Texas Metro News Published-September 23, 2018. http://www.texasmetronews.com
School is officially back in session! You have been dropping your children off in front of the school house with glee in your hearts. Before you burn rubber again, the following information is to be embedded into your mental psyche and spirit.
- Supplies-while we run to the store at the beginning of the school year collecting every pencil, pen, notebook paper, binders, etc.; kudos to you for that. When buying supplies, consider you are buying supplies at the beginning of the year. You have at minimum of 185 days to get through. Please keep in mind to replenish your child(ren)’s supplies as the school year progresses. Paper and pencils run out. Classrooms teachers are always baffled how parents think certain supplies purchased at the beginning of year will last for the entire school year. Also, while you may not like the “community sharing”, one reason that students share certain items is because you all do not supply throughout the year. You may not like me saying it, but that’s one reason community sharing of tissue, hand sanitizer, construction paper, is so common in schools. As a former teacher, I can attest teachers come out of their own pockets purchasing supplies for their classroom because students have run out. A teachers’ salaries cannot afford to do that all the time. So, please make sure your child has the necessary supplies and tools that they need throughout the academic year. One thing I always tell parents to do is replenish at each break. During the fall semester, use the month of October to do a spot check to determine if supplies need replenishing. Depending on the supplies and the quantity you purchased at the beginning of the semester, you may can wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to replenish. The likelihood you will need to buy everything is very slim. However, take inventory on what your child needs so that when they return for the next semester all rested up from the Christmas break, they will have a fresh set of supplies to get them through the second half of the semester. You will do one more spot check at Spring break just to make sure that they have what they need. It is essential that you start your child off with their supplies but also to maintain. So, help your teacher out by replenishing your child’s supplies throughout the academic year.
2. Student health-Part A Whether you like vaccinations or not when you decide to put your child in school, public or private, you are agreeing to the rules of having your child vaccinated. Children’s immune systems are not strong and when you put a weak immune system child in the room with someone who has not had their vaccinations, it can cause a lot of problems. Therefore, when you see those notifications from the school nurse saying that your child needs to have their shots updated by the time the academic year rolls around, please get it done. Do not wait until the school sends you a notification stating your child cannot return to school until your child’s shot records are updated. When you receive the notification, no attitudes please. What’s the attitude for anyway? You knew all year that your child was turning a certain age and needs the appropriate vaccines. Therefore, work with the school by ensuring that your child has their updated shots. Another point that bears mentioning is to always keep your child’s original shot records for yourself. School officials are human. Things can get lost. So, make sure you always provide a copy of your child’s shot records but keep the originals. Part B-GERMS! In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, the lovely germs are a part of the school year. Hanging around bullying students is the arch nemesis germs. If your child has a fever when they wake up in the morning, do not assume by giving them a 4-hour dosage of Tylenol it will stay in their system for the entire school day. You did nothing but bring them to the school and made other students sick. While you have your reasons of wanting the sick tot out of the house, in the long run it’s hurting you because at some point you will have to keep he or she at home. If your child has a fever, it is important to get the fever under control so that they are not contagious to others. Maybe the next day, your child can return to school. When you decided to take the germ-stricken kid to school while they are still contagious you are making matters worse. So, please do not drop your child off at school when they are sick. They are contagious and can spread those germs to their fellow classmates and teachers.
3. Think before you ACT!-As a former teacher, I remember parents saying to me and my fellow colleagues, “I have no problem getting arrested from this school for the sake of my child.” I need you to think before you speak such volatile statements. As school shooting continue to arise, if you are being disruptive, the school will call the police on you. And no, you cannot have an attitude when they do. I really need you to think before you are conducting yourself in a manner that is putting a school and/or your freedom in jeopardy. If you are being belligerent, do not expect the situation to end in your favor. Regardless of what the problem is that brought you to the school, maintain control and handle it in an adult mature manner. We do not live in times where you can be confrontational at the school and think security will not be called on you. Your child’s biggest advocate is you and school officials do want to work with you to resolve the issue that brought you to campus. Stay calm and work with the administrators to get to the root of the issue. Consider this. If you are in jail, how will that help your child. Keep your attitude and your temper in check because the one thing you do not want is your child to see mom or dad getting arrested and escorted out of the building in front of all their friends.
4. Home/school Communication-It really does take a village for our children to be successful. Therefore, it is important that when teachers call, email, or text you, respond back. Regardless of life circumstances, working numerous jobs, etc it is imperative to show interest in what your son or daughter is doing at school. The worst thing for an educator to experience is to see a child struggle with the content, want to help, but is unable to get the parent(s) on the phone. The teacher feels helpless because they need to schedule a parent conference but the parent is not returning the calls. Keep the lines of communication with home and school open. If you know your child is Chucky or Rosemary’s baby, that is not the time to not answer the phone. You know what you dropped off at that school. The school didn’t create that little hellion you have at home. When you go missing in action, it is very easy for the child to play you and the school against each other. Trust me, they know when home and school is not on the same page. Therefore, to keep the disruption to a minimum, make sure that you keep the lines of communication open.
5. Be the Cheerleader-Children need support. If no one else believes in them their parent or guardian needs to believe in them. Yes, they may struggle in math but do not give them excuses as to why they can not be successful. Don’t say things like, “I wasn’t good in math, so my child is not” or “my child has a learning disability because they struggle with reading/writing.” Do not give them a pass to being unsuccessful. When you give them these types of crutches in their mind, it is hard on the teacher. Did you ever wonder that your child is behind in reading because you never required them to read at home? If the only time, a child is reading or working on math is during school hours, they will struggle but it does not mean they have learning disability. It means that they are academically behind and need to catch up. Which can happen with hard work outside of school. Speaking for those who work at the collegiate level, it is sad that college professors and advisors have to deprogram students on statements parents have told them when they was a child. Here they are in college and they are still fighting negative comments that was said to them. We want you to be your child’s advocate. That support is so needed. Continue to give them encouraging words, pray with them in the morning, have motivational quotes that they can recite back. In other words, show them that you know they can achieve anything they put their mind to. If the child does not feel somebody in their house cares about their well-being, teachers, principals, counselors are working double time fighting the negativity that’s going on in your child’s mind. So help the school out by being your child’s biggest cheerleader in a positive non-disruptive manner because again we do not want you to get arrested from the school house.
Parents before you burn rubber and drop the child off again at the schoolhouse remember these five things and let’s have a great year.~Doc Shep Speaks
Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd