Setting the Foundation for a Successful School Year: Insights from a Teacher

It's back-to-school time and I believe that setting clear family expectations for the school year is essential for your child's success. Here are some of my desires and insights from a teacher's perspective:

1. Putting Forth Our Best Effort

My ultimate goal is to see every child reach their full potential. It's not just about grades; it's about instilling a strong work ethic, perseverance, and a commitment to learning. Talk with your children about what our "best" looks like. You may choose to explore the importance of trying multiple times, viewing a challenge from a new perspective and asking for help when necessary.  

2. Consistent Bedtime for Positive Energy

A good night's sleep is crucial for maintaining positive energy levels and concentration during the school day. By ensuring that everyone gets enough rest, we can set the stage for productive and focused learning.

3. Prioritizing Family Time

In our busy lives, it's easy to lose sight of the importance of spending quality time together as a family. However, nurturing family bonds through activities like game nights, outings, or simply sharing a meal without distractions is vital. These moments create lasting memories and strengthen family connections.


But, of course, it's equally important to involve your children in the process by asking them about their expectations and desires for the school year. Here's how you can initiate this crucial conversation:

1. Explore Their Academic Goals: Start by discussing your child's academic aspirations. What subjects do they enjoy the most? Do they have any specific goals for this year, such as improving their grades or participating in a school project? This conversation empowers them to take ownership of their learning journey.

2. Consider Extracurricular Choices: Children often have unique interests and passions. They might want to try a new activity or discontinue a current one. By discussing their extracurricular commitments openly, you can support their individuality and passions.

3. Address Homework Preferences: Inquire if they have specific preferences for their homework routine. Perhaps they'd like a quiet, designated spot where younger siblings can't disrupt them. Accommodating these preferences can make homework time more productive and less stressful.

4. Encourage Personal Growth: Beyond academics, encourage them to share their personal goals for the year. This could involve developing new skills, pursuing hobbies, or making new friends. Supporting their personal growth is essential for their overall development.

Listening to and validating your child's desires and needs is vital for building trust and nurturing a positive family atmosphere. By engaging in these conversations, you'll demonstrate that their voices matter, and you're there to support them.

With open communication and a shared commitment to success, you can look forward to a school year filled with academic achievements, personal growth, and precious family moments.

Mme Michelle is an Instructional Resource Teacher in St. John’s, Newfoundland and is passionate about helping students with diverse needs thrive at school and in the real world. She started French For Life in 2012 with the goal of helping French Immersion students get the support they need to become bilingual, despite academic challenges. Interested in learning more about French For Life virtual or in-person tutoring? Contact 

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