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first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaWith getting children ready for school, feeding them a healthy breakfast, making sure they get home safely and taking them to practices, today’s parents have a lot on their plates.Actual schoolwork can get lost in the rush. A key to children’s success is paying attention to what goes on during the eight hours they spend at school.“I came across a recent survey in one state that said fewer than 20 percent of parents are in regular contact with their child’s school and teacher,” said Don Bower, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension human development specialist. “Nobody is happy with that.”As teachers and schools search for ways to engage their students, sometimes the one missing element is parental involvement. Eighth-grade teacher Julie Crow said the best way a parent can connect with a child’s teachers is to show up at parent-teacher conferences.“We make a lot of appointments, and I bet about 60 percent of them don’t show up,” she said.Crow teaches mathematics at East Jackson Middle School in Commerce, Ga. Parents there can also meet with teachers when they pick up their child’s report card.“It seems like a lot of parents come when their child is in sixth grade,” she said. “But by the time they get to eighth grade, not as many parents come.”When students reach middle school, Bower said, many parents tend to believe their student is more independent and responsible. In fact, parents may need to be in closer contact with their child’s teacher during these challenging years, he said.“In middle school and high school, students have issues of bigger crowds and less one-to-one contact,” he said. “Typically at the middle school level, many parents are overwhelmed with trying to meet all the teachers and keep up with what’s going on in all those classes.”Bower said a solution to the teacher overload would be for a parent to find someone at the school who knows the child and to talk to that person regularly.“The most effective systems are where both the school and the parent understand the learning goals of the student and work together to achieve those goals,” he said. “That’s done in an environment where responsibility and power are shared between the school and the parents.”Sometimes, parents doubt the necessity of parent-teacher conferences, he said.“For some, it informs them of a situation to begin with,” Crow said. “So many parents don’t know what’s happening in their kids’ lives. For some parents, the conference doesn’t do anything. For others, it goes home and lights a fire.”Bower and Crow offer these tips on what parents can do to communicate with their child’s teachers.1. Use the Web. “More than 95 percent of schools now have their own Web sites,” Bower said. “Using the Web also makes it much easier, especially for parents gone during traditional hours.” Web use could include something as common as e-mail. However, many schools now post a student’s password-protected grades and homework online.2. Call. “The old standby is telephone contact between the parent and teacher,” Bower said. “Make sure to call during the teacher’s free period if the teacher has one. Parents need to understand when it’s a good time to reach the teacher.” Teachers generally only have about an hour and a half per day to call a parent back as well as complete other projects, Crow said.3. Ask the child about homework assignments, tests and notes from the teacher. Talk to your student. “I think parents need to do more than just meet with their student’s teachers at conferences,” Crow said, “even if it’s not necessarily to talk to me more, but talking to their kids more.”last_img read more

Column: Andretti digs deep to honor family at Indianapolis

first_img Associated Press Television News SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT LIVE TV First Published: 18th August, 2020 10:17 IST FOLLOW UScenter_img Last Updated: 18th August, 2020 10:17 IST Column: Andretti Digs Deep To Honor Family At Indianapolis Fresh off one of the biggest moments of his career, Marco Andretti headed to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse for a small celebration with friends and teammates WATCH US LIVE Fresh off one of the biggest moments of his career, Marco Andretti headed to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse for a small celebration with friends and teammates.Another diner at the Indianapolis landmark said, “Go get ‘em Marco” as he passed by their table. His guests raised a glass to Andretti for “laying down a fat one” in a tribute to the late Dan Wheldon, who used that expression to describe big qualifying laps.Andretti did just that, seizing the first Indianapolis 500 pole in 33 years for motorsports’ most famous family . His grandfather, Mario, won the last Andretti pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when Marco was just two months old.Earning the right to lead the field to green in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is a worthy resume highlight in itself. But what Andretti did will forever be a defining moment for a beleaguered driver.Three of his Andretti Autosport teammates had failed to show the speed the team knows is in the cars and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon had just topped the leaderboard. Andretti was the final driver to qualify. It was hot and a slight wind swirled around the empty speedway, conditions that should have slowed his effort.With a confidence he has struggled to show in recent years, Andretti ripped four laps around the 2.5-mile oval — wide-open on the gas, fast and fearless in pursuit of his own moment of glory at Indy.“On the last lap, I knew it was either all or nothing,” Andretti told The Associated Press on Monday at the speedway in the shadow of its famed Pagoda. “I was either not going to finish or the run was going to be very good. I had to dig deep for that, reach for the next level.”His run was wildly celebrated by his fellow competitors — even Dixon said he was rooting for Andretti — as well as his celebrity friends. He counts comedian Kevin Hart and entertainers Ludacris and Ice-T as close friends; he took a congratulatory call from “Ice while we were on the way to dinner.”“He’s such a great guy and a good friend,” Dixon said. “To see him get a pole position at Indianapolis — I know what that means to him and especially his family.”Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the Andretti family playground. Mario Andretti won the Indy 500 only once, in 1969, and five Andrettis are a combined 1-for-74 when it comes to winning the most important race on the IndyCar calendar every year. It’s earned the family the notorious “Andretti Curse,” which Marco insists they don’t believe is real.“We don’t believe in it as a family,” he told AP. “We’ve been really blessed around here and we are unscathed as far as being in race cars. This is a dangerous thing we do and we are all healthy. It’s hard to say we’re cursed. This place can bury your confidence and it can also make you.”Now 33, Marco has been at Indy his whole life and his favorite memories, he said, were days spent at the old Speedway Motel turning laps on the balcony on a toy car as his grandfather, father, uncle and cousin fine-tuned their race cars.He wants nothing more than to break that so-called curse, which began for him as a rookie in 2006 when Sam Hornish Jr. passed him right before the finish line. Marco finished second, his father Michael finished third and it was the first of 14 consecutive years of Indy 500 heartbreak for Marco.He is not over that loss, bitterly noting that 15 years later he is still defending why he was so angry in defeat. The race that hurts the most was actually last year when he ran a tribute 50th anniversary paint scheme of his grandfather’s win, a time-consuming effort that his sister tirelessly put together. Radical changes made to his car were a disaster and Andretti plummeted to the back of the field at the start of the race. He finished 26th, his worst finish in 10 years.“I mean it was just, it was a nightmare. It was totally embarrassing,” Andretti said. “It’s one of those times where I was wanted to crawl under a rock.”Andretti recognizes that his statistics — two wins in 240 starts over 15 seasons, his last victory way back in 2011 — open him to criticism. Fans have mocked his lack of success, accused him of keeping his job only because his dad owns the team and suggested he’s not worthy of a seat in IndyCar.It used to bother him. But Andretti has grown up in this series; he was just 19 his rookie year and teammates with series greats Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta, who now calls his races. He has learned to stop worrying about the chatter.Now he’s a favorite to win the race that means everything to his family, an enormous amount of pressure that could potentially mentally drain Andretti before Sunday’s race. To clear his head, he planned to head to a family cabin in the Pocono mountains before he’s returns to the track Friday.“It’s just about being chill and trying to not stress,” Andretti said. “I can do that there because it’s an all-wood log cabin and you get there and it’s like everything’s cool, everything is going to be alright.”Image credits: AP Written Bylast_img read more