Thursday, July 9, 2015
Do you know why K12 parent involvement is so important? A student’s parent is the first educator they will ever know. My passion showing parents how to help their child to succeed inspired me to write the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide at http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa. My goal is to help parent’s to get better results from helping their children to have better academic preparation. No parent wants to see their child to fail. Children have different learning styles and parents and teachers must work as a team. Do you want to feel confident that your child will earn better grades? My book reveals what you must do to improve your students K12 experience. Get my book for your family or encourage your school principal to purchase copies for its parents. Here are a few tips from the book:
1. Set up a time for each child to study every day
2. Students who read over an hour each day earn better grades
3. Meet every teacher and ask questions. Work as a team to get your student the help that they need.
4. Know the grades your child is earning by following their progress and getting help right away. Get a tutor right away.
5. Use 3 x 5 cards to review key words and definitions your child must know.
6. Make sure that your child gets good rest before every examination.
7. Get your child in the habit of studying for tests at least 4 days before the test
8. Get other books that explain your subject better
Make it your goal to be an involved parent. Do not rely on the school to give your child everything. Aim high and expect the best for your child. Your words have power. Have a positive mental expectation that your child will earn good grades. You can get your copy of the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide for yourself, your high school or community organization at http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Now that the school year is over it time to turn up your preparation for the next school year. There is a saying that insanity is doing what you've always done and expecting different results. Tell everyone in your school that change is good and ideas are welcomed. Everyone can contribute to the success of a school. Here are some things your school can do:
1. Engage your students in creative group projects inside and outside of the school
2. Flip the classroom and let students have many opportunities to review what they are learning on video
3. Tell your students the ten things they must know to succeed in each section of your course
4. Have an examination review to tell students in depth how to prepare for the examination. Always teach study skills and study habits.
5. Find ways to give out awards and certificates to students who are not normally recognized
6. Make school attendance a big deal and celebration all of the time
7. Implement an entrepreneurship program in your school. Get the Small Business Administration center and companies involved
8. Ask parents to get involved in one specific school project each year
9. Get your students involved in chess tournament it teaches great problem solving, patience and decision making skills
10. Get your students involved in robotics competitions like First Tech Challenge
Now is the time to have a new vision for your school. Put pictures of successful people of all around your school. Put success quotes around your school. Have the students develop and vote on a school motto. Change is good. Help students to earn better grades and to believe in themselves. Time to take your students to the next level of learning. It's up to you. Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study at http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa Join his education newsletter at http://bit.ly/1sVyCzs. Contact me with your questions at 610-842-3843.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
There are many benefits to encouraging K12 students to work during the summer. They can learn how to use some of the knowledge they obtained during the school. They benefit from learning what professionals do at work. Also they may uncover a career that interest them. It is far better than having a student sit around the house with nothing to do. Here are some job ideas:
1. Encourage a high school student to take a entrepreneurship course at a community college
2. Start a small business with friends
3. Tutor students in other grades
4. Work at a relatives business
5. Work at a recreation center
6. Apply for a life guard job
7. Create your own lawn care business
8. Pursue a job at a local radio station
9. Create a baby sitting service
10. Talk to a librarian about summer jobs
12. Find work in a grocery store
13. Serve as a camp counselor
14. Teach arts and crafts to younger children.
15. Start a bicycle repair business
Learning how businesses work can be enlightening for a student during the summer. Get your student to brainstorm business ideas with other students. Other professionals can contribute to a student's learning experience. Ask your teachers for business problems you can solve during the summer. If you encourage your students to do something different this summer your K12 students will never be the same again.
Dr Stephen jones is a education advocate, college access and success expert and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parents Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide at http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa Join my newsletter http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa or email me to add you at learn@DrStephenJones.net.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
The best schools prepare students for their transition to high school throughout their middle school experience. Often middle school students do not know what to expect. High school will be much more challenging than middle school. For example some middle school students have math course but it does not offer enough of a foundation to match what the student will experience in high school.
Here are some things that middle schools can do to prepare students for high school:
1. Establish a transition program between the high school and the middle school.
2. Focus on teaching students good study habits
3. Learning time management is a key to doing well on tests.
4. Reinforce doing homework on time. It is a good habit.
5. Establish a tutoring program between the middle school and the high school that students frequently attend
6. Get the middle school student involved in volunteering
7. Help the students to learn how to achieve their goals
8. Have the students to participate in honors classes.
9. Ask the high school principle how to prepare your student.
10. Visit colleges to keep your students motivated
Principals and students must be active participants in the high school academic preparation process. It is good to talk to students about the choices that they have to make while in high school. You can let them know that there is limit to what they can accomplish. Hard work will always. The middle school students benefit.
