30SecondMom Spotlights Education: Principal Salome Thomas-EL on Supporting School & Kids! by Donna John
How do we get – and keep – our children motivated for school and ensure that they achieve their greatest potential, especially as the end of the school year approaches? That’s the question Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher, principal and nationally recognized educator, strives to answer every day. Principal EL has shared his knowledge on Oprah Radio, NPR and The Dr. Oz Show, and now he kindly shares it with us!
Q: What are some of your biggest concerns for the school year?
A: Getting my child excited or motivated about school each day. Ensuring that my child is challenged and supported in school. My child is safe from bullying and is healthy (exercise and eating).
Q: How do I get my kids excited about school?
A: Make school a priority as a parent – show great interest in school events! Get to know teachers and connect with other school staff. Support children when they take risks and embrace/enjoy the struggle.
Q: How can you tell if your child’s school is helping him/her become resilient?
A: There should be caring teachers and adults with high expectations. Your child should have meaningful participation in school and after school. The curriculum in school should be challenging and fun.
Q: What should you do if your child is bullied or bullies other kids?
A: Contact your child’s teacher, counselor or principal right away. Speak to your child about the importance of caring for others (leadership). Teach your child to report any bullying they witness to school staff.
Q: Why are schools focusing so much on reading at home?
A: Students who are successful in school report reading an hour or more each day. Students who begin reading early and often struggle less later in life. As students approach middle grades they must read to learn.
Q: How can I keep my child safe on the Internet?
A: Teach children about safe Internet usage and websites. Monitor their Internet and cellphone usage. Block inappropriate content. Computers should be in common areas at home and limit/monitor social media.
Q: How do I help my child eat right and exercise often?
A: Model healthy eating and exercise at home. Workout/play with your child. Cook healthy but fun meals. Make a healthy lifestyle fun (beach, etc.). Encourage your child to get involved in sports or other activities.
Q: How can I be the best parent possible for my children?
A: Help kids to understand you are human and not perfect. We make mistakes. Don’t shield your child from adversity. Promote the growth mindset. Overcoming obstacles will make them stronger. Make time for the kids but make time for yourself as well.