Making Birmingham City Schools Successful Again by Staci McCloud, Parent, Tuggle Elementary

There are many components that comprise the long list of things that are needed in order to make the students of Birmingham City Schools more successful.  The main and most important component piece is the school, the actual school building.  The school building needs to be sturdy and well lit.  The structure also needs to contain computers, a gym area, lunchroom and music room.  These additional areas help to make the student whole. The computers help to broaden the mind and expand their use of technology.  The gym helps them to unwind and play as children need to in order to stay well balanced.  The lunchroom functions as a fueling station with healthy meals containing fruits and vegetables that the students might not be getting at home.  Lastly, the music room provides the art and culture element for the students.  Some children, once exposed, are naturals in this area.

Next, very important to the successfulness of each student is a strong principal, teacher and parent partnership.  The principal should be visible daily and willing to speak with students.  This shows a very tangible leadership.  This is important to the teaching staff, parents and students alike.  As a parent myself, I like to know that my son is in good hands.   Teachers need to be well educated, trained and prepared for the lesson daily. They also need to be good listeners.  There are many teachers that could completely change a student’s pathway by taking the time to listen.  There are many parents that don’t work and would possibly be interested in volunteering—but, haven’t been asked.  The principal, teacher and parent should be all visible in the school.  Of course we as parents need to more involved.  We need to keep an open dialogue with the teaching staff.  Some teachers go all year without seeing the parents or guardians one time.  The teachers should be our friends and allies not our enemies.

One other component that would change the current state of Birmingham City Schools is the communities they are in.  While we cannot change the location of these schools currently, we can change the composition of the neighborhood.  By this, I mean, we can get the community involved so that they show a sense of ownership.  There are several families that require their children to walk home due to lack of vehicle etc.  It is possible that there could be a group of retired individuals that could patrol that neighborhood in order to ensure safety.  I have driven home in the past and seen fights or bullying taking place.  Our children need to feel safe at home, at school and in their neighborhood.  I have friends that have taken their children out of Birmingham City Schools because they didn’t feel safe.

In conclusion, our children need strong principals, teachers and parents.  A wonderful addition is the community getting onboard also.  I feel that if the children see all this support they have no choice but to be successful.  As students, they need parents that care enough to get them to school daily—on time and prepared for learning.  As parents, we need to really engage in what is being taught to our children.  We need to keep a constant and friendly banter with the teacher.  As a community, we need good schools that make us proud to be in the Birmingham area.  We need everyone as a whole to cooperate in making our schools successful.

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