The Norman Transcript

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August 23, 2013

How can we be supportive of school staff?

NORMAN — Q: Both of our children are transitioning to new grade levels at different schools this year. We felt very close to the faculty and staff at the previous schools.

What can we do to integrate ourselves into these upper level schools without being intrusive? We want the teachers to know we are supportive, but we certainly don’t want to go overboard and embarrass our kids.

— Bill and Juanita, Norman

A: First of all, please don’t worry about embarrassing your kids. You can be supportive of them and the school staff in several ways. You can join PTSA — there are so many volunteer jobs that need to be completed and not enough people to fill them.

Believe it or not, our kids like to know parents are involved and visible. You certainly don’t have to follow them around from class to class, but try to participate as much as possible. As counselors, we can tell you we appreciate interested parents, but we also like for our students to advocate for themselves as much as possible. It’s a good life lesson for them.

You can also make sure the teacher(s) have your current contact information such as cell phone and email address. Communication is so important.

Along this line, remember that as kids get older, always check the validity of things you are told. There are two sides to a story, so when your student comes home and says, ‘My teacher did (insert story),’ you need to talk to both parties and hear the entire explanation. It’s always best to go to the source … don’t call the principal or counselor, because they weren’t sitting in the class and won’t have the answers.

If you haven’t signed up for Parent Portal and it’s available, it’s a great way to keep track of your child’s progress, including tardies, absences and grades. We appreciate our parents being involved — we wish all parents were like you.

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