Increasing Parent Involvement in School
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Your students' achievements are sometimes directly correlated to their parents' involvement in school activities. Parents should be encouraged to participate in their children's education, both at home as well as in school.
Teachers and educators shouldn't just suppose that if a child's parents or guardians are detached, they are also unconcerned. The world today demands everything from a person. However in families where both parents work and support the financial needs of the household, it becomes very difficult to take time out from their busy schedules. There are also many other reasons why parents aren't active in their children's school life. These can include:
- Single parenthood
- Lack of transportation
- Lack of child care services for younger children
- Low education, thus low self esteem in parents
- Lack of knowledge regarding how they can contribute
If you want your class to have better study skills and make better grades, then these barriers need to be overcome. Parents should be made to feel welcome and not intimidated or overwhelmed. Remember that they are an integral part of the child's life.
Promoting parent involvement is necessary. The teacher should help parents understand their roles in the development of their children. The interaction between parents and teachers shouldn't be limited to the meeting only. Instead, make sure that you involve parents in all the activities taking place in school. Make all fairs and outings occasions where parents can further understand and bond with their kids. They will be thankful for it!
Let parents know that they are not alone in the struggle of bringing up a decent human being. Assure them that every failure will lead to success in future if they can help their children find the way.
You can rely on the following methods to get parents to contribute more effort to the school system.
Volunteerism: As you introduce activities into your classroom, invite a few parents to help around in the classroom. Otherwise, you can simply make parents a big part of your lesson plans! Discuss their hobbies and talents. Ask the talented ones to give an art and music awareness program for your class. Parents from other ethnic backgrounds can also be made to feel welcome. They can help create a cultural awareness program regarding their own culture and religions.
Parent Handbook: Create an informative booklet with clear, practical information about specific ways that parents can be involved in school. If your school is in an ethnically diverse area, make sure to have these booklets printed in multiple languages so that everyone feels included.
Keep in touch: regular phone calls, annual meetings, home visits and after school meetings can be an important way of showing your support to them.
Training workshops: Create training programs that promote effective parenting skills. Provide the parents some good incentives for participating in these workshops. These incentives can include food, transportation or even on the spot child care facilities.
Parents are the biggest teacher resources. If you can learn to be able to tap out this resource, then you and your class will be off for the better.