Be involved with your children’s education

Published 1:29 pm Friday, August 29, 2008

It’s back-to-school time again in Alabama, which signals purchasing new outfits for the kids, digging for lunch money, sharpening pencils and organizing carpools.

And there’s the sometimes-unpleasant task of riding herd to make sure homework is done and projects are completed.

One important assignment for us as parents is to get to know the teachers who are charged with giving our children the tools they need to be successful down the road.

As parents, we must remember that, while it is extremely important to be at our kids’ sporting events and competitions, it is just as important to become acquainted with their classroom teachers, whose daily good deeds and often-needed tough love sometimes go unnoticed.

The dynamics of the teaching profession have changed dramatically over the years—and sadly, not for the better.

With the growing number of one-parent families and chaotic households, teachers often become role models for young boys and girls who lack an authoritative figure in the home.

Unfortunately, in schools in some of our country’s large inner-cities, teachers often describe their surroundings as “war zones.”

In addition to such conditions, teachers today have to think about lockdowns, hostage situations and even death threats, none of which help give our children a superior education.

Building relationships with teachers is important for a number of reasons.

First, it signals that parents care about the quality of their kid’s education, something that educators say is lacking today more than ever before.

Second, it opens the lines of communication so that parents learn before it’s too late that their child is not proficient enough in one subject or another to keep up.

Third, it can prevent potential behavioral problems exhibited at school that may not be detected after the final school bell of the day rings.

Let’s face it — teachers don’t enter the profession to become rich.

They do so to work with young people in the hopes of making a positive difference. We often take their devotion and competence for granted.

If we parents become involved in our children’s education, we become the support systems for the teachers, making their jobs much easier and the performance of our kids reach a higher level.

So, when you get a chance, get to know your children’s teachers.

And thank them for what they are doing to prepare our loved ones for a more competitive and complicated world in the future.