This year we have a kindergartener, first grader, second grader, fifth grader, sixth grader, and high school senior.
We’ve got at least one kid in each school in the district.
And each of those six kids is different. Some are strong students, some are not so strong. Some are well behaved, some are not so well behaved. Some are loud, some are quiet, some are outgoing, some are shy.
Actually, none of them are really all that shy anymore.
Anyway, that’s beside the point.
As teachers I know you are aware that just because two kids come from the same family it doesn’t mean they are going to be alike. But while all six kids have very distinct personalities and different likes, strengths, and weaknesses, I do have many of the same expectations for all of them.
And for you.
And I just want to make sure I make a few things clear.
1) My only goal for the younger kids is for them to love going to school. The school day is long for a four, six, and seven-year-old. And I will never force them to do homework. In fact, I won’t even ask or suggest that they do it. The school day is long enough. When they come home, I will encourage them do the other things I think they should be doing at that age. Playing. Running. Relaxing. Whatever they want. But is sure as hell won’t be homework. In kindergarten and first grade, I do not do homework.
2) If my kid is being disrespectful, I want to know about it. Right away. But at the same time, just as I do not expect you to reprimand my kid if he’s being a tool at home, I will not punish my child at home for something he has done (or not done) at school. I will support whatever arrangement you come up with at school. If he has to miss recess, he has to miss recess. If she has her seat moved, she has her seat moved. If he gets a zero, he gets a zero. We will talk about these things at home and I will back you up. But unless it’s something really serious (like bullying — that’s a different story), w hen it’s on your turf, it’s your call.
3) The middle and high schoolers know my husband and I are always available to help them with homework should they need it. But I do not check the older kids’ homework. I don’t look at assignment books, I don’t correct mistakes, and I don’t make them show me their work. It is their responsibility. When/if they go off to college, nobody will be there to babysit them, correct their work, and force them to study. That is on them. And it’s on them to ask for help. We will encourage them and make suggestions, but ultimately, they need to take the reins.
4) I want my kids to be held accountable. Especially the older ones. If they aren’t doing the work, if they blow off studying, if they have a D average, then please give them a D. Give them the grade they deserve and the one they earned. Even if it means they fail. Cause the real world doesn’t bump your grade up two letter grades for class participation.
5) We try really hard to teach kids not to worry about what other kids say to them. To teach them to walk away and not to engage. To be the bigger person. And to stand up for other kids when something uncool is going down. But if a kid seriously fucks with my kid at school and the school doesn’t do anything about it, well, how does the saying go? Hell hath no fury like a mom whose kids are being fucked with. Or something like that.
That about sums it up.
Thanks for all you do, and here’s to a great school year!
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