What if at open house at the beginning of the school year, a parent pulled you aside and said this?:

“I need you to know from day one, I am unable to read at home with my child or help with homework this year. I cannot share with you why, but it is a serious situation. Please know, I love my child and want him/her to do better at school than I did.”

What would you think and do? How would you view this student-through lenses of compassion or frustration? What would you say and do differently for this child? How would this affect your lesson planning and use of time?

What if you assumed none of your students had support for school at home, but when you learned they did, you viewed as a bonus and great discovery for that day?

Perspective and mind set shape what we say and do. It influences how we interact with our students and colleagues. There is only one person for which you have ultimate control to change-YOU! You cannot change your student or their parents. You may influence them-positively or negatively.  The true change agent for which you will have the most impact is yourself. Only then will the opportunity to influence others in a positive way start to happen.

I hear teachers often complain about parents and what little support they provide for their child with school. How would it be different if they had told you day one in the conversation described?

Over what does the teacher control? This is where to spend your time and energy for your student.