Tag Archives: back to school

Going “Back” to School

September has emerged as one of my favourite months of the year. In addition to the overabundance of pumpkin flavoured beverages and treats at your friendly neighbourhood café, many are gearing up for another year in school. Whether you are a student, a teacher, or a professor, September marks the beginning of a new chapter in your educational journey.

The more I reflect on the phrase ‘back to school’, the more I realize that I never really left to begin with. I did not suddenly stop reading interesting articles and books, nor did I make a conscious effort to avoid the occasional heated debate with my friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I am still fun and approachable at BBQ parties though, I promise.

Summer break in the K-12 setting is often depicted as ‘freedom’ from learning and the perfect excuse to avoid the books. While I understand the need to relax and take it easy after a year of rigorous academic work, we can definitely benefit from not juxtaposing the fun nature of summer with the productivity demands of fall. Do some students dread going back to school because they have less time to play outside or because the classroom simply isn’t engaging enough? I would much rather students be excited about all the potential learning opportunities rather than their next vacation.

Now that the school year is well underway, I hope you are brimming with the same excitement as me. I can’t wait to be introduced to must-read books, build new connections with my classroom peers, grow as a researcher, and so much more! What are you looking forward to this academic year? Whatever that may be, strive to be a snowflake, unique and beautiful in your own way, rather than another brick in the wall.

AliceCooper

 

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Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

parentteacherconf

Now that the school year has started, parent-teacher conferences are not too far away. Often parents only get 5-10 minutes with their child’s teacher(s). Nadworny from NPR suggests that in that limited time parents should focus on three major areas: the child; the classroom; and the future. Below are excerpts from the NPR article.

  1. The Child
  • “Most experts suggest telling the teacher about your child: Describe what they’re like at home, what interests and excites them, and explain any issues at home that may be affecting your child at school.”
  1. The Classroom
  • “Ask about what’s happening in the classroom — both academically and socially.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to ask the teacher to clarify what assessment or grades actually mean.”
  • “Before the meeting is over, you should be sure you’re clear on the teacher’s expectations for your child.”
  1. The Future
  • “To get the most out of the conversation, she says, both the teacher and the parent should know what comes next. Brainstorm with the teacher to come up with ways to solve challenges your child faces. Ask for concrete examples of things you can do at home to help.”

Read the entire article here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/09/18/349337543/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-10-minutes-with-teacher?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20140918