It is a chance at new beginnings for each one, no matter their academic record, no matter their past history, no matter their attitude toward school or life itself.
Each child should begin this year with a clean slate; each parent should begin this year with a new determination to help their children succeed in every way they possibly can; and each educators should work diligently to allow every child to enter their classroom free from the prejudices of their past academic history and to focus on reaching them where they are and bringing them to the place they need to be in order to succeed.
For teachers to be able to achieve their goal, parents must understand the role educators play and then allow them to fulfill that role. That means realizing that teachers are there to teach and to discipline when necessary. They aren’t meant to be babysitters; they aren’t meant to be nurses and psychologists. They are there to teach your children, arming them with the tools they need to succeed in this ever competitive world.
Teachers do a wonderful balancing act, juggling their educational responsibilities with all the other hats they must wear because so many parents shirk their responsibilities and leave them at the door to the school.
But it is not their burden to shoulder alone. Parents, or guardians, most carry their share of the load, too, as should students.
In many ways, the responsibility for a student’s academic success rests squarely on the shoulders of young people first. The youngest of them are the examples every other age group should follow. Pre-kindergartners, kindergartners, even first and second-graders seem to soak in everything they are told. Wide-eyed and innocent, these boys and girls are eager to learn, eager to try new things and ready for the challenges placed before them. Their attitudes are great; their enthusiasm infectious.
Even those youngsters who have difficult family lives seem to find great joy in the learning process.
Somewhere along the line, though, the spark dulls, the attitudes change and the desire to learn is often replaced by the desire to just get by.
It doesn’t happen to every child, but it happens to far too many.
We hope, no we pray, this year will be different for our young people.
Every child deserves a chance; every child deserves to be educated and placed on a path that can, if they will let it, take them to heights they may never even have imagined.
Not every child will become the CEO of a company, practice medicine or chose the law as their profession, but every child can succeed given the chance, and become productive citizens.
Parents need to understand the role they play in their child’s academic future. Be there for them. If they’re young, read to them, help them with their multiplication tables, call out their spelling words. If they are older, show interest in their grades, praise their achievements and listen to the reasons they have fallen short of the set goals.
Most importantly, be there for them, reminding them of the importance of education.
If we all do our part, this will be the very best school year each student has had.
Let’s commit ourselves to helping students achieve their academic success. Together we can make a difference in the lives of children, and making a difference in their lives makes a difference in ours.