What better way to usher in the new school year than having the school doors opened to each parent by the Clinton City Schools’ superintendent. In a recent editorial, the Clinton Schools’ chief, Dr. Stuart Blount, urged each parent to be actively involved in their child’s education during the upcoming school year. He prefaced that invitation to parents by saying, “we owe our students the best we have to offer,” and as a retired Clinton High teacher, who spent some 34 years working with teens and their families, I couldn’t agree more.
A crucial part of the best we have to offer our children should begin as early as possible in the home where an environment is created that is conducive to learning. And parents, that’s the time for you to start thinking about how you can help give your child the world, or at least his fair share, by helping him to get on a path to achieve his dreams. As a parent, if you’ve ever wondered what impact you could have on your child’s education, let this be the year you commit to finding out.
So, with the new school year just around the corner, I would encourage our parents to start talking about the upcoming school year with your child, creating some kind of orientation to help your child prepare for getting on a different schedule, getting him back in the swing of going back to school. And while you are doing that, let them know if they do well in school, make good grades, they might get to go to college and some day, do anything they want with their lives. Just as important, let them know that you want a better life for them.
Now, while you are doing this talking, this could be a good time for parents to remind their children that success comes with hard work and by setting goals and working hard to achieve them. Most importantly though, children learn by watching their parents. That means our parents have to lead by example. Parents have to practice and live those values they want to instill in their children. Colin Powell once admonished, “Kids don’t pick up training because parents sit around and talk to them about values. Children watch their parents live values.” Powell went on to add, “Youngsters don’t care about what you say, but they watch what you do.” And that’s why it’s so important for children to grow up in warm, loving and hardworking families.
As we approach the start of this new school year, I would also encourage our parents to do those things that will make it more likely for their sons and daughters to have a successful school year. Parents, you must never stop teaching your children they can be and achieve anything, and let them know that they must always work to their full potential. They can never give up!
Larry Sutton is a retired teacher from Clinton High School.