Back to School: 10 Things Teachers Wish Parents Would Do

Carol Kocivar, president of the California Parent Teacher Association, shares her tips for the first week of school.

Carol Kocivar, president of the California Parent Teacher Association, is a blogger on Patch sites in California. Are you interested in blogging on your local Patch site? Email the editor to get started (find his or her email address in the top left corner of the homepage).

When my kids were little, my wish for the was pretty basic. It started with making sure the kids were dressed, had breakfast, and were out the door on time and not still in their pajamas.  Easier said than done.

There were all kinds of strategies:

  1. Lay out clothes the night before.
  2. Practice putting shoes on.
  3. Set the alarm.
  4. Forget laces and invest in Velcro.
  5. Darn, set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier.
  6. Explain what it means to eat your breakfast.
  7. Ignore socks that don’t match.
  8. Get homework, backpack, jacket ready the night before.
  9. Ooops. Get kids to bed 15 minutes earlier.
  10. Special Rule: It’s okay if mom is still in pajamas if she is driving kids to school. No one will see.

We all know there is a lot more to student success than just getting to school on time. But as Woody Allen once said, "90 percent of life is just showing up.”

Here are some more tips from the California State Parent Teacher Association (PTA):

Ten Things Teachers Wish Parents Would Do

1. Be involved in your children’s education. Parent involvement helps students learn, improves schools, and makes teachers’ jobs easier.

2. Provide resources at home for reading and learning.  Have books and magazines for your children and read with your children each day.

3. Set a good example. Show that you believe reading is enjoyable and useful. And it can be reading in any language.

4. Encourage children to do their best. Children need to be guided to set obtainable goals.

5. Confirm that academics are of primary concern, followed by preparation for the adult job and involvement in athletics and other extracurricular activities.

6. Support school rules and goals. Take care not to undermine school rules, discipline, or goals.

7. Use pressure positively. Encourage children while being careful not to apply too much pressure by setting unrealistic goals or by involving children in too many activities.

8. Call teachers as soon as a problem becomes apparent, so prompt action can be taken.

9. Exercise parental responsibility. Don’t expect the school or teachers to take over this job. For example, teaching basic discipline is a parental rather than a school responsibility.

10. Understand that alcohol use and excessive partying are problems. They take a serious toll on a student’s health and classroom performance.

You can find more resources to help start a new school year on the state PTA's website. Everyone is invited to join PTA as we work to improve the lives of California’s children.

Carol Kocivar is the president of the California Parent Teacher Association.

Someone August 20, 2012 at 03:29 PM
How about this list of what parents wish teachers knew? 1. Every child doesn't learn the same way. 2. As soon as a problem presents itself contact the parent. 3. Don't play favorites. 4. Stop sending hours of homework home for elementary age children...they're already exhausted when they get home. 5. Don't assume a patent is not doing everything they can to help. 6. Take into consideration that most parents have a full time job and probably at least one or two more children to help with homework...simple refresher work is all the kids should be sent home with. How would you like it if we all sent the kids to school to brush their teeth and tie their shoes because we assume there are no other children you need to help.
LLODOWN August 20, 2012 at 04:30 PM
@ someone! Got A Brotha Rollin'... :^D
Mrs. Gutierrez August 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Don't forget the potty training!!! Discuss with your student how other students can and will make fun of them if they pee or poop their pants. You don't understand how bad it can smell!!! Wear clean clothes everyday. Bathe every night!!! Again, can lead to offensive odors and kids can be very demeaning to your student. Don't always believe that the teacher is picking on your student or that your student could not be behaving that way. If only you were a fly on the wall. Avoid taking family vacations on school days. If a student misses class time, they can fall behind if they are not an exceptional student. With the state standards they really do need to be under the instruction of a certificated teacher to comprehend most of these standards. This past summer your student had 2 1/2 months off unless they were in summer school, then they had 1 1/2 months off. They will be off approximately the same time next year, begin planning vacation now for next summer. @Someone......with 100 STATE standards to be taught within 175 school days homework is a must. There are assemblies, field trips, student illness, vacations taken on school days, etc. That means maybe, just maybe each standard is entitled to 1 1/2 days. If a student doesn't catch on to the current standard, a teacher must go on to the next........remember this is a state mandated program, not the school district's.
Someone August 21, 2012 at 07:54 AM
@ Mrs Gutierrez, by all means, please continue adding to the list of what I need to do as a parent and making excuses for why you can't teach.
Gunnar Hardy August 23, 2012 at 06:50 AM
I agree, and believe that schools and their districts should address these issues as I myself faced many of the challenges you listed


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