Homecoming: Prelude to Report Card Week

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Langston University

This week is Homecoming for many high schools, colleges and universities. From miles around, alumni and recent graduates venture back to their social and academic birthplace. My nephews play football for First Baptist Academy in Dallas and both teams won their respective games. I miss the pageantry. Matched against opponents that would guarantee the home team a win, concentration can be placed on other important task besides winning the football game. Crowning the Homecoming Queen and the band’s half time show are usually the highlights of the Homecoming Game…regardless of how the football game turned out. More importantly, the week’s priority becomes who’s taking who and who’s wearing what to the Homecoming Dance the following night.

Growing up in Oklahoma, my family routinely took us to the parade and Homecoming at Langston University. For those of you who have never witnessed an event like this at a Black university, the bands are the featured attraction. If you think bands from Historically Black Universities are electric on TV, you have to witness the full experience. The most exciting part is not half-time. The fans attention is diverted from the game to watch the bands march into the stadium. The crowds rush back from rest-room breaks and concession runs to see the band return to the bleachers after their half-time performance…which could be more exciting than the half-time show itself. After the game, huge crowds gather as the drum-core’s cadence signals the loading of the bus. That’s what you miss by not personally attending homecoming. First of all, you have been hearing stories describing these events from your parent. The place where they met, my dad’s reputation as an All-American athlete in baseball and basketball, and the amazing stories of my folks pledging…my dad pledged Alpha Phi Alpha and my mom pledged AKA. Their experiences in college established a set of milestones that motivated me to achieve academically. Recounting my college days planted seeds in my children’s psyche. Taking them to college events like homecoming helped them to visualize the possibilities.

Lessons Learned from Report Card Week

Hold On!! Even before Homecoming pictures come back, your child receives their first report card this week. Regardless of how your children performed this marking period, here are several items to consider during the time between now and their 2nd report card. Looking forward by looking back allows you to establish new routines that will increase the probability of your child’s improved academic performance in class.

1. Time Management – the time devoted to each class (or course taken, i.e., Algebra 1, Biology, English 3, etc.), should be adjusted according to your child’s performance. Remember, you cannot concentrate on two things at one time. If a child performs poorly in a class, consider having your child devote more time to the class and remove distractions like looking at TV, or listening to music while completing projects, homework, or studying for quizzes and test.

2. Study Groups – have your child involved with study groups. These study groups should consist of youngsters of varying backgrounds and academic capabilities. Interacting with students of diverse interest and academic aptitudes motivates your child to share what he knows, listen to other’s opinions, and grow academically from the group’s collaboration. Each member of the group MUST be responsible for the success of ALL in the group.

3. Direct Independent Study – Encourage your student to ask for help…especially in subjects that are challenging. Learning HOW to ask questions clarifies, in the child’s mind, what’s expected by the teacher in class. When we teach students how to ask questions about their learning, teachers have the opportunity to correct student miscues, and students have the information that aids in constructing personal knowledge. Therefore, class time as well as tutoring efforts can be 50% more affective where your child’s learning is concerned



Dr. Johnson brings more than 30 years of educational experience to EducationWise. Ten years as a high school math teacher and over 20 years as an administrator in both the elementary and high school level. He served as a teacher in Richardson ISD and Dallas ISD before moving into administration in Dallas ISD. It was in these early years that informed Dr. Johnson’s philosophy relative to teaching and learning for all students, especially underrepresented groups. In 2003, he continued to serve public schools as a high school administrator in Alief ISD…a suburb of Houston Texas.


For the past three years, along with becoming a business person, Dr. Johnson has continued to sharpen his skills as an instructional leader and teaching and learning expert working with principals and teachers in low performing school districts. In addition to serving as Executive Coach and Pedagogy Facilitator for a major school turnaround company, Dr. Johnson also served as the Mentor Program Coordinator in2011 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.

For more information or to contact Dr. Johnson: drjohnson@geteducationwise.com and the website ishttp://www.geteducationwise.com

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