Before the school year comes to an end, it is that time of year to really find out how your kid(s) are doing at school.
Do not wait for a call, make an appointment to meet for a check-in with your child's teacher. Meet and ask questions.
- What are my child's strengths?
- What are my child's weaknesses?
- What is my child's learning style?
- What would you recommend for us to work on this summer?
- What kind of teacher would your recommend we have next year? Can you help facilitate in making this placement happen?
- Any suggestions about specific courses for my child to take or review?
- Is my child academically prepared for next year? Is my child socially ready?
- How does my child socially interact? Does my child have friends?
- Does he/she have confidence?
- Does my child conduct himself/herself properly in the classroom?
If there are any school concerns, you need to know them by now and hopefully plans are already in place. Review the current plan. The end of the year is too late. What areas need work? Does the teacher suggest any changes to the current plan in place?
Also, be sure you have looked closely at report cards, comments, and any testing that may have been done this year before meeting the teacher. Specifically, in the work habits category, notice if your child has a mark that is below satisfactory. These areas are far more important than parents realize. Study habits are often keys for success. For example certain areas may be: following directions, completing work on time, staying on task. As parents you can also begin to see work patterns developing in your child by analyzing report cards and having regular conferences.
If there is a problem, then what do you do? What is the chain of command? Meet with your teacher first. Ask targeted questions. Include the counselor or learning specialist if there is one. Add the principal for knowledge and expertise as needed. Make sure you are comfortable with what is presented. Make sure you have an educational plan for each child.
By mid April, the coursework is basically finished for schools that get out in May and somewhat later for those that get out in June, so teachers will begin to summarize and review. Be prepared for a flurry of tests, projects and papers. There is, of course, a rush of activities and there never seems to be enough time. Have a fun and smooth end to the year. Always finish the year on a positive note.