I am the parent of a 6th grader. My son is a great boy and student. I like to say with every child there are strengths and support needs. My son’s support needs are in the area of math. I need your opinion on two issues: My son has been assigned to a math reinforcement class, instead of a third elective. He is devastated because he is worried about what his friends will say (typical middle schooler). I explained that it’s up to him how long he will stay in this class but he feels like it’s the end of his middle school world already. I was told that I could opt him out, but I really want him to get support.
My other dilemma is whether I should send his teachers an email and give them some idea about how he’s feeling. I’m trying not to be a “helicopter” mom but I don’t want him to come off as being a uncooperative kid. As a middle school teacher would you feel like I was a meddlesome mother? Please advise.
A Concerned Parent
I’m going to tackle your questions one at a time, starting with the second one: You should definitely let your son’s teachers know how he is feeling. I think the term “helicopter parent” has made far too many parents pull way back on the parenting, for fear of being labeled as over-involved. I would love to delve more into this topic in a later post, but for now, I will just say that a good teacher will appreciate knowing how their students feel about school. Giving his teachers the heads-up on his concerns will help them understand his behavior better and will ideally make them less likely to shine a spotlight on his need for additional math help.
As for the question about whether your son should stick with the extra math help or opt out in favor of a third elective, I would like to ask my readers to offer their expertise. My background is in English language arts and I don’t feel qualified to help you make the call. So what do you say, math teachers? Obviously, we don’t have all the details on this situation, but what information would help you decide? What conditions would make choosing the elective a better option? If he were to opt out of the math reinforcement, are there other ways he could get the support he needs? Please offer your guidance in the comments below, including links to further resources, if you have them. ♦
Do you need advice on a teaching-related issue? Contact me and I may feature your question in a future blog post.