How parents can help when a student is struggling.

Good morning, Parents.

I hope you will find the thoughts shared this morning helpful and timely, especially since all of our students should have received their progress reports last week Thursday and Friday. Please check their planners to see how they are doing this school year.

I am frequently asked by parents when they find their children are under-performing or struggling in a class, “What is the best way for me to support my child and the school, so that my child can do better?” My answer to this important question is that whenever a student is struggling in the learning process, what they need most is more time and support from their teacher. Ironically, what we find most commonly is that when high school students struggle in the learning process they tend to distance themselves from the problem, and in doing so they do less and get less help. Even when teachers reach out to students who are struggling to provide more support and help, students in this situation seem to resist what they need most to turn things around and succeed. We have found this is a great place for parents to intervene to support both their children and the teacher. Talk to your child about how hard they are working, and how much help they are getting. Insist that they increase their effort to meet the challenges and invest more time in getting help from their teacher. Setting specific expectations in this way is a great way to help your children learn how to meet challenges, and it is also a great way to directly address the factors most important in addressing their current performance. Our teachers are eager to partner with parents. We desperately want all of our students to learn and succeed, and we are willing to work with students during intervention time, as well as before and after school. It is rewarding for teachers to help struggling students perform better, and the thing we desire most from parents is the support and partnership with parents to break through student’s initial reactionary inclination to ignore or distance themselves from areas where things are not coming easily.

If you found out in the progress reporting process that your child is struggling in a class, please reach out to that teacher and discuss how you can assist them making sure your child sees them more regularly. If parents can help us in addressing your children’s avoidance, and replacing that reaction with a willingness to work harder and seek help, we have found that consistently leads to much greater success and learning. We don’t expect your child to struggle alone to learn, and we don’t expect parents to support their children alone at home either. All of our teachers want to provide the extra time and help necessary, but we often need parents help in pushing your children to see their teachers regularly.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide.