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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