Last week, my district held its second report card pick-up day (RPU) for the year, and that inspired me to write a blog! I have taught 6th-12th grade in a variety of locations, and have noticed that while some things about RPU varies, there is still a dream list I have of things I wished happened every time. With that being said, here are four things I wished that happened during RPU.
#1: Meet me BEFORE RPU. One year, I had a parent send a letter to me introducing herself and her child. It was great! I learned important information the first day of school and it showed me that that particular parent wanted to be a partner in learning. Oftentimes, the first time I actually meet a parent is at RPU. Most parents have already communicated with you via phone or email regarding assignments, grades, concerns, and successes; however, it was always nice for parents to reach out periodically to introduce themselves, ask questions, and even pop in to say hello. We are all partners in your child’s learning, so feel free to stop on by!
#2: Bring your child to RPU. I know that sometimes parents cannot physically do this because of time restraints, but it is always nice to have the student present during those conferences. When students aren’t present, the conference becomes a meeting in which information is exchanged between two adults. When the student is also present, it turns into a discussion about learning. Students can even lead the conferences, and share with both their parents and teachers information that they have learned and topics with which they struggle. When all parties are present, RPU becomes a showcase, not just a bland delivery of information!
#3: Come prepared with questions. In 13 years, I cannot recall a time when a parent initiated conversation. I always begin the conversation and try to determine what kinds of questions the parent might have. Just as when you go to the doctor, come prepared with questions to ask your child’s teacher. Ask about the curriculum, what projects or assignments students are working on, things to be prepared for in the future, or even specific aspects of assignments. Remember, we are partners in learning, and we both want your child to be successful!
#4: Make your business to make it your business. One thing I noticed as a high school teacher is that, sometimes, parents become less diligent. They feel that their children have reached a certain age and will remember to convey important information. As a result, they are not up-to-date on things like student fees, course requirements, state testing requirements, college application processes, key dates…. High school students are pretty forgetful! Make sure you are stopping by the school and scheduling meetings with the counselor and teachers to get updated information.
Well, I didn’t want to inundate you with things I wished happened during RPU, but these are four big ones! I hope that you found this list helpful! If you would like to see the accompanying video, CLICK HERE!