Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back-to-School Not-so-Blues

I think the entire county was shopping back to school sales yesterday. Wal-mart and the mall were INSANE! School starts tomorrow for this community. Most of the others around here started last week, but we're a little late due to state fair. Plus, the middle school needed the extra time to finish the new roof. It's still not finished, but they got quite a bit done last week.

Even though we won't be part of the usual back to school (our only purchase was new sheets for the teen to match the comforter her grandparents gave her), here are some tips for parents and students:

For the parents:
1. Don't expect the teachers to remember you if the only time you met was for five minutes at open house.
2. Support the teachers. Comments like "Her homework policy is way out of line" give your student an excuse to be disrespectful to the teacher.
3. Contact the teacher if you have a problem and, please, wait until you are calm to do it. Going over his head or yelling at him on the phone (or in person) will only cause resentment and get you labeled as the dreaded psycho-parent.
4. Please don't e-mail every day. Not even every week unless you've made an agreement with the teacher.
5. Use powerschool.
6. Set and enforce rules and consequences with you child. This means about homework and what happens if they don't do it, what happens at home if they are in trouble at school, and following through. Bedtimes are also helpful.
7. Don't give your child a cell phone. If it's too late, please don't call or text them on it during class times.

For the students:
1. Go to bed at a reasonable time. No time after 10 pm is reasonable on a school night.
2. Homework first, video games, TV, computer, skateboarding, texting, talking with friends, etc. second.
3. If you have a cell phone, leave it in your locker, turned off. You can check messages at the end of the day. If it's in your pocket, you'll be tempted. Don't put anything on your phone you don't want the teachers and your parents to see. If the teachers take it from you, they will check your contact list and your picture gallery.
4. Make sure you have everything for the next class before you stand around talking with friends for the rest of passing period.
5. Never, never give out your locker combo--especially if you're the new student. That friendly girl who just buddied up to you might also be the class klepto.
6. Don't save food for later in your locker. It starts to smell.
7. Failing a class will not hurt the teacher. It won't even annoy the teacher. It's a really stupid way to try and get back at her. It will probably annoy your parents, but I'm sure you can think of ways to annoy them that don't include summer school or retention.

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