There’s no doubt that education works for anyone. While the benefits are obvious on an individual basis as they open doors to further education, better employment, and as a result a better standard of health and quality of life, the results can also be much more far reaching. A society that is better educated is more likely to be able to give back to the community, crime and drug rates tend to drop, and schools and housing all improve. Plus, on the larger scale, the GDP of a city, state, or even country increases with education, so it is in all politicians’ best interests to ensure that educations in all areas covered by their mandate have all of the resources they’d need to improve education and put an emphasis on learning and schools. While government led initiatives may sometimes be side-lines, or not delivered, there are other ways to boost education, whether you’re a teacher, parent, or even a student yourself. Many of the techniques would be the same, however there is the chance of far greater impact when they come from the higher level – though most responsible parents and teachers don’t rely on others to guide the children they’re responsible for, and instead start to boost education themselves, in whatever way they can. The following tips and tools will all boost education and help unlock a student’s learning potential.
- Start As Young As Possible
While the age of starting school varies around the world, and some kids may go to pre-school, some may be home-schooled until 1st grade, they all have one thing in common: they should be provided with a good learning environment as early as possible. While this may be easy for some parents to implement, if they can pay for early education programs or have the resources and capabilities to provide early childhood lessons at home, the state and federal government should also invest more in children under 5, especially for those who live in lower socio-economic areas.
- Encourage Reading
While a lot of the responsibility for a child’s education falls squarely on their teacher’s shoulders, the role of parents should not be overlooked. There is no reason why a parent, in their role as the first teacher a child will ever have and one of the main role models in their life should be overlooked. A teacher is limited to the classroom, but a parent has all the time in the world to encourage reading, read bedtime stories, and talk about books and their characters. All teachers agree that reading from an early aid is a massive boost for any child and greatly impacts their education in the long run. Parents can start making reading a natural habit from an early age, and their child’s grades for the rest of their life can be improved.
- Support Teachers
This is a multi-faceted necessity that needs to come from all forms of society. It means politicians provide incentives to keep the best teachers in the classroom and provide first-class teaching resources and training. It means that schools themselves stand by their teachers and provide them the support they need throughout the school year, including supporting mental health, and providing additional training where requested. And it also means that parents set an example of respect towards teachers, and support their kids through homework or discipline, endeavouring to not undermine the teacher’s authority in the classroom.
- Make Every Day a School Day
While your child may officially only be scheduled to learn throughout the week while in a classroom, both teachers and parents can encourage their children to consistently ask why, to express their curiosity and in turn learn about the world they live in. Activating this interest will help develop their natural inquisitiveness and help make learning more enjoyable. Having this kind of attitudes can help a child look forward to going to school, and reduces any arguments you may face when it comes to homework or continuing with education after high school.
- Don’t Be Afraid Of Technology
While many aspects of society are worried by our increased reliance on technology and the effect it has on children who spend more time with a computer than with people, however it should not be written off entirely. There are many ways and means of using technology to promote a better learning environment, engage students, and make the classroom an exciting place to be. Teacher Terri W. Mitchell from Best Australian Writers is happy to promote technology in the classroom as ‘students are familiar enough to feel comfortable with technology, but in the classroom it’s enough of a novelty to keep them interested.’ A great way to introduce this is to start making pop quizzes with Kahoot.
- Give Students the Tools They Need To Learn
No child can perform well when they’re walking into school without breakfast or a good night’s sleep. While some schools have taken amazing steps in making sure that breakfast and snacks are available for impoverished students, that isn’t within the budget for every school. Some tools require nothing from parents, they simply need to make sure their child has washed and gone to sleep. While some families struggle financially, where possible children should have any medical needs looked at immediately, and should always have breakfast before they head to school, as it is well-acknowledged that our brains just don’t function as well without food.
- Stay In Touch With the Teacher
While talking to your chid about their day is great, you’re hearing one side of the story from a very biased perspective. Make sure you attend every single parent-teacher conference, respond to emails and phone calls immediately, and attend all school sponsored events that you can. If you do have an issue with something related to your child, their teacher should always be the first point of call. They will be more aware of anything to do with your child than a head teacher or supervisor, and a much more effective person to address any issues you have. They’ll also be the person who implements any changes you wish to see in the classroom, so it’s important that you communicate with them more than anyone else.
- Balance Praise and Discipline
It is not up to a teacher to teach a child things like manners or respect – that comes from the home. And while a teacher should in no way diminish a child’s confidence or self-esteem, they’re also not responsible for ensuring a child is receiving sufficient praise at home. Make sure you find the right balance between disciplining your child when necessary, but also being their biggest cheerleader and providing praise and encouragement whenever and wherever necessary. This will lead to a teacher spending less time dealing with disruptive students, and spending more time engaging with a class where students have the confidence to participate.
- Know What Your Child Is Studying
One of the best ways to learn is by teaching, so having your child tell you about what they’re learning in school can really help boost their education as the mere act of talking to you helps them remember what they’ve done that day. It also helps you keep an eye on progress and identify any areas where they struggle.
While it takes a village to raise a child, the same is true for educating a child, though the above steps can all contribute to boosting your child’s education and making sure they have the best possible opportunities.