School year 2020-2021 will be one to remember. Words that I think of to describe these times are uncertain, anxiety-inducing, and a bit scary. I can’t help but think what these times will do to our students’ learning and retention. Although I believe school districts, school leaders, and teachers have the best intentions and want to ensure our students will continue to receive high-quality educational opportunities, I also believe that it is our responsibility as parents and/or caretakers to advocate for our students.
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot since the school year ended is “what tools or systems can parents and/or caretakers use to hold schools accountable for sustaining high-quality education for our students?” My son is only 16 months old. But I keep thinking about everything I would need to have in order to help him and his teacher have a successful year regardless of this huge challenge we are all learning to navigate. I am 99 percent sure I am not the only person thinking about these things.
For my full-time job, I spend a good portion of my time working with teachers to help think through systems that will set up all parties involved (teachers, parents, and students) for success. This made me think about other parents who might need additional resources to feel better prepared to tackle this unique school year.
Questions You Should Be Asking
I put together a comprehensive checklist of five categories along with questions I feel are important to ask your child’s teacher. The five categories include Materials Needed, School Tech Platforms, School Schedule, Communication, and Grading and Participation. Each category is broken down by questions you should get answers to. This will hopefully allow you to keep everything organized and readily available to reference. The only way this year can prove to be successful is if we all work together as a team. Our kids deserve it!
It’s All About Grace
There’s one last thing I want to mention. GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE. At the end of the day, we are all trying to figure out how to make things work during COVID times. It’s ok to have an off day. It’s ok to not have your meals planned for the week. It’s ok to have a messy home. It’s ok to ask for help. By working together, we can assure our kids continue to learn as much as possible this school year.
Check out my fellow ABQ Mom contributor Lauren Hall’s post Getting Organized for At- Home Learning. She provides great ideas on creating a conducive learning environment at home and includes a free downloadable kid’s daily schedule!