Back to School

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School is going to be starting up soon for many students. Not everybody starts at the same time as college and high school schedules are not in exact alignment. And some private and public schools are on different schedules. Regardless of where your student falls, they will be affected this year in some way by a teacher. My wife was a teacher and I’ve had four children go through school, so I have some experience in this area.

What I want to challenge you with today is to get this school year off to a good start by having a conversation with your children about how to be a good student. Often, I hear parents complain about teachers instead of reinforcing good behavior and responses from their children. At the very least, your child will attend school for a minimum of 12 years. And over that period of time, your kids will experience a variety of instructors. They won’t all be teachers your child will recall fondly in years to come, but they will probably all have some redeeming qualities. Your job as a parent is to prepare your child to get along with every kind of teacher.

You can’t control how your child’s teacher performs in the classroom, but you do have some control over how your child behaves. Think about it from that perspective. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of criticizing the teacher rather than sitting down and talking to your child about how to act in the classroom.

Often, when a child tells their parents that they aren’t getting along with their teacher, the immediate reaction is to try to transfer that student to another teacher. Some parents will even request a certain teacher ahead of the start of the school year in hopes of avoiding that one teacher who has a less than stellar reputation. It’s not wrong, but I want to caution you to be careful that you aren’t teaching your children to run from a situation instead of addressing it head on. Think of it this way—when they grow up and get a job, they won’t get to choose their boss.

School is a good training ground for life. It teaches a child to show up every day, be on time, and be accountable for given assignments, much like a job. It’s expected that a student will finish their assignments on time and within the guidelines given. If not, there are consequences when a student doesn’t meet that criteria at school—just like a job. That’s why it’s important to help your children respond appropriately and adhere to what is asked of them in the classroom. Because similar expectations will surface in other scenarios in life.