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The 5 “Knows” of School Discipline for Parents

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

student at chalkboard

Many of us have faced or will face it at one time or another.  The receipt of the dreaded phone call, note or e-mail from school regarding our child’s misbehavior.   Experiencing this and learning of the subsequent disciplinary action that has been issued can be unsettling to say the least.  It is one thing to receive this information.  How we handle it is a different matter.

Here are some thoughts on how to turn a negative situation into a positive experience for all parties involved:

  1. Know the Intent of the School Discipline Policy.   The ultimate goal of a school discipline policy is to create a safe and conducive learning environment in the classroom.  As such, school discipline practices should not be looked upon in a negative sense, but in a positive light as they are designed to correct unacceptable behavior patterns in order to ensure the continued safety of staff and students as well to help maintain a positive learning environment for all students.

  2. Know the Expectations.  As mentioned previously when we shared thoughts on positive discipline for parents, children will not know how to behave unless they are taught how to do so.   Refer to your parent/student handbook or follow up with your child’s teacher for the details regarding the school discipline policy.  Make sure you and your child understand what is expected as well the consequences of breaking the rules.

  3. Know Both Sides of the Story.  When conflict occurs, remember there are two sides to every story.  If and when a discipline issue arises, seek to gain an understanding from both your child as well as the school in a non-confrontational manner before acting and before jumping to potentially false conclusions.

  4. Know the School is a Partner, Not an Enemy.  You and the school staff share a common goal: to help your child reach her potential.  To help you achieve this goal, make an effort to establish a positive relationship with your child’s teacher before any discipline issues arise.  The effort you make in developing this relationship can have a positive effect on your child’s behavior and may actually minimize discipline issues.

  5. Know How to Address the Situation at Home. When disciplinary action takes place at school, be sure to discuss the matter with your child and seek to understand how the incident may affect the big picture.  In some cases, the actions taken at school may be sufficient to address the behavior.  In others, further disciplinary action beyond what the school has issued may be necessary.  In those cases, apply positive discipline strategies at home to address and correct the behavior.
    student and teacher at whiteboard

Discipline is important because it teaches our children to be respectful and responsible, to interact well with others and to make smart decisions.  When we send our children to school, we are entrusting them to the care of teachers/staff members and need to be supportive of the policies put in place to help the school achieve its goal to provide our children with an educational foundation needed to lead successful, independent lives.  At the same time, we need to remain informed and involved advocates committed to helping our children resolve issues in a positive and constructive manner.

 

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5 Kinds of Parents Teachers Love

Posted on Apr 19, 2014 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

5 Kinds of Parents Teachers Love

Parents appreciate teachers who are devoted to their work, who take an interest in their students and who enable their students to fully maximize their talents and skills to lead productive lives.  But what type of parents do teachers like?  What type of parents make teachers jobs easier?

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1. Team Players.  Parents and teachers need to work together to help children achieve learning goals.  Remember, you are on the same team.  Do your part by keeping up with what is going on in your child’s classroom and holding your child accountable for keeping up with and turning in assignments.

2. Understanding.  Seek first to understand before reacting.  Get both sides of the story if it is an issue between your child and the teacher before responding.  Do not take your frustrations out on the teacher over a classroom practice or procedure as the issue may fall beyond their influence and outside of their authority.  Get the facts first.
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3. Respectful.  Treat your child’s teacher the way you would expect to be treated.  Work together on solutions to problems.  Do not talk negatively about the teacher in front of your child.

4. Communicative.  If you are having issues with your child’s teacher, speak to him or her first and give the teacher the opportunity to resolve the issue before going to administration.

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5. Involved.  Follow up with your child at home by checking folders and making sure homework is getting done.  Show your support by attending school events.   Look for ways to help out in the classroom, either physically or by simply identifying needed classroom items you might be able to donate to the classroom.

While their objectives may differ, parents and teachers share a common goal:  to help children reach their potential.  This goal can be achieved when parents and teachers working together and support one another.



Topics: Classroom

5 Advantages of a Teacher Assistant in your child's classroom

Posted on Mar 8, 2014 7:30:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

In an effort to survive budget cuts, schools are faced with difficult staffing and resource decisions as it relates to meeting educational needs and making the most of the limited funding available to them.  Among the casualties in this battle are those who serve our youngest and most vulnerable learners, teacher’s assistants.

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The earliest years of a child’s education serve as the building blocks for future learning in school and in life and set the tone for their experiences in the future.  Teacher’s assistants can play an integral role in making an early elementary child’s experience a positive one.

The main role of a teacher’s assistant is to partner with the teacher in the shared goal of improving student achievement.  Specifically, here are 5 ways teacher’s assistants can add value to the classroom:

1. Help With Classroom Management

Teacher’s assistants can serve as a second set of eyes and ears to monitor the class and handle disruptions so the teacher can maintain the flow of instruction and focus on maximizing the learning experience within the classroom.

2. Serve as an Instructional Assistant

They can conduct tutoring sessions to help students improve their skills in areas such as reading and math.  And, based on their regular interactions with students, they can identify those who may be struggling and who may need additional help.

3. Assist With Classroom Administrative Tasks

Teacher’s assistants can take on such duties as photocopying, filing, and record keeping, freeing the teacher to devote more time to lesson planning and focusing on academic improvement.

4. Provide Extra Attention to Students

As each student is unique and has individual learning needs, a teacher’s assistant can provide opportunities for more one-on-one instructional time.  In addition, they can reinforce a positive learning environment by encouraging students and being available to listen to their concerns and acting as a confidant.

5. Versatility

Teacher’s assistants often wear many hats.  For example, they can serve as a substitute teacher when needed to maintain consistency and minimize the effects of an otherwise disruptive situation.  They can offer assistance with students outside of the classroom, such as during lunch or recess.  These instances allow teacher’s assistants more time for informal interactions with students, allowing them to form closer ties which can prove beneficial in the classroom.

With rising expectations in student achievement and more being expected of teachers, this role can be a valuable investment in our children’s futures.  While eliminating this role for financial reasons might be a favored short term decision, is it a wise one in the long run?  Fortunately there are still schools that value this role and the difference it can make in the classroom as well as in a  child’s educational future.  Your thoughts?


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Topics: Classroom