Your Child’s Advocate

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Stationary from the Bonnie Marcus Collection

It is the beginning of the school year and the perfect time to latch onto your child’s excitement for school before it fades away and possible bad habits start to creep in, resurface, etc.  I’m sure you all have received some version of their students rights and responsibilities handbook that requires your signature, updated school supply lists, and countless emergency care forms.  Well, take the time to set your child up for a year of success.  It will save you some stress and alert your child that you are in their corner and plan on being involved as much as possible.  Here is a list of tips:

1.  Send an email – make it personal, introduce yourself and give a little background about your child that the teacher may not get from looking at past standardized test scores.  This will accomplish a few things.  First, your email address will now be in their system and they will be able to easily reach you throughout the day if issues arise in the classroom.  As a teacher myself, I know that it is easier to get time to respond to an email than to make a call.  Also, my emails like many other educators come directly to my phone.  Secondly, the teacher will be able to use the information within your email to better help the child in front of them.  Thirdly, the earlier this done, the quicker it is for a teacher to put a face of one of their 120 students with a name.

2.  If your child has special needs or requires accommodations in the classroom, it is necessary to set up an appointment with the guidance counselor early in the year along with core teachers to let them know what works for your kiddo and update information on any IEP’s or 504’s.  Also, you will be able to adjust to changes that may occur.  Note:  certain accommodations given in elementary are not provided in middle school.

3.  See if you can obtain an extra copy of the textbooks to keep at home.  Some schools offer online textbooks.  Attach the class syllabus ( if given) or the county’s pacing guide to each book.  This way you know what should be covered and around about when.

4.  Have a sit down with your child and agree upon a schedule for when they return home for school.  When is snack time, homework time, chore time, tv time, etc.  Also, be clear of your expectations in regards to homework.  Designate a spot for them to complete homework everyday after school.  Make sure it is free from distractions and supplies are readily available, pencil sharpener, ruler, protractor, dictionary, thesaurus, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paper, etc.

5.  Know that you can request a detailed progress report at anytime during the quarter.  You do not have to wait for interim and end of quarter report cards to be surprised by your child’s grades.

6.  Try as hard as you can to attend all orientations, back to school nights, and touch bases.

7.  Remember that most schools provide after school homework clubs so that students can get work done and ask questions.  This is free and may save you money on a tutor.  Also, there is a bus that usually takes the, home afterwards.  Check with your school.

8.  Preview the list of clubs and activities that your child’s school offers. Encourage them to get involved.  It will allow them to feel like part of the school and they will become even more vested in being successful there.

I hope this helps and if there are any questions, please feel free to reply to this post.  Also, another good idea would be to purchase an accordion folder to store report cards, awards, etc so that you have an archive of your child’s academic career.

* If you like the above stationary, please visit: http://beorganized.fcorgp.com/content/bonnie-marcus

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My 1st Twitter Chat

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OMG! I am so ecstatic about the new community of writers that I have joined.  I have been looking for a group of professionals who share the same goals as mine and that is to publish their work and receive feedback on current projects.  I am new to Twitter this year and it was one of the best decision that I made as far as social media is concerned (not including Pinterest).  Tonight I just wrapped up my first twitter chat with #TeachersWrite.  It was the first time that I have ever been involved with something like this and in the same year as my attendance at NVWP.

I believe that it is important to share your dreams, goals, and fears with others that can support you and provide the feedback that you need to excel.  For the past couple of years I have been complaining that in addition to my constant procrastination and overwhelming supply of ideas and concepts that never reach fruition, I do not have a community of like-minded individuals.  This could be the difference between being unpublished and published for me!

So, what’s the deal with #teacherswrite? It is a summer PD that allows teachers, librarians, and anyone to come together and go through the writing process just as their students would.  There are daily prompts and opportunities for feedback on your personal projects.  Currently, I am in the process of completing my poetry book and having a difficult time securing a stable photographer.  I am also working on a YA novel along with the curriculum for my middle school creative writing summer program (to launch in 2014).  Wow!  That’s a lot and of course I am in graduate classes online and teach an online course.  Let’s not forget my two kiddo’s. Whew!

This is why I tend to procrastinate on the writing (especially the novel) because time slips away from me.  So every now and then throughout the course of the summer, I may post some of my responses to the writing prompts here on my blog.  Here’s to a wonderful, productive, and creative summer.