This school year has presented high-school students with many new challenges to conquer. The majority of secondary students have moved to the quadmester or semester system where the courses are moving at a fast pace. Students are also adjusting to an adaptive model of learning both in-person and virtually, if not learning remotely altogether.
Traditionally at this time of year, there is an opportunity for parent-teacher conferences. Due to the pandemic and new learning model, this year there may not be an organized option for interviews with your child’s teachers.
With all this in mind, we asked our team of tutors at Teachers on Call to share points of consideration to guide parents of teenagers to support a successful transition of courses and school year.
1) Reach out to your child’s teacher(s) proactively.
In the absence of formal parent-teacher conferences, reach out to your child’s teacher(s) at any point to discuss questions or concerns. For parents of students in the quadmester system, you may consider contacting the teacher as early as the third week of the quadmester to check in on progress. Educators care deeply about supporting their students.
2) Ask to be kept in the loop on student marks.
Parents can ask the teacher(s) to be kept in the loop on their child’s marks. Teachers can simply add parents to the application they are using for student reporting or e-mail the marks to keep everyone in the loop.
3) Inquire on additional supports available from Student Success, Resource Room, and/or the Guidance Department.
These may be additional resources your child can take advantage of. Even something like a school social media account or school website might have some great supports or helpful information for you as a family.
4) Follow if your child is communicating consistently with their teacher(s)
Face-to-face communication is less now than past years. It is important to encourage students to communicate via e-mail or during live virtual sessions with their teacher and know what’s expected of them to stay on top of things.
5) Monitor and ask about your child’s level of focus.
Is your child having difficulty focusing in class for a long period of time? There may be strategies and techniques to help stay on task.
6) Understand if your child is organized for class.
While organization skills are always important, it is especially the case this school year with a lot of content to cover in a short period of time. Look to see if your child is able to organize their notes and binders effectively as this will help them be prepared and be successful in their courses.
7) With either no, limited or modified final exams, what are some extra measures to check the learning outcomes?
It is an important question to ensure that your child has learned the necessary skills to progress to the next level. Students completing their homework and having enough practice to solidify knowledge and skill acquisition is key. Check in with your child’s teacher(s) and tutor(s) to get their input and feedback.
This is the time to set the tone for the next set of courses. Remember in this unique school year, it is important for families to advocate and encourage students to self-advocate as much as possible. The courses move incredibly fast which is why we recommend parents staying involved early on and throughout the courses to follow progress and support successful outcomes.
Please remember that our tutoring team is here to help. A little extra support may be all your child needs to succeed and thrive in these challenging times!
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