Parents or Teachers: Who influences your child success?

October 22, 2009

The Wall Street Journal ran an article about a new school called the Equity Project, “premised on the theory that excellent teachers—and not revolutionary technology, talented principals or small class size—are the critical ingredient for success.”

The Michigan Department of Education conducted a survey and found that more than budgets or teachers, parents are the reason children perform as they do in school, and the most consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment are parental expectations.

Parents or teachers–who are more influential to a child’s success and well being in school? Both! Parents are their child’s first teachers and once their child begins school, a partnership is needed between parents and teachers to ensure a child’s success.

What is the job “description” for a parent or a teacher in this partnership when it comes to reading? Turning children into lifetime readers calls for teamwork on the part of all the adults in the life of a child—family, caregivers, teachers, and librarians—to help kids find their “home-run books”— books where a child cares about the characters and what happens to them. Teachers are trained to teach children how to read, and all the adults in the life of a child have the opportunity to show that child how to love reading by helping him find great stories, and through questions that jump-start conversations, show him how to mine a story for its treasures.

Show children your passion for a story and see how your passion becomes contagious. Don’t waste precious time trying to convince your child of the importance of reading—just read him good stories.

I wish The Equity Project school community —the teachers, children and parents — great success in their first year and look forward to following their progress.

How best to first meet, Where the Wild Things Are?

October 9, 2009

As some of you may know, on October 16 Where The Wild Things Are is coming out as a movie. Although the book was never a favorite of mine, many people sing it’s praises, along with the committee that conferred upon it the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1963. The compelling question becomes— is it better […]


Happy Belated Birthday, Shel Silverstein

October 1, 2009

Last week (September 25) marked Shel Silverstein’s birthday. Here is one of my favorite poems by him: Mr. Grumpledump’s Song Everything’s wrong, Days are too long, Sunshine’s too hot, Wind is too strong. Clouds are too fluffy, Grass is too green, Ground is too dusty, Sheets are too clean. Stars are too twinkly, Moon is […]


Banned Books Week

September 27, 2009

Banned Books Week, begun in 1982, started on Saturday September 26. As I think back on the different forms censorship has come in over time, I realize that I have a lot in common with the censors. I believe that books matter and make a difference. They open your mind to new possibilities and transport […]


Great Minds Think Alike

September 15, 2009

Thank you Wall Street Journal for choosing The Arabian Nights in your column Masterpiece: Anatomy of a Classic. Abraham Lincoln said that “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” so often the column Masterpiece serves as my best friend by introducing me to books I would […]


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