The Team of Three Foundation

Before we start working together, I want to introduce you to the foundation of everything I do here at Parent Focus. “The Team of Three”. No matter what you purchase, hear, or read from me, “The Team of Three” will be at the core of the message. What is “The Team of Three”? Let me explain.

A Parent, a student, and a teacher. These are the three members of the team. They all carry extremely weighty responsibility in the success or lack-thereof in a child’s school year. Of course there are those stories of students who succeeded with terrible teachers or with uninvolved parents, but why should those stories have to become your child’s? It’s unnecessary. Lets take a look at each team member and the role they play in a successful 12 years of schooling.

The Student:

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the other two members of the team can push, and encourage, and cheer, and instruct, and guide, and urge, and yell, and scream, and punish, and bribe their heads off. Unless this member of the team is in it to fully win it, success will be a variable more than a certainty. The student is the center of the team and they have a weighty responsibility in how things go.

  • Taking notes in class to make sure they have a reference point for review or help.
  • Completing homework and doing their best to ensure all answers are correct and follow the given directions.
  • Asking the teacher or their parent for help as soon as they see the need.
  • Studying for tests, quizzes, and exams to be prepared to knock them out of the park.
  • Keeping a system of organization and time management that allows them the flexibility to both get their school work done, and enjoy being their age.

The Teacher:

This is the knowledge well. Each teacher is able to offer students a different perspective on lessons. Different teachers also offer different teaching styles. While some styles are great for the student, others may not be.

  • The teacher is the one who has to decide how to best instruct the student in a way that fits their learning style.
  • They have to plan lessons that engage the student, motivate the student, and educate the student.
  • The teacher, according to state regulations, is responsible for keeping the parent up to date with the student’s progress or lack-thereof.
  • The teacher should have a system or process for a student to use when they need to ask for help. Is there a time to show up for tutoring? Are the first five minutes before class available for a student to chat?
  • Teachers are responsible for creating an unbiased system of grading their students work. While there is always room for perception in grading certain types of work, a student and their parent should be able to see how the work was assessed and why it received the grade they got.
  • A teacher has the responsibility of keeping the learning environment open and motivating. Should a child receive a low grade, they must be in a classroom environment that creates the impression that help is there!
  • V.I.S.N. (Very Important Sidenote) Teachers do not control the standards, curriculum, or state regulations for what your child is learning in school. So complaining to them about it may only be causing a rift that you do not want there.

The Parent:

Similar to the teacher, the parent is a member of the team of three that holds the responsibility of motivating the student.

  • The parent has to maintain a home schedule that allows the student time, space, and accountability to the work and lessons assigned by the teacher.
  • The parent should also be able to ensure that the child learns other skills that are not school based. Those of organization, time management, self-control, and grit.
  • The parent, especially in the younger years, has the responsibility of selecting schools and programs that best fit their child’s abilities and personality.
  • The parent is responsible for keeping an eye out for opportunities of enrichment. Examples: SAT prep courses, personal tutors, State school tests for advanced placement.
  • A parent should be aware of their child’s schooling schedule. What time a child should be in school and what time they get out. This is especially important for older grades that have early dismissals or late arrivals where a student could potentially cut a class and miss out on lessons.

All Three:

Like any other team, communication is key. All three are responsible for speaking honestly and respectfully about the successes and failures that occur throughout the school year. All three should be aware of where the student’s grade stands at any given time in some way. No one member of the team should feel left out or uninvolved in decisions that affect the team. When all three hold up their individual ends of the bargain, success becomes more of a certainty than a variable. When every team member accepts the fact that when the student wins the teams wins, a lot of the unnecessary head-butting of school-home interaction melts away because every member is rooting for each other to win at their individual responsibilities.

Balance is key in communication. Too much of it, especially negative based communication, hurts your team and hurts your ability to work well towards a successful 12 years of education for your child. It creates the impression that you do not think your other team members are competent enough to play their roles without you stepping in. No one wants to feel like they aren’t trusted.

There is also the issue of overstepping our roles. Roles are boundaries. When we as humans overstep our boundaries, in the words of Sir Toppum Hat, “confusion and delay” arise. Of all three team members, I have to be honest here, this happens most often with parents.

Parents who are so bent on their children’s success that they take over other roles are hurting their team more than helping their team. Solving problems for your child when they are stuck on a homework assignment? Overstepping. It is not your role to answer homework. It is not your role to teach how to solve it. That is a dual overstep!

Constantly calling and emailing your child’s teacher with complaints and issues? While communication is key, this type of communication oversteps your role as a school parent. You are not the coach of the team. You have a coaching role in terms of your child only. To become a nag to the team members that do not live in your house makes it harder for them to work with you. They dislike it! On top of carrying out their role as teacher, they are now forced to become your personal concierge.

I know this is a lot to take in and an ideal concept. My goal is to spread this concept and make it a reality starting with you. As you read this, think about discussing this with your child, shooting an email to their teachers. Team players encourage each other. They show appreciation for the wins that other members of the team assist in creating. Communication in good times is just as important as it is in times of struggle and frustration.

Communication, when motivated by respect, positivity, and teamwork is the gear that keeps your team running. Building a sense of camaraderie when things go well, makes everyone much more comfortable and willing to work together when things aren’t going well. This is the core of any conversation you will have with your child and your child’s teachers.

I’d love to hear your feedback and opinions of my Team of Three! Feel free to comment and if you’d like, private message me at my Facebook page “Parent Focus”

Thanks for stopping by and, stay focused parents.

Your personal education consultant,
C. HIllesheim

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