Editorial: Expecting exellence

January 10, 2014 

Our children want to meet our expectations. Time and time again, we’ve seen the evidence of that. Nowhere is it borne out more than at school.

As we’ve written in this space before, parents who expect their children to behave in class are much less likely to get calls from a teacher or principal explaining that little Johnny or little Sally was acting up in class. Parents who expect their children to do their homework and study for tests will get that kind of behavior. And those who expect good grades to come from such actions will likely see those expectations met as well. Parents who express no strong opinions about the need to work hard in school are more likely to see their children struggle and fail.

Those expectations can’t be planted at the beginning of a child’s senior year in high school, or even at the start of high school. Or at the start of middle school.

Those seeds must be planted as early as kindergarten and pre-school and they must be explained and repeated.

At Lake Myra Elementary, students have been given such high expectations. They’ve been given the resources to meet those expectations. And by all acounts, students are doing a better job of meeting the expectations teachers and school leaders have set for them.

And, of course, it is important that teachers and school administrators express their belief that students can perform well, behave AND have fun all at the same time. Learning has become very much a collaborative process at Lake Myra Elementary, where both teachers, students and parents are working together to make sure students are performing at their best.

It’s a lesson we can all gain from. There are, of course, teachers and administrators at other schools who expect much of the children in there care. But it’s a good question for every teacher to ask him or herself.

And, it’s an even better question for parents to ask of themselves. Do you expect your child to behave? Do you expect them to do their homework all the time? Do you expect them to study before a test? And, most importantly, are you communicating those expectations to your children in a positive way that lets them know you will help them if they need it?

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