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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Students' attitudes begin with parents

Thursday, August 4, 2005

With school just around the corner, parents should immediately begin preparing their youngsters for that first day of classes. Teachers and administrators will tell you that far too many kids come to school unprepared for the discipline and routine of classroom work. And the blame for that issue falls squarely on the parents.

When my kids were in school here, we had an annual ritual, especially in the elementary and middle-school era. I would take them by their school a week or so before classes began and we would either peek in the window or walk the hallways to familiarize them with the school setting. It probably helped me as much as them.

But too many parents continue to place all of the burden of responsibility on the teachers and school staff. And that is wrong. Parents should begin generating excitement in their students for the upcoming school year. They need to answer any questions and remove any fears. Without that parental support, kids will go to school unprepared for the school year.

School performance, attendance and attitude are all important ingredients that a parent can address before the classes begin. Yet many parents will wait until the last minute to prepare their child. That lack of concern does not go unnoticed by the child. And that attitude carries over to the classroom.

Sikeston schools have a large number of children from single-parent households, almost exclusively headed by a mother. We recognize that there are burdens on these mothers that can sometimes be overwhelming. But there is ample support within the community to make that job easier. All it takes is to ask for that help.

To make a smooth transition from summer time to school time takes work. And it's not too late. When you involve your youngster in the excitement of school's beginning you end up with a more productive student and a happier student. But it starts with the excitement generated by a parent.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen