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Defining our Roles: Teacher, Student, Parent

Mar 15, 2019

It is easy to define our roles when we are teaching our children at home.  My role, as parent and home educator, is to disseminate information in a creative and interesting way while my child is to learn the information in the best way for him.  But things can get a bit hazy and blurred when we sign our students up for an on-line class or when they participate in a co-op.  I now find myself in all of those environments.  I am a homeschool mom, I teach on-line classes, and I teach for a local co-op.  So I understand first-hand how frustration can set in when roles and expectations are not clear.   I believe it helps to see goals and expectations from all of three perspectives.

From a teacher’s perspective, here are a few of the goals for my on-line and co-op classes:

  • To help students achieve high school level knowledge of the subject
  • To provide opportunities for students to perform labs, gain understanding of the scientific method, proper technique with equipment usage, and improve their critical thinking, observation skills, and attention to details
  • To help prepare students for college by developing their skills in studying, student responsibility for assignments, teacher/student communication

To achieve those goals, expectations are that I, as the teacher, will:

  • Present material-answering questions, clarifying confusing points
  • Set pacing for course, adjusting if necessary
  • Ensure that major topics/required course content is covered
  • Set up and help students perform labs
  • Issue and grade assignments

So what about the students?  What is expected of them?

  • Defining our RolesKeep up with assignments  
  • Do assigned reading
  • Complete classwork and homework
  • Turn assignments in on time
  • Contact the teacher if there are questions or problems
  • Listen in class and participate in class discussions

And lastly, what can parents do when they are not the primary instructor?  What is their role?

  • Monitor their child’s progress
  • Help them at home if they need help with organization, motivation, studying, and clarification of assignment
  • Encourage them to interact with other students and teachers respectfully and in a self-advocating way
  • Check answer keys/study guides
  • Proctor tests by establishing an appropriate testing environment

Kerrie Childress has a love for science that she desires to pass along to every student she teaches. She graduated in 1996 with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Bob Jones University and in 2001 with a M.A. in Health and Exercise Science from Furman University.  She has over 15 years of teaching experience in 3 states and several different platforms. Kerrie is also currently teaching on-line for a local community college as well as teaching science classes at Excelsior Classes.

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Excelsior Classes, LLC or the consortium of teachers.