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I just read an article from Curious Mind Magazine about what parents need to do to raise “good” kids. The experts quoted are psychologists from Harvard University and state five relatively simple goals that will help solidify the parent/child relationship. I immediately thought if schools are partners with the home, then similar actions need take place between teachers and students. How do we make that happen?

1) Spend quality time with the child. As teachers are we conscious to speak to each of our students each day? Do we ask them how their weekend was? Do we remember to check in on extra-curricular activities or the new baby at home? Do we let them know we care about them outside of the classroom?
2) Be a role model and mentor for them. As teachers do we readily admit mistakes? Do we model taking time for ourselves and living a healthy life-style? When warranted, do we freely say we are sorry?
3) Create opportunity for acts of empathy and understanding. Do we step back and give space to allow students to solve problems on their own? Do we allow students to try and deal with a tough situation before making a change? Do we compliment kindness and understanding in an overt and healthy manner?
4) Encourage appreciation and gratitude. Do we have intentional opportunities for our students to show thanks? Are we modeling being grateful?
5) See the big picture. As you plan for next year, what can you do to bring the students out of their comfort zone? How can they become more aware of the world around them, and not just of their small, often sheltered, circle? How can they have empathy and appreciation for others, while appreciating and being  grateful for what they have.
As you get ready to enjoy your well-earned summer break, think about this partnership between home and school. What will you do in the fall to foster it? This partnership is about more than just making sure kids do their homework. It’s about modeling the type of “good kids” we want them to be. In Proverbs 22:6 we learn to bring up each child the way they should go and even when he is old he will not depart from it. These steps will be a good start.