Secrets to Success in School


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Farah Najam

Farah Najam has considerable experience of teaching children at different levels. She has worked as a coordinator and has supervised and guided teachers at various levels. She has completed various online courses from such leading American Universities as Harvard University, UCLA and San Diego, where she received high grading. She has appeared on radio programmes (FM 101) as an educational expert. She also develops lesson plans for schools.

parent-teacherIncome or social status is not the predicator of student’s success. Real triumph comes when families collaborate in the following:

  • Creating a learning environment at home
  • Expressing high expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers
  • Becoming involved in children’s education at school

Positive results of parental involvement in their children’s schooling include improved achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children’s schooling.

A good way to start is by actively participating in the parent-teacher meetings:

How to make parent-teacher conference work for your child

Ways to tackle the conference

When the parent is called for a meeting with his child’s teacher, the parent may feel nervous. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Parents should be on time for the conference. They should plan not to run over the amount of time that has been set aside.
  2. If the parent is working, he/she should set up a time to meet, which is good for both the parent and the teacher.
  3. When teachers and parents work to help the child then the conference is at its best. Both of them stay calm. It helps no one when they argue and blame each other for problems the child is having.

Getting ready for the conference

  1. Before the conference the parent should talk to their child. They should find out what is their child’s favorite subject and which is their least liked subject.
  2. Ask the child if there is anything their child wants their parents to ask the teacher.
  3. The parents should make sure that the child does not worry about the meeting. Make him understand that you are meeting with the teacher to help him.
  4. Before parents go to the school, they may write notes about: the youngster’s personality, troubles, habits, hobbies, and life at home, which the parent feels essential for a teacher to be familiar with.
  5. Parents can make note of school policies or programs a parent may have some concern about.
  6. Parents can ask about the child’s progress.
  7. Discuss ways a parent can help the child by working together with the school.
  8. The parent should be ready to see samples of the student’s work, which the teacher might show to them.
  9. Be receptive to the ideas the teacher will give to improve the child’s performance.

After the conference

  1. The action plan on which the teacher and parent worked should be started immediately.
  2. The child should get the feeling that the parent and the teacher care.
  3. Check the child’s behaviour and class work and home work to see if the action plan is working or not.
  4. To discuss the progress the child is making, stay in touch with the teacher.
  5. Meeting the child’s teacher should build strong parent teacher partnerships. This partnership will help the child get the best possible education.

At home a parent can help their child in the following ways:

  1. Read to your child his/her favourite books, stories etc.
  2. Check homework every day
  3. Discuss school progress with teachers
  4. Limit his TV viewing
  5. Ask your child everyday “How was school today?”
  6. Help with homework even if he has a tutor at home
  7. Actively organize and monitor your child’s time at home to minimize wastage of time
  8. Parents can watch news and documentaries, and rent educational videos with the kids
  9. Visit museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and historical sites with your child
  10. Parents and children should read articles together that are found in the newspaper and magazines. Go to the library also
  11. Vacations should be made into a learning experience.
  12. Children, who have a broad foundation of knowledge and background on a variety of subjects, will find schooling and learning easier and interesting. It is the responsibility of the parents to share the world with their children.

Beat School Stress

In a student’s life school stress has a very negative effect. It may have to do with too much homework in the spare time. Try these strategies to cut out that stress.

  1. The child should stay organized. It will help him be in control, and that helps him to keep stress at bay.
  2. The student should also take mini-breaks throughout the day to chill out. Whether it is to nap, write in a journal, or take a walk, he should do something he enjoys regularly. Changing the surroundings even for five or ten minutes can give a new perspective and let him/her feel energized.
  3. The student should be allowed one big chunk of time at least once a week to have fun.
  4. Everybody makes mistakes, and nobody’s perfect. Do not disown the child if he or she has an occasional performance shortfall.
  5. Use stress to motivate your kid to get things done. When the child does some work, he should be happy with himself.
  6. Teachers need to give their students a break now and then and realize how much work they have piled up.

Students can own success

A Student should prepare himself to succeed in his studies. He can try to develop and appreciate the following habits:

  1. The student should take responsibility for himself. Responsibility is recognition that in order to succeed he can make decisions about his priorities, his time, and his resources.
  2. Center himself around his values and principles. He should not let friends and acquaintances dictate what he considers important.
  3. He should put first things first. The student should not let others or other interests, distract him from his goal.
  4. He should follow up the priorities he has set for himself.
  5. Discover key productivity periods and places.
  6. The student should prioritize his most difficult study challenges.
  7. There should be study spaces for morning, evening where the student can be most focused and productive.
  8. First understand others, then attempt to be understood
  9. When the student has an issue with the teacher, for instance a grade that is questionable , an assignment deadline extension, the student should put himself in the instructor’s place.
  10. He ought to look for better solutions to problems. For example if the student has not understood the course material he should not just re-read the material. He should try things like consulting the professor, a tutor, a classmate or a study group.
  11. He should look to continually challenge himself.

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