February 19, 2010

A valuable resource list for parents of children in Catholic schools

By John Shaughnessy

Consider the list as a valuable resource for parents who have children in Catholic schools.

The list includes tips for parents—to help their children make the most of their education.

It’s filled with suggestions from the five teachers in the archdiocese who were recognized on Feb. 16 as the winners of the Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award for 2009-10.

Have your child take responsibility for his education

“Ask them if they are writing down homework assignments and test dates,” advises Mary Pat O’Connor, a science teacher at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis.

“Encourage them to seek out their teacher when they need extra help. We want our students to succeed, and would much rather a student seek us out and ask questions than get behind in their studies. I believe organized students who communicate well with their teachers have a better chance of being successful in college.”

Be involved

“Knowing what is going on in your child’s classroom can play a vital role in their education,” says Amy Weigel, a fourth-grade teacher at St. Louis School in Batesville. “It shows the child that education is important. There are so many opportunities to stay posted on what is going on in your child’s classroom. Take advantage of e-mail, Web sites, blogs and newsletters.”

Celebrate and communicate

“Parents can help us celebrate the accomplishments of the child,” says Providence Sister Maureen Fallon, a math and science teacher at Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis. “Talk to your child every day. Let them tell you the story of their daily struggles and accomplishments.”

Show and tell

“Put your family first before other things,” says Patrice Payne, a resource teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Indianapolis. “Read, read, read—to them and in front of them. Show and tell them how math and science are used in your daily lives. Help them with their homework.”

Be a partner with the teacher

“Children learn better if we are all on the same page,” says Laura Williams, a religion teacher at St. Barnabas School in Indianapolis. “We all have the same goal—to see children succeed.” †

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