I love our Back-to-School Nights. Everyone is always so eager and ready to make the best of the school year in every way. Have you ever wondered what we are doing behind the scenes as a school moving forward?
I have just completed my first round of “Grade Level Meetings” with the K-5 faculty. We talked a little about Back-to-School Night, test scores, the new students, curriculum, etc. Every single teacher engaged in the conversation with the mindset to improve, and we made plans as to what needs to be done to make a positive difference. Next time we meet, we will evaluate what’s been accomplished, and plan, again – always with a forward focus and always with a positive mindset.
In several of these recent meetings, the topic came up about what to tell parents who ask, “What can I do to help_________ (insert child’s name) to be a better student?” My answer is usually something like this…
Daily homework (1st through 5th) is important, but it should become routine and matter-of-fact, with the emphasis placed on independence and the responsibility of the student. The parents’ focus should be on furthering their child’s interest in learning, by putting the skills you see your child accomplishing to use, at home and beyond.
Look at the Course Overviews you received from your teachers at Back-to-School Night or the school calendar on the website. What can you share with your child that you know will enhance their learning experiences this quarter? Rather than using workbooks or doing more seatwork, the trip to the Pumpkin Patch by prekindergarten and junior kindergarten students with their Middle School buddies could be followed by a pumpkin carving and decorating experience with the family at home. A child learns a lot carving a pumpkin – design, safety, plant anatomy, traditions, cooking possibilities…baked pumpkin seeds – YUM!
Fourth grade’s trip to the mission could be followed by a family picnic at Mission Trails and a hike to learn more about the life and times of Father Serra and the Kumeyaay. The goal of our program is to entice curiosity and foster a love of learning for a lifetime. Children who see their parents enjoying and learning about the topic-at-hand are more apt to envision themselves embracing the idea that they need to master the “little things” so that they can grasp the “big concepts” that make becoming a lifetime scholar quite likely.
With a forward focus, a positive outlook, and collaboration by all constituents of our wonderful community, anything is possible!
Friday September, 20, 2013
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