The middle school student must also learn how to respond to peer pressure. Talking about peer pressure and how to respond to bullying can help the student's emotional adjustment.
Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate and author of Seven Secrets of How to Study. Get copies for students at your http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Stress can be one of the greatest challenges for K12 professionals. You are constantly under pressure to get student to show school improvement without the resources that you need to accomplish it. You spend 60 to 80 hours each week doing your job. There are all kinds of meetings with students, staff, teachers and parents. You have a significant number of regulations. In spite of all these challenges you enjoy what you do. In order to survive your daily challenges you must commit to managing your stress. Here are some things that you can do to lower your stress:
1. Participate in a water aerobics class at the YMCA/YWCA
2. Organize a weekly fun game night for your family or with friends
3. Take a more than one mini 3 day vacations during the fall and the spring
4. Take off a Friday and a Monday to create a 4 day weekend to enjoy family
5. Hire a trainer to keep you on track with your fitness and healthy eating goals
6. Go walking three times a week. It is a great alternative exercise.
7. Take a month off during the summer.
8. Visit an aquarium to relax
9. Go to the beach to enjoy nature
10. Create a picture board with fun things that you want to accomplish and start working on them.
11. Do different exercises 6 days a week. Try different exercises and it will not be boring.
The K12 professionals who are effective have learned that stress management must be a way of life for you. Something that you must do to be an effective K12 professional is managing your stress. I have talked to several K12 professionals who never take a vacation. Vacations can help you to recharge your battery and to relax. An important part of your health plan is reducing your stress and taking a day to relax when you are overwhelmed.
Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate, author and professional development presenter on numerous topics at http://bit.ly/1wJHWaa or email Dr. Jones at Learn@DrStephenJones.net
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The gap between those who have and those who do not continues to grow. It separates the rest of society’s chances to get access to the best education. Ultimately the outcome of the socioeconomic disparity is growth in the achievement gap. The future is affected by every student that is sitting in class disenchanted with the education that they are receiving. The future of education is now. While some say standardized testing provides good information to change a failing school others say it is a distraction to the learning process. Some teachers are forced to teach to the test and this does not result a better school. Principals and teachers jobs are lost based on test scores. Educators and parents need to make a serious effort to close the achievement gap by working together.
Some say there is a lack of parent involvement. Parents face many socioeconomic challenges that limit their participation. It takes a whole community working together to build a bridge that connects the children to the right education experience. If you live in a state where early childhood education is not supported your children’s chances of reading at grade level is limited. It’s time to close the achievement gap today by improving education all along the K12 experience. Too many school districts are fighting an uphill battle to survive. In subsequent paragraphs you will find suggestion for closing the achievement gap.
Bold School Leadership
Some school districts are constantly unstable which causes a crisis in leadership. Principals across school districts are added and removed throughout the school year. Some principal’s don’t know what teachers will work in their build during the school year. Teachers may change from one year to the next. A person may be trained for leadership but they need consistency among their teachers to organize an effective school. If the principal and teachers are working together a lot can be accomplished and students can earn better grades. It can also help to reduce the achievement gap because the students have the same teachers throughout the school year. I have heard about one school that had three math teachers in one year. You cannot expect a child to learn with that kind of instability.
Effective leadership on the part of a principal can help to close some of the doors that limit a student’s ability to go to college. All principals that work at schools in each city need to regularly come together and think of solutions that they can implement. The principals must be united in to see better outcomes for the children who are in their school district. The student should have an awareness that their principal has a plan to improve how they perform. Principals must know that they must sacrifice their time and continually gain more knowledge to make their school the best that it can be.
To close the achievement gap a written and measurable plan must be followed in order to reduce student absenteeism. There are a number of issues that plague students who are frequently absent. These students often face adverse health issues, some students have persistent problems with asthma or stress that cause students to be more susceptible to sicknesses. There may be abuse going on in their home and it has not been investigated. A significant number of students are no longer interested in school and there are no parents at home who can inspire them to excel while in school.
