This vlog is for parents who:
- Are concerned about how quickly the school year is approaching, and
- Want to make sure they know what their child needs to do before school ends but,
- Aren’t convinced their child will reliably convey accurate details about what needs to be done.
Below is the template. Feel free to copy and personalize for your situation.
Hope this helps you help your child end the year on a better note. — Seth Perler
Subject: IMPORTANT – Child’s name
This is ____’s parents and we’re writing to get some clarity.
What do we need to know so we can support our child as the school year comes to an end?
We don’t want to be blindsided after it’s too late.
- Portal: We checked the portal, but is it up to date, or is there anything else we should know about? Are there any other places online we should be referencing?
- Past work: What should we be aware of? Are there any missing assignments, late work, 0s, or anything else that needs to be addressed?
- Current: What’s going on currently? What “should” my child be doing at home right now for your class?
- Upcoming: What upcoming papers, exams, projects or large reading assignments are coming up that we can be working on?
Feel free to send a quick response to this to get us pointed in the right direction.
Thanks for all you do for our child,
Mrs. and Mr. Blank
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🙏 Thanks! — Seth
Hey, good morning. It’s me, Seth with SethPerler.com, I hope you are doing great parents and teachers. This video really is more for parents, but teachers I’d be thrilled to hear from you if you want to comment below and share with parents. What do you think of this video and what advice do you have for them according to this topic?
Parents, I’m an executive function coach based out of Boulder, CO and what that means that I help struggling students figure out and navigate this thing called school. What’s going on right now is it’s the end of the semester, and if your student struggles with school and it’s the end of the semester, the very end of the semester, and you are a bit concerned about knowing whether or not what your child is telling you is in fact what they need to be telling you about what they need to be doing to end of school year on a strong note. If you’re concerned about that information and its accuracy, this video is for you. This video is about that.
So yesterday I was speaking with the local families that I work with, and we’re talking about what your child should be doing to wrap up the school year. And the first thing that I wanted to convey to the families that I’m working with locally right now is that they need clarity about that. They need clarity. How do you get clarity? What we’ll typically do is we’ll ask the child, “Hey, what do you need to be doing? Do you have any final exams you’re supposed to be studying for? Any projects coming up? Do you have any novels you’re supposed to be reading, do you have any papers you’re supposed to be writing? Because at the end of the year, so if you’ve been watching my recent videos you saw the one on PEPR, what’s going on with the end of the year where students not only have current work to deal with, but if your student struggles with executive function they’re also dealing with makeup work, late, incompletes, zeros, test corrections, and things like that. So they’re dealing with past work, current work, and then the upcoming work is huge. It is the end of the year stuff. But, you also have spring fever coming where they are less motivated to do the work. They want to be done with school, teachers want to be done with school, parents want to be done with school, and everybody is at their wit’s end with all the stuff.
So if your child struggles and you’re a parent, and you’re concerned that, “Okay, well, it seems like they have passing grades right now.” But you know something could turn like that (*snaps*). You don’t want to end up a week after school is out getting the grades and finding out, “Oh my God my child just failed four classes. Now, we got to get him signed up for summer school, or retaking classes in the fall,” or figure out how to deal with the situation. So you don’t want to be dealing with that. So what do you need? So again, I’m talking to families about what your child should be doing the wrap of the end of the year. What you need as a parent is this clarity about these things, but going to your child to ask them for the clarity. “What do you need to be doing? What makeup work do you need to be doing? What kind of work do you need to be doing? What big things you have for the end of the year? Are you going to be able to do that when you feel less motivated cuz it’s spring?” And you can’t rely on your child to give you a reliable answer. What are you going to do?
Here’s the one thing I want to recommend that you do. You need one thing. One thing – and that is clarity. You’re not going to get it from your kid, just because they don’t have the executive function to do that. It’s not that they can’t, it’s not that they’re just not trying or they don’t care or they’re just being lazy or they’re just too motivated. We want to stay away from those judgment-sort of concepts that shame them. They do not, most likely, your child does not have the executive function, the ability to manage all of the details of what they’re supposed to be doing right now. So if you cannot rely on your child to get that, where are you going to go? You are going to get it from two main places.
