Clear Pathways of Communication
We often hear that great communication is key to just about everything and as redundant as it sounds, it really is! If you want to earn a 4.0 or want your student to achieve this you need to COMMUNICATE with the teacher.
A typical class session consists of the teacher talking and the students listening with a few questions and answers being exchanged by the parties involved. During this time some students will not grasp all the concepts and this can lead to undesirable grades.
For this reason, it’s utterly important that you talk to the teacher as much as possible during your and their free time if you have any questions. Parents, please encourage your students to ask questions during class time if something doesn’t make sense. Try to ask your student during dinner time if there were topics covered in school that they did not understand.
If you can explain the concept to your student without needing to contact the teacher go ahead and do it. If it’s a complex topic that Google or other search engines can’t help you explain, talk to the teacher and ask for help. To avoid running into minor bumps like these, I highly recommend asking the teacher for a list of concepts that will be covered in the coming week. You can do some research on them and talk about them so that by the time they are discussed in class, you would have already had exposure to them leading to increased understanding by you or your child. I understand that all of this talking may sound time-consuming, but it’s less time than what it sometimes takes to get your coffee in the drive-thru.
There are two ways of achieving this that I think is super easy and that most teachers are willing to use. The first one is the easiest in my opinion. Write an email to the teacher requesting the list of topics being discussed the following week. I can assure you this will take less than 10 minutes and make a great difference in your understanding, or that of your student, of what is being covered in class. The second choice is to write a note to the teacher requesting the same information but you run the risk of the note getting lost or your student forgetting to hand it to the teacher. By the third week, some teachers will probably provide you this information without you even asking. I doubt that many teachers will refuse to be helpful but if you run into a teacher that does not want to provide you with this information, try talking to the department chair. Department chairs often have all the curriculums for the teachers in their departments. You will find that most teachers will cooperate as it is better to get emails asking questions rather than emails complaining about bad grades!