Averages are still required by colleges; however, they do not really tell parents how students are doing in mastering the content of the course. Instead, they are merely snapshots of places students were on those particular days. They also do not tell students how to improve in the course. Therefore, in addition to the scores in iPass, every returned assignment receives specific, descriptive (rather than merely evaluative) feedback, informing your learner about what worked and what could be improved upon for next time. Your student may receive teacher feedback in the form of an email, a series of comments on digitally-submitted work, a student-teacher conference, or even a recorded message. To find out how your student is doing beyond the mere numbers, ask him/her.
And, as always, please feel free to contact me at any time as well. I am here to partner with you in preparing your student for life after WMHS.
The best way to reach me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will often respond within hours but, worst case scenario, within 24 hours (with the exception of weekends). Please see the HOW TO REACH ME page on this site for other ways to contact me.
The best way for parents and guardians to help at home is to ensure that their students are reading on a regular basis. By the time they reach me, many students–including honors ones–have learned how to fake read: opting for shortcuts (e.g., online summaries, fellow classmates, skimming) rather than completing the assigned reading. While this often works in the short term, the average college freshman needs to be able to tackle approximately 600 pages of reading per week (and a staggering 600 pages per class per week at the Ivies!). Students who fake-read their way through high school are less successful in college than those who are authentic readers. (One out of every three college freshmen drop out after their first year.) My goal is to help build stamina in your student reader. This can only be done if your student actually reads what is assigned, in addition to the choice texts beyond those that are assigned.
I also want your student to fall back in love with reading, as one out of four adults never pick up a book after they leave high school. (Imagine the next generation of students–and future leaders-raised by those 3 out of 4 adults that never pick up a book.) In that vein, your student will be given ten minutes at the beginning of class each day to read a text of his/her choosing and will select several of his/her own grade-level titles to read throughout the school year.
Finally, studies show that students who see family members read are more likely to become readers themselves. So, whenever possible, let them catch you reading.
To foster a love of reading in my students, I have created a classroom library that started with zero titles last year and now includes over 2200 titles. To my husband’s horror, I have purchased almost of these titles myself, as well as the twelve-and-counting bookshelves. In that vein, if you find yourself sorting through your home and stumble onto any previously-loved titles or tall bookshelves that you would otherwise donate, Room 1227 is accepting all donations.
I would also love to hear from parents, guardians, and family members–whether it be in person, via email, or through Skype–as to the impact reading has had on them. Stay tuned for ways in which you can contribute to this ongoing project. In the meantime, feel free to check out the collaborative website that colleague Mr. Gosselin and I created about our For the Love of Reading initiative.
In addition to communicating via email, checking your student’s progress online, and bookmarking and following the posts on this site, you can also follow me on Twitter at the handle @msbethhughes and on Instagram at @msbethhugheswmhs.