You are your children’s first teacher and your home is your children’s first school. You spend a good amount of time every day setting the tone for your children’s behaviors, encouraging first steps, and pouncing on those teachable moments to mould them into the happy and successful people you want them to be.
Late-fall light streamed through my minivan windshield as I approached the school pick-up line, eager to hear about my first-grader’s day. But when she climbed into her booster seat, clambering past her two younger siblings in their car seats, her small face trembled with accusatory rage. “I didn’t get to check out a book at the school library because you forgot to put my last book in my backpack this morning,” she said. I sat quietly, feeling a momentary swell of parental shame. That’s right - it was library day. I let out a breath. “I’m sorry, honey. That must have been hard. But remembering to return a library book is your responsibility.”
This past school year has tested us all. You may feel concerned that your child may be falling behind. But what does ‘falling behind’ mean? Across Alberta, we have all experienced this educational roller coaster. ‘Normal’ education, as we remember it, hasn’t been a reality for anyone this year. This means, we are all in this together. We are all supporting our children in skill-building, assessing what they know, and thinking about gaps that need to be filled.
If you think back to the days when you were a child attending school, what comes to mind? Do you have positive memories, negative memories, or maybe a bit of both? Positive memories may include hanging out with friends, having a great teacher who believed in you, or enjoying a particular subject in school, like math or gym class. Negative memories may include experiences that made you feel lonely, isolated, sad, awkward, or scared. At the heart of these experiences, there was likely a need for a true sense of belonging.
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