Dr. Lorraine Monroe - author of "Nothing's Impossible," a book about her 30 years as a teacher and administrator in New York City's public schools (due out in paperback this April) - says: "It gives me great pleasure when kids are concrened about their education. Their concern should be taken seriously." "Schools, kids and parents ALL have responsibilities," she adds. "Here is what I think they are:"
WHAT SCHOOLS SHOULD GIVE TO KIDS:
. ADULTS WHO MODEL what they expect from the students. . UNPREJUDICED TREATMENT. . A SAFE WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT that offers consistency and structure. . CHALLENGING AND INTERESTING COURSES. . COMPETENCY IN BASIC SKILLS - reading, writing, math, thinking (problem solving) - before the third grade or age 10. Plus exposure to all the arts. . TUTORING - BEFORE FAILURE becomes a habit. . INTERESTED, PREPARED TEACHERES who hold high expections for ALL children.
WHAT SCHOOLS SHOULD EXPECT FROM KIDS:
. COME TO SCHOOL every day on time. . BEHAVE RESPECTFULLY to adults and each other. . OBEY SCHOOL RULES. . RESPECT SCHOOL PROPERTY. . COME TO SCHOOL PREPARED. . DO ASSIGNED HOMEWORK on time and neatly. . SEEK HELP before falling behind. . BECOME INVOLVED in some aspect of school life - clubs, teams, student government. . UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION for success in the future - even if you think a class is "boring," "stupid," or "dumb."
WHAT PARENTS SHOULD EXPECT FROM SCHOOLS:
. TO RECEIVE A ROSTER of who's who at the school - and ways of communicating with them. . TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT. . TO BE TREATED AS A PARTNER in your child's education. . TO HAVE "EDUCATIONESE" translated for you. . TO BE INFORMED from Day One, orally and in writing, about the school's rules and philosophy. Also, the dates of meetings and events. . TO BE TOLD, AND PERHAPS TRAINED IN, what you should do at home to help the school help your child be successful in school and in life.
WHAT SCHOOLS SHOULD EXPECT FROM PARENTS:
. SAY AT HOME that you support the school's mission, program and rules. . DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE of getting a good education for success. . TALK EVERY DAY, from preK on, about school ("What happened today? What was the best thing you did?) and really listen and respond to your child's answers. . READ TO YOUR CHILD (from birth). Have books, newspapers and magazines around. Use libraries as resources. . PROVIDE A QUIET PLACE and time to read and study. . ASK YOUR CHILD TO EXPLAIN some of the homework to you.
****************************************************** * Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA Fax: (618)453-4244 Phone: (618)453-4241 (office) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org