One of the most common questions to come up during parent-teacher conferences is, Is my child being challenged enough?
On the face of it, this question is a perfectly reasonable way of ensuring that your child does not get bored during class and is able to reach their full potential. For teachers, however, it can be a little grating and demonstrates a misunderstanding of a teacher’s job.
Indeed, teachers are trained to come up with multilevel lessons to suit children of all abilities, and most of them are (very, very) good at it. As a parent, you may not realize that teachers are dedicated to helping every child in their class grow and develop, stopping at nothing to meet their individual needs.
How do teachers adapt their lessons for every child?
If you’re still unsure about how teachers keep every child in their class intellectually stimulated, we’ve put together just a few of the tricks used by educators on a regular basis:
Providing math problems and challenging kids to solve them using as many strategies as possible
This is a great trick for multilevel classes as those that are particularly good at math will be challenged to look beyond the strategies they already know. They may even be able to pass on their knowledge to those that struggle with numbers.
Ask them to look into a topic they are interested in and present back to the class
Kids love following their interests and presentations are a great way for them to explore these passions creatively. What’s more, it is a task that children of all abilities can get involved with. They may even learn something from one another.
Encourage groups of kids to read a difficult text slowly and thoughtfully
Reading tricky texts in groups is a great strategy in multilevel classes as it gives more able children the chance to share some of their knowledge whilst ensuring they feel challenged.
Remember that teachers also nurture a love of learning
As well as helping kids to attain good grades and reach their full potential, teachers are dedicated to showing kids the joy of learning. It is easy for parents to forget this thanks to a modern obsession with numbers and figures. However, if your child appears to enjoy school and is fascinated with the world around them, you can probably rest assured that their teacher is doing a great job.
So what should parents be asking their kids teachers?
So far, we’ve ascertained that asking if your child is being challenged probably won’t go down particularly well. For more things you probably shouldn’t say to teachers, check out this article.
Questions that may be genuinely useful to ask include:
- Does my child try their hardest?
- Does my child seem happy in class?
- Are they compassionate towards others?
- Are they curious about the world?
- Do they listen in class?
- Do they appear to enjoy learning?
- What topics are they interested in?
- Are they respectful towards others?
Asking these questions will provide insights into your child’s development. The answers you receive could be very reassuring. For more examples of questions you may want to ask a teacher, look at this helpful resource.