it’s the same story as full time in school. Kids go to class, do (or don’t do) their work. Complain about the teacher because they don’t understand the assignment. Show me the assignment. I don’t understand it either. Tell my kid to email the teacher and cc his dad and I, so we can be back up. Teacher ignores the child’s email and the frustration continues. When do we step in? When do we go up a level – counselors and administration?
I can tell you as a teacher, I’m frustrated with so many things… Students who don’t want to work. Students who don’t communicate their lack of understanding. Students who don’t participate. Students who don’t turn in work. Students who don’t show up for class.
As a parent, I’m frustrated with even more… My child doesn’t understand the expectations of the teacher. I can’t figure out where to find the directions for the assignments. I see the missing assignments in the gradebook online and wonder why? I don’t know where to find the work: google classroom, canvas, black board, his email? I can’t look in the backpack or planner for details – this is distance learning!! When we were in school the planner was blank anyway! And this is my middle schooler! He’s 12. He should know better. He should know how to communicate with his teachers, all 8 of them. When we were in school full time, he had 10 teachers last year! I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for a littler guy!
Imagine this is what we are going through, but what are our kids feeling and thinking?! Our children today are feeling lost and scared. There is no teacher right there to be in their face to love them and challenge them all at the same time. This teacher is across a screen. We have taught them that the things on tv and the computer are not real. This has to be a challenging time for them too.
What can we do together to make this all better? Is there a better way to communicate with parents, teachers/schools and students? We think there is. What if you had a coach who helped you to communicate effectively with your child about school and with the teacher? How do we communicate effectively at a parent/teacher/student conference?
If you have multiple kids at multiple schools, how do you manage? How do we help our child (at every grade level) when we don’t understand the academics or language of the teacher? What is AR? What are specials? How do I find a Google Meet, Zoom, Google Classroom, Canvas, Blackboard or Clever? You want my kid on MyOn, NewsELA, Prodigy, iReady, Edulastic, and WHAT ELSE!? How many logins do we all need to educate my child and communicate effectively about the progress?
It’s hard when each member of this relationship (parent, teacher, child) feels out of fair exchange. The teacher gives their effort to meet the demands of the profession and provide adequate instruction to meet the standards. As teachers, we are growing independent learners. We expect students to begin to take the reins. In preschool or daycare, as the care provider we make sure we communicate with the parent before the child leaves the room. In kindergarten, the child takes the paper home to mom and dad with the magical messages from the teacher. As the child gets older, a planner is thrust into the child’s hands. We are trusting that child to write down every important message which needs to get home to the parent. The teachers do not have enough time to communicate with each of the 150 students’ parents… So the school-home communication breaks down as the child grows.
Each parent gives us their best kids to grow into independent learners, trusting us to continue the efforts of the home of loving and learning at school. I like to say, they don’t keep the good kids at home! Sending their kids to school, parents believe their child is better off without them teaching and leaving that role to the school. Parents depend on the schools to do what’s in the best interest of the child and family. Then they are left out many times of the communication and just want answers.
How do parents communicate with the teacher? Do they wait for a message or send an email? Should they call the school, send a dojo message or use their calendly to set up an appointment? What is an adequate amount of time to wait for a response from the teacher or school when sending an email? What if there are still more questions at the end of the meeting?
Is the child the innocent pawn in the middle trying to make every adult in their life happy? When is it appropriate to expect your child to be able to communicate effectively bringing messages home from school? It’s like the telephone game we played as a kid… Can they ever remember the message completely right?
Communicating about your child can be a sensitive subject.
Learn how to communicate with the teachers of your children about your child’s testing data, report cards, behavior issues, missing assignments, conferences, emails, open house, enrichment, remediation and more.
We will be Cyrano de Bergerac as you communicate with the teacher, guiding you through the answers and giving you the questions to get the answers you need to efficiently work with your child at home. We will take the guesswork out of communicating with the teacher – providing you with certainty and solutions to propel the child to excellence.