Monday, September 15, 2008

Back-to-School Night

Wednesday is Back-to-School Night at my son's high school. With three kids, this will be my 16th Back-to-School Night, so I consider myself something of an expert. Even though I've done this numerous times before, I'm still curious to meet my child's teachers, to find out from him where he sits, so I can see his view of the classroom, step into his shoes for a few minutes.

Of course, things have changed over the years.

When they were in elementary school, the rooms were packed. Both parents attended whenever possible, so it was standing room only. Middle school parent nights were also well attended, making it a real challenge to navigate between classrooms during the three minute passing period - the same amount of time the kids have.

High school Back-to-School Nights have been a little different. This will be our seventh year at the high school, and my husband and I have experienced both sides of the coin - classrooms that were full of anxious parents, wondering what will be expected of their child, and nearly empty rooms where maybe three other parents showed up.

Granted, sometimes a parent can't get away from work, or they have more than one child and can't be in two places at once. But this is the one time it really pays for both parents to show up. It's one evening where you get to find out what is expected of your child, what the homework policy is, whether or not extra credit will be awarded. How much are the tests worth? How much time should they be studying at home? What big project is due next week?

Try to fit Back-to-School Night into your busy schedule. It will be worth the time; and, who knows, you might even learn something!


Judy said...

Hi Theresa,
You are so right - Back to School night is a very important parent activity. I never missed one and it made the world of difference in understanding my daughter's days at school.

Excellent advice.

Carma's Window said...

Too often parents loose the momentum of excitement for their kids. Also kids want to feel grown up and don't want the parents to show up anywhere. In fact some kids may prefer that the teachers never know the parents.

Thanks for the reminder that high school kids need to know their parents are there for them whether they agree or not.


Dorit said...

Hi, Theresa,

Thanks for the tips.

Do you have any tips for first graders? :-)