| Dr. Sheila Jackson, Director | firstname.lastname@example.org
1400 Nalley Terrance, Landover, MD 20785 | 301-618-7356
It's that time of year again. Right about now, students and parents alike are “white-knuckling it” until that last day of school. Exhausted and ready for a break after 10 months of science projects, spelling tests and friendship drama (not to mention the relentless after school programming, carpooling, and parent teacher meetings) just about everybody is ready to wrap-up the year, and quickly. But wait, not so fast! Parents/guardians, this is the perfect time to check-in with your students, whether they're eight or 18, and ask them to take a wide-angle lens to the past year. By looking at the school year through this lens, young learners can start to see the bigger picture, beyond their report cards, in order to appreciate their accomplishments and think about their challenges. After all, they now have another year of life experience (you could even call it wisdom) from which to draw upon next year. Below are some questions to ask your students and discuss their responses to prime them for another year of success!
Please remember, while academic learning is important, life lessons are just as important. Getting your students to think about the year, themselves and others in these ways helps them to develop greater self-awareness while engendering a sense of personal mastery, self-esteem and ultimately self-worth. By asking our young learners these questions you are also sending the message that you value their perspective, that what they think matters to you, and that they have choices in many areas of their lives (how to act, who to hang out with, how to handle challenges). Most importantly, you're also letting them know that part of the success of their year depends on their actions, their attitude and their choices. If you find your child's answers are more negative than positive, it's really important to understand what changes could help make next year a more positive experience. This might mean more communication with the school to understand what happened this year that didn't work, asking for greater support from the wider school community including social workers, coaches and other parents, or ensuring your child spends more time focusing on activities/subjects that play to his/her strengths. But don't be discouraged; many students have a tough year here and there. Growing up is hard! So, now's the time to take a deep breath and remember, you're in the stretch! Help your students to finish strong by getting them to take that wide angle lens to the past year and empowering them with that view to make next year even better. For questions or more information, please contact the Department of Family and School Partnerships at 301-618-7456.