Historically, many schools and teachers have done a good job of keeping parents updated on their children’s progress through assessments (i.e. tests) and regular check-ins, notifying parents of gaps or red flags that need to be address with respect to their children. However, as we all know, these past few years have been unprecedented due to disruptions to the school system owing to the pandemic. As such, many parents have not received the same frequency of updates as they once did, even though the things may not be going as well. This is due to the many changes and disruptions faced, including classes switching between in person to online, teachers being in and out (due to illness or factors such as burnout), and students missing classes due to illness. Meanwhile, many schools and classrooms lack the technology tools to provide customized learning and tracking for students.
During this period of continuous change, the one constant is the students and their parents who can monitor the situation. Students of course notice if they are falling behind, and this gets expressed in different forms. In some cases, it affects their mood, motivation, lifestyle or other behaviour. Unfortunately, students may not express this sentiment and feel that they do not have the tools to deal with their challenges. Parents are in a unique and critical position here to spot this trend and take action. Once the problem area has been identified, there are many ways it can be addressed. Solutions can range from bringing the issue to the school’s attention and ensuring their child receive extra resources, perhaps be placed on a separate learning track, or receive outside help.
Emotional support at home is also critical during this period, given the immense difficulty students face. If you are a parent and are wondering why you may have not received a progress report or status update form the school, it may be a good idea to check in with your son’s or daughter’s teacher and with your child to get a holistic sense of where they stand.