As a parent, it has always been my belief that my role is to provide a safe home environment, shelter, proper nutrition, and guidance on moral behavior. Like most parents, I expect my child to do well in school. Because I am not a trained teacher or was a good student, I rely on my daughter’s teachers to guide her academically. I have to trust that her teachers are doing their job.
So, image my surprise when I learned that my daughter (a fourth-grader) was behind in reading and in math. Her previous report cards never indicated she was a struggling learner.
My child’s fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Stickney, informed me that my daughter would require extra academic reinforcement at home. She strongly recommended I help her with her homework daily and provide more reading time.
As soon as I heard this, I was furious with this teacher. “Isn’t that your job to help my child learn! This is why I send her to school.” Mrs. Stickney was shocked by my reaction. But instead of judging me as I did her, she simply told me that all parents are great teachers. And, I really would be helping my daughter.
Even though I heard her words, I was still reluctant to change my ways. I was afraid I would not understand the homework. After many more conversations with Mrs. Stickney, I realized that my daughter’s academic well-being was at stake.
Mrs. Stickney provided me with math and reading packets to help me tutor my child. In addition to these learning packets, I used Khan Academy and other educational videos to update my skills in math and reading. It’s a lot of work, but I have to do it.
I admit it took me some time to understand that my role, as a parent, also includes learning time. If I want my daughter to do well in school, I must take responsibility for her education as I do everything else in her life.
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