Down the Lane: Time to think of teachers, students

Published 9:35 am Thursday, August 15, 2019

School started this week for many children around Kentucky.

At my church Sunday morning, we blessed the backpacks and had prayer for the children in our midst who would be going back to school this week.

Our pastor, the Rev. Farley Stuart included in that prayer the parents, teachers and school bus drivers and personnel who would be a part of the school year. Everyone of these people will play a vital part in our children’s lives this year.

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I think parents also play such an important role in their child’s grades and their future.

I have watched parents who could not care less about the type of grades their children make and others who expect too much from their children.

I have to be the first to admit I did expect a lot from my kids when it came to their grades. They knew I expected them to get their homework done and taken back to school.

That usually was one of the first questions I would ask every night. They soon learned what was expected of them and it did not become an issue.

Unless they were ill or in the hospital, they knew they would be in school the next day. I can proudly say my daughter Shanda went seven of her 12 years of school without missing a day. I think my daughter Kim went three years without missing a day. It is a parent’s responsibility to see their kids are in school.

I never once got my children up to go to school. When they entered first grade, I gave them their own alarm clock. When it went off they turned it off, got up, made their beds and got ready for school.

For the most part, I fed them breakfast at home until they began serving school breakfast and I let them eat at school.

I believe giving them an alarm clock taught them some important independence. I was not going to be a parent who kept calling for their child to get up and get ready for school.

I never let them think anything other than they would be going to college. I wanted them to think it was what they would do so the thought of not going would not enter their mind. As far as I know it never did. Kim did get married before she completed college but Shanda graduated from the University of Kentucky.

Each first day of school I took a picture of them before they got on the school bus. I am so happy I did. Even if it is not possible for a parent to take the picture before going to school due to having to go to a job, try to take a picture early in the school year and at the end of the year.

Some people have few pictures of their childhood to show their  children. This is not true for mine. I have been a picture taking freak for my adult life. They have pictures not only of themselves but their friends and classmates.

Try not to speak harshly to your child before they leave for school. You do not know how deep your words may hurt them and stay on their mind all day. It may even stay on your mind too.

I remember once thinking I said something hateful to Kim before she got on the school bus. It drove me crazy for the first hour and I decided I had to drive over to the school and tell her I loved her.

It was not what I said that was so bad, but I thought “What if I hurt her feelings and something happened to her during the day?”

Kids need to hear “I love you” before they leave home in the morning. You can also put notes in their lunch boxes to let them feel loved.

I wish every child felt loved. Instead you hear many cases of child abuse. Too many kids do not even have a clean place to sleep or lay their head down.

My husband Eric does a wonderful job as a bus driver. He always tries to make each child on his bus feel important even the high school students.

He welcomes each one by calling them by name each morning. Each afternoon he tells them have a good night and be safe. He loves each one of them so much and he said he feels some of them do not get the attention they need.

Be involved and know what goes on at school the best you can.

I promise you no child is going to tell you every thing and kids can be mean. That is why they need to know their family loves them above anyone else.

Some kids do not know to go to the Lord when they have a problem because they have not been taken to church.

Hopefully, there is an adult or a teacher who will be in tune to their students and help them.

Teachers have a hard time. It is often hard for them to get through to parents and those who could care less.

My granddaughter Stephenie had her first year of this experience as a teacher. Some of them expect the teacher to do all the work and for them to do none. If they are not doing well they blame it on the teacher.

It is good to have a good teacher-parent-child relationship. Most teachers are parents too and have to adjust each year getting to know their new students.

Hopefully parents will instruct their children to respect to their teachers and other students at all times. When one child disrupts the class, everyone hurts and not much gets taught on those days.

A bad child on a school bus can cause it to become dangerous when a bus driver has to divert attention from watching the road to correcting a child or keeping another child from harm.

Parents, it is up to you to teach your child how to act at school and on the school bus. They can lose their privilege of riding the school bus if written up too many times.

Parents also need to remind their children to not act like they are better than any other child because they are not. Teach them that clothes do not make the person.

Some parents do not think their child can do wrong. None of our kids are perfect or ever will be. They will mess up in life. Parents who take a part in their kids lives will probably have less problems than those who do not.

I have just touched the surface of ways parents can help make their kids school year more comfortable.

I wish the best for each person to have their best school year ever. I pray it is a safe one.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active at First United Methodist Church and Towne and Country Homemakers.