Parental involvement in student lives benefits the student, the teacher, the society and the family. Establishing good relationship and trust with parents makes communications smooth when there is an issue, which saves you a lot of headaches. Lessons taught are more likely to be enforced at home, which fosters student’s learning curve. Parental awareness of assignments helps in ensuring that students complete them while giving parents access to you when they have an issue. In fact, when students, families, and teachers work together, student learning goes on smoothly, and subsequently more effective teaching and consequently, citizens.
Essentials for Involvement
Increasing parental involvement starts with educating parents on the insights of how to take part and why it is essential. The harsh reality is that most parents don’t know how to be involved in their kid’s education because their parents did not take part in their education. As such, it is crucial to schedule education programs that offer parents suggestions and tips focusing on how they can get involved. Importantly, these programs should explain benefits of parental involvement. While getting parents to attend such training sessions can be puzzling, most parents will be present if you offer incentives such as food or prizes.
There are more communication avenues available today due to technological advancements as compared to a decade ago (Social media, text, email and much more). As such, a key ingredient to more parental involvement is consistent and productive communication. In case a parent fails to keep track of student progress, then the teacher should make an effort to inform them of their child’s progress. Although there is a chance that the parent ignores these messages, the information will be received more times than not. It is no doubt their involvement and communication will improve. This way, parental trust is also strengthened, which ultimately eases teacher’s job.
When it comes to student learning, parents believe that they have limited responsibilities. Some think it is the school’s primary responsibility and leave it to them. A conventional way to change their opinion is to get them spend some time in classrooms. While this method may not work for every situation, it can be a useful approach to increase parental involvement.
You invite parents to read their favorite short story it to the class. Later on, ask them back to lead an activity such as art or something they are comfortable. Some parents will enjoy that type of interaction, and their kids will like it, particularly, for those in elementary school. Continuous involvement will eventually give them some sense of responsibility. Soon, they will start appreciating their child’s education because they are more involved in the process.
Game Night or Open House
Game night or an Open House is an exceptional way to improve parental involvement. While you do not expect full attendance, make them so dynamic that images and videos go viral and create more interest and eventually greater participation. The fundamental is to have significant learning activities that force child and parent to interact throughout the session. Additionally, offering door prizes, food, and other incentives will garner considerably more participation. Although these events take a lot of effort, resources, and planning, they can be powerful tools to build and strengthen relations and parental involvement.
Parental involvement can further be extended through home activities. One home activity idea is to send home activity packs that require the student and parents to discuss and do them together. Home activities ought to be dynamic, short and engaging. I would encourage teachers of middle and high school students to post or send home examples of the skill to assist parents, as they have not sat in a desk in a while. Moreover, science tasks are the best and easiest to send home. Though, they may require a bit more preparation on the part of the parent. Unluckily, all parents may not complete the activity with their child, but you hope that most of them will.
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