The first place is the portals, which are not necessarily reliable either. You’re going to look at Schoology, you’re going to look a Google Classroom, you’re going to look at Infinite Campus, you’re going to look at whatever your school uses. And sometimes it’s very confusing because you might have one teacher uses Infinite Campus, Schoology, and their own personal teacher website or they might use two or three different things. And you might have a different teacher who uses different online portals so it can be very confusing to know where to go. This drives me nuts drives, it drives the families nuts, it drives the kids nuts. That’s really hard to get the clarity from the portals. But that’s the first place you want to go. Look at the portals, scour through the teacher sites and see what they’re communicating there. Then you have some teachers who communicate extraordinarily well online. They really make the expectations really clear. There are no questions. You can print PDFs up. You know exactly what’s going on, when it’s due out to be done. You can help your kid when you have information like that, but then you have other teachers who are vague, who don’t post regularly, who don’t give you a clear idea of what the expectation is, and then you can’t help your kid and you end up in the situation that we’re trying to avoid where you can fails the class and you feel like you you were caught off-guard and how did this even happen? So anyhow, the first thing you want to do to get clarity is to examine the portals thoroughly to get as much clarity as possible. And again, you can’t always necessarily rely on that.
The second way you want to get clarity is by contacting the teachers either directly in person or through email, but typically through email. What I’m going to explain to you here is what I would email the teachers, and if you’re a teacher watching this and you have advice for the parents on what to write on this, please leave a comment below telling your wisdom for parents. So basically you want to email the teachers and say, “Hey, what’s up? Hope you’re doing well. Thanks for everything you do.” Look, it’s the end of the year. Keep your emails short, bulleted, easy-to-read. Teachers get tons of email. Make it easy for the teacher to respond to. Don’t write them a book, okay. “Hey, what’s up? We’re trying to get clarity. We don’t want to be blindsided, I’m writing you this email because we don’t want to be at be blindsided. We want to know exactly what’s going on. So, could you please give us clarity? Here’s the clarity we need. One, we need clarity on past work. Are there any missings, incompletes, zeros, late work, test corrections, or anything that we should be aware of? Two, we need clarity on current work. It looks like this is what you guys are doing, this is what the portal says. Is this true? Are we on target here or not? If not, what do we need to know about what’s going on currently? Three, what about upcoming work? (PEPR?) Are there any papers, exams, projects, or large reading assignments that my child should be working on?” Because with your kids, if your kid struggles with executive function then your kid is the type of guy do the night before the giant thing is due that they’ve had six weeks to work on. They say, “Mom, Dad, guess what? I have a giant ten-page paper due tomorrow. I haven’t started.” So you want to know about those end-of-the-year, long-term projects, or long-term things, that might be coming up. You know, if it’s an exam you want to know if there’s a study guide and so on and so forth. You don’t have to get that detailed in this email. But in this email, you’re going to be like, “What’s going on with the old stuff, what’s going on with the current stuff, what’s going to come?
The number one question to ask in this email for clarity is, “what do we need to know so we’re not blindsided after it’s too late?” Meanwhile, I will put an email template in the YouTube description and on my blog at SethPerler.com that you can literally cut and paste in and modify for your situation, but it’s a template that will help. Teachers, if you have any advice for parents with the template and how they should phrase things or ask things in order to get the best responses from teachers, please add that in.
So anyhow, parents again, do not just believe your child. If you are concerned and your child says, “Leave me alone, Mom and Dad. I’ve got this. Why don’t you trust me? I know what’s going on. I promise. I swear I’ll talk to the teacher about this. I swear I turned it in. I swear the teacher just hasn’t updated the portal yet. Yes. I’m fine. I’ve got this trust me.” If they’re saying that but there’s something inside you that’s going, ‘ah, I don’t know,’ you need to listen to that. Better to be safe than sorry. Get the clarity for yourself and figure out what’s actually going on. If your kid was right, awesome, reward the heck out of them, that’s fantastic. That’s what we want. But if they weren’t and you can avoid massive consequences on this and not in an enabling way, but in the supportive of way, you can avoid the consequences then that’s really good. You want to feel like you’re empowering your kid, you’re giving them clear expectations. You’re giving them the support they need and all that. Anyhow, again, my name is Seth with SethPerler.com. I’m an executive function coach based out of Boulder, Colorado. If you haven’t signed up for my blog or subscribed to the YouTube channel, check them out. And if you like what I’m doing, please share this video with somebody that it might help right now. That supports me, and you can help somebody out with his video. Take care, I’ll talk to you soon.