Q: My daughter is on her middle school’s soccer team, and has hours’ long practices every afternoon. When she has a big project due or an exam the next day, she opts not to go to practice. But the coach benches players who miss practice. What would you advise we do?
It is so important that coaches be in touch with the school so that they understand the additional responsibilities of their players. A coach who communicates often with the school and parents is more likely to encourage the players to stay on top of their studies as much as he or she is likely to encourage teamwork on the field. It might be helpful to initiate a constructive dialogue with your child’s school and the coach to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of academic and sports expectations.
It’s also important that students who accept that additional responsibility learn how to break these big projects into smaller manageable parts so that they are able to juggle both academic and extracurricular activities. It is a benefit for all students to learn this skill so that they are not waiting until the last moment to complete projects, jeopardizing the quality of the project as well as practice time.
, director of Middle School, St. George’s Episcopal School
Q: Sometimes my son’s teacher has accidentally marked some things wrong on a quiz or test that really were right. He never wants to go to her about it because he doesn’t want to “bother” her. What would you advise?
“Students should always review work they’ve received back from a teacher. Finding these mistakes shows you took the time to review the work and look for feedback. You shouldn’t worry about hurting the teacher’s feelings. We know we are not perfect.”
-David-Paul ‘DP’ Daigle, English teacher, St. Stanislaus
Q: My daughter is three years old and will be in preschool in the fall. Although she’s potty-trained, her attention to personal details (wiping) isn’t great. What can I do to make sure if she has to go during the school day, her hygiene will be okay?
While your child is still at home throughout the day, introduce some basic steps like bend over, wipe and repeat until the toilet paper is clean. Practice this each time she goes to the bathroom and remind her of why it is so important. Upon starting preschool, parents should definitely discuss this concern with teachers so they are aware of the need for continued assistance and positive reinforcement. Remember that teachers who work with young children are absolutely prepared and empathetic in regards to all things potty training-related. At this stage of development, it is natural and typical for a child to still be learning about the best bathroom and hygiene habits.
Another important part of the potty-training process is to celebrate accomplishments and build your child’s confidence. Let her know how proud you are each time she successfully goes to the bathroom on her own. Expressing your pride and confidence in her will only help in the learning process.
Finally, if getting clean is a real challenge, consider sending in some flushable wipes to keep in the preschool bathroom. These will most likely ensure that your child is able to adequately clean herself each time until she gets the hang of it on her own.
–Hayley Harang, Director of Early Childhood (and former Kindergarten teacher), and Tamara Claverie, School Counselor, St. George’s Episcopal School.