I applaud every effort to bring to light the struggle that our schools are facing. We are definitely at a crossroads at this time. I appreciate the stories about those that make a difference each and every day in the lives of our students. Our teachers, administrators and school support staff strive for excellent every moment that our children are in their care, and then some. Many go above and beyond their job descriptions, trying to make a positive impact. But they simply cannot do it alone.
It is time for parents to go back to school.
It is time for us to be engaged in a collaborative effort to educate our children. It is time to have those crucial conversations about where our children's schools are academically and how that impacts an entire community. I know that some parents may say, but I am involved. I say, are you? Do you know what the curriculum is? Do you know what the grades really mean? When you sign your child's student planner do you read the teacher's comments or look at the schedule? Or are you just scanning for big red check marks that indicate a "problem?" I know our lives are monumentally busy. But do you know the names of your child's friends? Have you read the books your child reads? Have you sat down with them and worked a math problem or looked at a map for their geography lesson?
We know that parent involvement is the key to success. But far too often parents are shut out by the school. Not on purpose mind you. I trust that the educators at my children's school are doing the best job. But I can help. Ask to sit on a committee. Ask about SBDM. Ask about PTA/PTSA. Ask what is the superintendant's legislative agenda. Where does your child fit in that plan. If you don't know, find out. Parents are required to be part of planning committees, especially when it comes to the distribution of stimulus monies. Find out if that is happening in your community. If it isn't, step up and represent your children and their friends.
It is time to go back to school. Not just for bake sales and wrapping paper. Not just for Fall Festivals and Walk-a-thons. It is time to get educated about education. Don't wait for tomorrow. Go to school. Today.