This year we celebrate American Education Week the week of November 18 – 22. American Education Week presents all Americans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. As always we at READS like to recognize not only your child’s classroom teachers but YOU, the family members that are actually the ultimate teachers. The weeklong celebration features a special observance each day of the week. They include:
- Monday, Nov. 18: Kick-off day
- Tuesday, Nov. 19: Parents Day - Schools will invite parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child.
- Wednesday, Nov. 20: Education Support Professionals Day - Individuals who provide invaluable services to schools are recognized for their outstanding work.
- Thursday, Nov. 21: Educator for a Day - Community leaders will be invited to serve as educators to get a glimpse at a day in the life of a school employee.
- Friday, Nov. 22: Substitute Educators Day - This day honors the educators who are called upon to replace regularly employed teachers.
NEA offers resources to help you make each day of this year’s celebration unique. Visit www.nea.org/aew to learn more.
As an educator I thank all of you wonderful parents for the job you do with your children. We are all members of the same team working towards the same goal which is, the best all around education for our kids. So, in honor of American Education Week, here are “10 tips for parents” to help both kids and teachers achieve that goal.
1. Create a smooth takeoff each day. Give your child a hug before she ventures out the door and you head to work. Look her in the eye, and tell her how proud you are of her. Your child’s self-confidence and security will help her do well both in school and in life.
2. Prepare for a happy landing at the end of the day when you reconvene. Create a predictable ritual such as 10–20 minutes listening to your child talk about his day—before you check phone messages, read the mail, or begin dinner. That way you are fully present to listen, and your child has a touchstone he can count on between school and home.
3. Fill your child’s lunchbox with healthy snacks and lunches. Have dinner at a reasonable hour and a healthy breakfast. A well-balanced diet maximizes your child’s learning potential.
4. Include calm, peaceful times in your children’s afternoons and evenings. Maintain a schedule that allows them to go to school rested, and if they are sick, have a system in place so they are able to stay home.
5. Remember it’s your children’s homework, not yours. Create a specific homework space that’s clutter-free and quiet. Encourage editing and double-checking work, but allow your kids to make mistakes, as it’s the only way teachers can gauge if they understand the material. It’s also how children learn responsibility for the quality of their work.
6. Fill your child’s life with a love for learning by showing him your own curiosity, respecting his questions, and encouraging his efforts.
7. Fill your home with books to read, books simply to look at, and books that provide answers to life’s many questions. The public or school library is an excellent resource.
8. Be a partner with your child’s teacher. When you need to speak to him or her in reference to a specific issue with your child, do it privately, not in front of your child. Make a point never to criticize your child’s teacher in front of your child.
9. Set up a system where routine items are easily located—such as backpacks, shoes, signed notices. Create a central calendar for upcoming events to avoid the unexpected.
10. Tuck a “love note” in your child’s lunch bag to let her know how special she is. Knowing they are loved makes it easier for children to be kind to others.