I believe that good parents raise good students. Parents are the most important factor in the student-teacher-parent equation.
1. Pay attention to what is happening in your school. Follow the computer school app, such as Renweb, that tracks your student’s grades and attendance daily. Don’t use this as a club to harp on your child. Take a proactive approach and let your child know that they are being monitored and should do their job, that of being a good student. What are the consequences of not turning in homework and skipping class?
2. Pick up a text book or homework and discuss why this assignment is important.
In government, you could discuss the First Amendment, what it means to America, why you think the subject is important and how it affects lives. How does it fit into a current event happening in the world?
3. Praise your child. Make sure that your child knows that you want them to do well.
I show all my students a chart put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows what you might make by the level of education you attain. It is a straightforward, quick look of why you should go to school and get a college degree. A high school dropout is projected to make $520 a week, $27,040 a year; a Ph.D. working in their field of study is projected to make $1,836 a week or $95,472 a year. Everyone works every day, why not make the most of it?
Not everyone gets a four-year degree, and there is good money to be made in South Texas with a certification. A degree has really helped me in my life with the military, job attainment and running a small business.
4. Stand by the teachers.
Teachers do not wish bad things on a student; we want the best for your child. I started teaching seven years ago; I thought it would be an easy job, two months off in the summer, Christmas vacation and only working till 3:30 every day – piece of cake. Was I ever wrong. Teaching is a very exhausting profession. All of you who say, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” are very wrong. There is not any money in the profession, there are many rules, the students can sometimes be difficult and the cellphone is a great distraction.
5. What are the rewards for a teacher?
Some students appreciate you, some laugh at your jokes and some actually learn a lot. That is very rewarding to me. I tell my students all the mistakes I have made in life so they will not repeat those same pitfalls. I bring in guest speakers from Victoria, from every walk of life, to talk about their life experiences in hopes that my students will learn.
We had a former student get accepted into Cambridge Graduate School. For me, that was a great reward for my time spent, although I probably contributed only a small percentage to this brilliant student’s education. I was proud of him, and I was proud of my fellow faculty. Teachers want the best for your child; please help us to help you and your child to become successful people.
6. Direct your child into sports or activities. (Band, Drama, cheerleading, etc.)
Realize how important sports and the other after-school programs are to the students. Today, so many kids are sedentary, it is essential for them to exercise, be a part of a team and get away from the video games.
Get your child interested in a couple of sports or activities. This will bode well for the rest of their lives.
7. Marry someone smarter than you. I was lucky enough to marry a person who is much more scholastic and better educated than myself. This has helped me through the years by using that person as a sounding board for decisions we have made.
My wife is the reason that our four children have done well. Most of my kids are more scholastic and better educated than their mother and I. Our goal was to have children stand on our shoulders and be a part of the American dream.
8. Encourage your children to get a job babysitting, mowing lawns, tutoring, etc.
9. Encourage your children to give back to our community through volunteering.
Every property owner in Victoria County is paying for the public schools. Look at your tax bill with the line items going to VISD and the community college. Get your money’s worth by encouraging your student to do well.
Twelve years of school should be more than your child taking up space in a classroom. The next generation has many hurdles, a more competitive world, a volatile political scene, shifting markets and advanced technology. Let’s make our kids competitors and winners in the world markets.
The first step is learning at school.