**All Bellevue schools will be closed Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23.**
View the District Calendar
**All Bellevue schools will be closed Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23.**
View the District Calendar

The Dance of Independence—Helping your student take small steps toward graduation & responsible independence

It takes a steady march to move your student through high school. It’s a four-year process. You’ll see your student transform almost as much as they did from a toddler to first grade.

Your teen goes from ninth grade when they still depend on family for meals, rides, and structure to a graduating senior that must manage themselves through days away at college or career.

You must change as well.

We lead our children through their early years, protecting them from a world that’s too big for them. Now, we find that our strongest students have adults who steadily coach them to take the lead to tackle challenges. Teens need these years to gradually grow into the adult world and practice the skills they need.

We don’t abandon even our seniors to navigate on their own. We stand ready, but we position ourselves beside and behind all our students. We coach.

Here’s how a classroom teacher coaches.

You might adapt this for yourself:

  • I do it. When you make decisions or set boundaries, share all the information that you base that decision on. Make your thinking visible to your student so that they can learn from your example.
  • We do it. Next time there’s something to decide, sit down and work through the information together. Ask your student questions about what information would be relevant and helpful. Let them gather facts that support their choices. Share the discussion and the final decision.
  • You do it. Ultimately, your student will learn to research the information and weigh the possibilities before they come to you. Initially, you’ll want to ask them to go over their thinking with you, but more and more, you can let them take charge as they demonstrate responsible choices.
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.