Every effort must be made to overcome the challenges of decreasing the amount of student absenteeism. There should be an assessment of the patterns of absenteeism that exists in certain neighborhoods. The data can be used to come up with new strategies to resolve issues that absent students face and each day. Getting students to attend school is important because the research says that when students don’t show up for school their grades are affected. This student can easily become disillusioned with school and dropout. School districts must find more creative ways to catch up with students and their parents to offer them solutions. It takes a team effort to send a message to families that you want their child to succeed in school. School districts must be aware that some parents are on the move in terms of their place of residence throughout the school year. Most parents want their children in school every day but moving to survive affects their child’s attendance. There must be an easy process for a child to transfer to a new school.
There must be many communication access points to keep the school district informed about a child’s absenteeism issues. Some schools have a call in telephone number in place on their website or a parent can call and talk to someone live. Some parents may use a library to communicate with the school over the Internet. Effective communication may take time when a parent moves to a new neighborhood. The best results will come with the school districts that have multiple ways to communicate regarding student absenteeism. The school district must have a plan that will address the absenteeism issue while also helping students to be motivated about attending school.
One cannot ignore the health issues that often plague students who are in the United States. Students suffer issues like asthma, diabetes and teen pregnancy to name a few. All of these issues can contribute to the gap in the academic achievement of the students. These students may end up in an emergency room prior to a test and they may feel out of it when they do retain return to school to take their test. Depending on the illness it may take several days to get back to school. If the student does not have a computer at home they must have parents who can help them to get their assignments. A good student may turn in an assignment late due to their illness. Parents who have children with several health issues can feel overwhelmed.
There needs to be a citywide coordinated effort to respond to health issues that are happening in the community. When a young person has a baby it can hinder her ability to continue school unless there is a health advocate in place to help the student. She could be a student who had good grades before the pregnancy. She should not be penalized. Schools should not count her as a loss because she cannot return to school right away. Educators should always find multiple ways that a student can return school. There must be a coordinated effort with the school nurse and other public health agencies. There should be a health plan in place so that the principal has the help that they need with the students who have health issues.
Each month parents need information about health solutions and other resources. It is better to help parents to take a preventative approach to healthcare rather than awaiting the next crisis. A lot students do not have the right glasses some parents do not have enough money to take care of their need for new glasses. The Philadelphia Eagles football team has a bright idea they have their own truck with doctors who the provide glasses for children. We need to make a big investment in how our children’s health is monitored and resolved. Closing the achievement gap must include a healthcare plan that works.
The socioeconomic condition of parents is an ongoing factor in the expansion of the achievement gap. There are economic factors such as income inequality and homes where there is only one income coming that limits a parents aspirations for their child. Some parents may remember their own experience with their local school and decide that their participation will not make a difference. They do not realize that they are their child’s first teacher. Spending time communicating with their child is more work but is worth the investment. A student whose parent is reading to their child every day significantly at increases their chances for success.
It is important to consider how to close the achievement gap as an ongoing part of the school plan. In order to succeed there must be several different ways to get parents involved in schools academic life. My suggestion is finding ways to meet parents where they are. For example the school principal should consider all of the events where parents typically show up. It can be exporting event, a school play or something is happening at a community center. This may require more time but is it worth the investment. This is a signal to the local community that the principal and the teachers at a particular school really care about how well the students perform.
This is the day to get started with new ideas and programs to get parents excited about their role at their child’s school. You want to get all the parents involved in some way. There could be a conference call, workshop or online chat about things that are happening at the school. Identify a parent who is very committed to talk to school administrators and teachers and get them involved in all the parent initiatives. Another approach would be getting one parent from each class to participate in the Parent Taecvher Association (PTA). If this happens you will have a significant level of participation throughout your school. There is a possibility that you could have 30 to 40 parents involved. If you get one parent from each class you are increasing your parent engagement and changing the school environment. This will be a great strategy for close the achievement gap because parents could be an active part of their student’s success.
Closing the achievement gap will require innovative leadership and a commitment to changing how students learn. The principal at a school must find a creative way to address multiple issues. Students should know that they are welcome in the school and that they can benefit from instruction that is happening throughout the day. We cannot continue to allow the achievement gap to expand. This is time for the entire American community to come together to address a crisis issue. There needs to be more than a national dialogue about closing the achievement gap this is a time for action. The future is in our hands now and we have an opportunity to expose students to the new careers that can change the socio-economic conditions of students who graduate from high school or who pursue a post secondary education .
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