40 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
Irvine (Dufur, Parcel, Troutman, 2012) found that parent involvement in
learning – discussing school activities at home, attending school meetings,
going to parent conferences - has a more powerful influence on academic
performance than anything about the school the students attend. The
implication of this is that the team for tricky kids needs to extend beyond
the school and the home to ensure a rich, engaging, and well-informed
experience outside of school. The chances of growth and success are
heightened if there is a clear flow of information between home, school,
after school club, sports coach, caregiver, and grandparent about a child’s
needs, what works to engender success, and those things that do not.
Ginsburg (Ginsburg, Jablow and Ginsburg, 2011) writes:
Our goal must be to raise children who can handle the bumps and bruises
the world has in store. We need to prepare them to cope with difficult
challenges and bounce back. We must help them find happiness even
when things aren’t going their way. We want them to develop deep,
strong roots now so that their wings will carry them successfully and
independently into the future.
Tricky kids will likely experience more bumps, more moments of failure or
sadness, more times when things don’t seem to be working out. A broad
team, accurate and well presented data points, and a long-term view of
schooling will go a long way to setting our tricky students up for success.
Making sure there is a balance between those things seen as “school work”
and those that are not is an important conversation point for parents and
teachers. And making sure kids attend is imperative. Of course, all students
may benefit from these success points. The simple truth is that for tricky
kids to achieve their potential, to truly gain from whatever a school can
offer, these points are a must.