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Reflect: Celebrate Successes and Identify Opportunities for Growth By Latasha Schraeder

We’ve come a long way this academic year! Approximately ten percent of the school year remains. I trust this year has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience for you and your children. Take a moment to reflect on all that has been accomplished. Has your child’s reading ability improved? Has he or she mastered new and more advanced math skills? Now is also the time to take note of skill deficits to be addressed during the summer months and early next fall. As parents, our work is never done! I encourage you to reach out to teachers one final time to discuss opportunities for growth.

Do not be discouraged by skills deficits. Each student makes academic gains at his or her own rate. The important thing on which to focus is not the rate of growth, but the fact that growth is occurring. While using district, state and nationwide testing norms as a piece of the overall data picture can be informative, be careful not to compare your child’s growth to another. I believe putting too much emphasis on comparison can be damaging to a child’s social-emotional health. Reassure your child that he or she is capable.

Reflection, preparation, and information gathering for the final push and the planning of a productive summer is the goal for the month of May. Remind yourself that we began the school year full of optimism and setting goals for the academic year. Finish strong! You will thank yourself and appreciate this investment in the future. I promise.

Be your child’s fiercest advocate.