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Topic: How we can make our schools better
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,619
Registered: 12/3/04
How we can make our schools better
Posted: Jan 12, 1999 11:28 AM
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[From Parade, Sunday, January 10, 1999, p. 5]

A Teacher's View - How to Make Schools Work

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: jbecker@siu.edu





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