Human communication

Successful students tend to have family support, resilience, communication skills, reliable routine – Chicago Tribune

You know who they are, those students who seem to be doing well in school.

It’s not that they don’t struggle, stumble or make mistakes. It’s that they have the tools to overcome, get up and learn to straighten their ship.

Yes, distance learning was difficult for everyone. But now everyone is back. And among the most enthusiastic about it are teachers.

I asked some of these education enthusiasts for tips on how to have the best school experience possible.

“It’s very energetic in Naperville North right now,” said Emily Bishop, who teaches Spanish 2 and 3 at Naperville High School.

Bishop and other teachers have some advice for students and parents on how to get the most out of the school experience. It starts with a positive attitude, which Bishop said many teachers try to emulate.

“What I love about education is that there is a start and a stop. There is a crescendo. You learn something. You stop and think. Then you take a long break and start again,” she said. “Of all professions, this one has many blessings.”

Bishop said children who have good communication skills and who approach school in an open and welcoming way tend to do well.

“I love it when they come ready, open to new ideas and new people,” she said.

Every new year starts with lots of icebreakers to help kids get to know each other, she said.

“We want a level of comfort in the classroom so that even the shyest children feel welcome. We want every student to have a place to belong, to feel important,” she said.

Despite adhering to a rigorous curriculum, Bishop said many teachers make time to make human connections.

“Most Fridays each child talks about the highlight of the week. It may not be performance based, but may be school related. It is something they have seen, heard, felt or experienced that has been positive for them,” she said.

“It reminds us all that good things happen. It’s a way to be grateful,” she said.

Parents can help by also encouraging their children to be open and flexible.

“And reminding them not to use their phones during class. It’s been a major problem for the past couple of years,” Bishop said.

“Phones are a huge distraction that keeps kids from concentrating in class,” she said.

It’s also important to distinguish learning from grades, she said. As exciting as it may be to get an A or a B, the bigger goal is to learn the material, she said.

“You step into the real world and nobody asks you for your GPA, nobody asks you what school you went to,” she said. “They want to know if you’re confident in your communication skills and your ability to handle the job.”

Confidence, said Brian Klaft, is a big key to success.

Klaft teaches eighth grade science at Grainger Middle School in Aurora.

“A big part of building trust starts at home with routines. The students I’ve seen who are really successful have realistic expectations. They know their abilities,” he said.

Families with realistic expectations tend to have a lot of confidence, he said.

“That’s really all school is, going through all of these activities and experiences to build your confidence, so you know you can learn, you know you can overcome, you know you can succeed,” he said. said Klaft.

Insisting that every task and every class result in a high grade can be detrimental, he said. “The best way to ruin an education is to rush it,” he said.

Remote learning was difficult because children were dissociated from peers and teachers, he said. They struggled to feel successful.

Children, he said, need a chance to succeed every day.

And success often starts with a stumble, he said. “Because overcoming a misstep is a huge confidence builder,” he said.

“Over the years, we have trained our children to believe that they are never wrong. This is not reality. You learn better after adversity,” he said.

“Falling down is not a problem,” he said. “Because it teaches you to get up.”

Klaft said parents can help their kids by establishing a solid routine that includes both fun and family time to connect.

“Whether you are urban, suburban, rural, everyone is busy. Still, it’s important to have a routine that kids can rely on,” he said.

Routines bring comfort, he says. “My best classes are where kids take academic risks, ask questions, try new things. Children who are comfortable are more likely to do this.

A big disruptor to that comfort, he said, is social media. “It’s not part of the routine because it’s so instantaneous,” he said.

One way to build resilience in children, Klaft said, is to host family dinners.

Get together, talk to each other, support each other, he says. Social media has taken over the normalcy of communication. Parents need to put it back into the lives of their children.

Children with more chaotic home lives, Mikala Thompkins said, need encouragement to keep their eyes on the prize.

Thompkins, instructional coach and English teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, said top-performing students have learned to see obstacles and obstacles as opportunity.

“The pandemic hit so fast. It was very hard. And the only thing a lot of kids had was school,” she said. “But the kids who believed they could overcome did their best.”

They built resilience, she said.

Just like in adult life, there are obstacles, she says. “In life, you are always going to face some kind of challenge. How do you handle this? Give up or persevere and find a way to win?

Those who persevere are better, she says.

Thompkins said parents don’t need to know an academic subject to help their child. “They just need to foster a resilient mindset. They can say, “I see you’re struggling, but let’s solve this.” Is there anything else you can try? »

And, she added, if they get stuck, teach them to ask for help.

Thompkins also believes that the family bond is an important part of a child’s academic success.

Naperville Sun

Naperville Sun

Twice a week

Naperville area news updates delivered every Monday and Wednesday

Unfortunately, she says, some students go home to an empty house because many parents are working. And some students take jobs to help support the family or they help raise their siblings.

“But if they have the ability to connect with a parent, enough for a parent to say, ‘Hey, I see you, I notice you,’ that can have an impact,” she said.

“I work with children who have been abused at home. I remind them that even if things aren’t fair, their parents are doing their best and they have to do their part. They have to push hard for themselves so they can have something better when they grow up,” she said.

“They need to remember the importance of having a strong education because it can lead to more opportunities,” she said.

“And opportunity is what life is.”

[email protected]

Donna Vickroy is an award-winning journalist, editor and columnist who worked for the Daily Southtown for 38 years.