This article was submitted to WeAreTeachers by a teacher who wishes to remain anonymous.
Dear Parents of Elementary School Children,
With the first round of parent teacher conferences among us, I often get asked the exact same question by every parent that enters my second grade classroom…..
“Is my child being challenged enough?”
I am begging you…. Please stop.
Don’t get me wrong… I completely understand that you only want the very best education for your child, but to any skilled teacher the answer to that question is quite simple.
Yes, your child is being challenged enough.
As a teacher, I am incredibly skilled at creating lessons and activities that challenge your child without them even realizing it.
Here are some of the things I do for your child on a daily basis:
- Take a difficult task and make it seem fun and exciting for my students.
- Encourage them to read a more difficult text without making them feel overwhelmed and exhausted by the end.
- Challenge them to think more deeply about the characters and the problems in the story than they ever thought possible.
- Give them a math problem and challenge them to find a way to solve it by using all of the strategies that they know.
- Offer them opportunities to teach each other how to use those same strategies.
- Teach them to research and write about a topic that they love, therefore they don’t even recognize it as “work”.
Throughout all of this I am not only teaching them the skills they need to be successful in second grade, but I am also teaching them the skills they need to be ready for third grade. You may think I am only teaching your child things like reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
But I am also teaching him to truly love learning.
Your child is only 7.
He has plenty of time to find a passion and a strength and decide what he wants to do for the rest of his life. She has plenty of time to find an intrinsic motivation and desire to learn more about a certain subject area, in which case she will most likely find ways to challenge herself. All of this will happen because I am really good at doing my job.
If you ask these questions, I guarantee that you will discover new things about your child and find more ways to support their learning. So please, stop asking if we are doing our job. Trust your child’s teacher. Support them in their efforts of helping your child grow and develop into becoming the very best possible version of themselves.
So, if you are looking for a list of questions to ask teachers that will actually benefit your child’s future and their learning at school, here is just a short list of suggestions for you:
- Is my child kind?
- Does my child try his/her best?
- Does my child enjoy learning?
- Is my child happy?
- Does my child persevere through difficult tasks?
- Does my child have friends?
- Is my child compassionate toward others?
- Does my child have something that he/she excels at?
- Does my child follow directions?
- Is my child responsible?
- Does my child smile and laugh?
- Does my child have a growth mindset?
- Is my child curious?
- What does my child love to read?
- Does my child pay attention?
- Is my child respectful toward their teachers and their peers?
- Does my child show creativity in the classroom?
- Does my child like learning?
If you ask these questions, I guarantee that you will discover new things about your child and find more ways to support their learning. So please, stop asking if we are doing our job. Trust your child’s teacher, and support them in their efforts of helping your child grow and develop into becoming the very best possible version of themselves.
Second Grade Teacher