Q: My son’s teacher doesn’t seem to like him very much. How should I handle this?
A: If your son feels disliked by his teacher, then validate his feelings and gather specific information about the times your son felt his teacher was not understanding of him. Was there a possible misunderstanding? Request to have a parent-teacher-student conference to show that as parents and teachers, you are a loving team that wants him to feel that he belongs.
-Melissa McNeil, 2nd grade teacher, Stuart Hall School for Boys
Q: What is my role with my child’s homework supposed to be? Are their limits to how I should be helping?
It is important to develop independence in students, but not frustration. As a rule of thumb, we tell parents in Primary School to supervise homework, keeping the individual child in mind. All children learn and develop differently. Parents can help establish routines for completing homework at an early age that will stay with them for their educational career. Depending on the grade and class, you may want to check homework when your child is finished or ask her to circle any question or problem she is not she has answered correctly. This is a good way for her to try independently and then ask for help at the end.
Homework should not be a stressful time for the family in Primary School. If this happens, we suggest stopping homework, send us a note, and let the teachers talk it out with the student the following day.
-Kay Higginbotham, Pre and Primary Head, Academy of the Sacred Heart
A: Part of your responsibility with homework is to provide a location and strategies for your child to work best. Your child’s teacher will have suggestions about the homework roles and responsibilities of the students and parents. Keep your child’s academic needs in mind when implementing schedules. Parents should provide a study area that is well-organized so that no distractions interrupt your child’s learning process.
Another parent responsibility is to use your child’s strengths to assist him in planning out long-term assignments so projects are completed on time. Provide a Post-It for your child with the corrections or the problems that he needs to resolve from his homework, but let him be the one to correct his own errors in homework.
Q: My child did all of her work and more in a group project while the three other kids kept procrastinating their parts; she ended up getting a D with the rest of them because it was graded as a group. How can she keep this from happening again?
A: If your child expresses this struggle in a class, try to empower her to make an appointment with the teacher who assigned the project and discuss what is occurring in the group. Hopefully, the teacher has developed a rubric for the project and can bring the entire group back to task by speaking with the group and/or the class as a whole. Additionally, the student may also speak with the teacher privately and ask not to be paired with the same students for future projects.
-Kim Duckworth, Middle School Head, Academy of the Sacred Heart