- Family and Parenting
Parent Involvement in Child’s Education
Welcome guest writer, Danielle Hall. Enjoy her article and find out more about her at the end of the article.
Parents Must Get Involved
I truly believe that parent involvement in a child’s education is essential to their growth and development. I realized this early on as a parent when my older children were attending school.
Parental involvement in early childhood education builds meaningful relationships between families, communities and schools. The one thing I pride myself on is being involved in what is going on at my child (ren)'s school, and I have even offered my phone number and email address if the teacher has concerns they need to discuss regarding my child (ren). I have noticed now, during this generation, schools are providing more web based programs for parents to have access online and get involved virtually.
Parents have access to see their child's grades, performance, attendance and assignments online to track their child’s progress daily. I would always check this web based program daily, and then I took the time to address the grade that needed improvement or the assignment that was missing. When I was young and growing up between the 70s and 90s, nothing like this was available to parents because the social networks were not available and no one had tapped into the virtually schooling that is taking place now. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would have full access to my child’s grades and performance on a computer.
Why Get Involved
There are the factors that encourage parental involvement such as; parental involvement improves school work, it leads to adolescence independence and builds relationships with other parents and teachers. There are also discouragements to parent involvement such as; limited financial resources, minimal education of parents preventing them from volunteering and the lack of open communication or support from the schools. There are also factors that affect the level of teacher initiated contact such as; time constraints during the school day, not feeling capable influencing student engagement and learning and feelings of isolation and separateness from school administration.
Teachers Need This Support
Teachers need the support of the parents just as much as children need the support of their teachers. My six year old son loves school and has loved school since he started day care which we always considered school. He says that his teacher is nice to him and that is why he likes going to school. So just imagine if his teacher wasn’t nice to him as this would probably cause him to shy away and not go to school. So a teacher’s influence on the child is also very important just as much as a parent's influence. The child spends most of their day in school, so shouldn’t school be a place of serenity and safety. Teachers have a big responsibility to not only the school but the children to educate and make their 7-8 hour session as pleasant as possible. Parents can assist in this process by getting involved with everything that is going on at their child’s school.
How to Be Involved
I was always involved in PTA, PTO and fundraisers, just to name a few events when my children were in school. I even volunteered to sit on the school's board of directors, policy committee and parent committee. Education is important because knowledge is power and that goes for older children as well. There was a time when I was not able to be involved in my children education because I worked full time, but now the access to web based programs allows me to see pictures of what my child participated in during the day and what assignments or behavior was being demonstrated.
I am all for parent involvement a child’s education. My youngest son who is six started reading when he was three, and it was because the teachers and I worked together to stay involved in what was going on during class time. Whatever the teacher was teaching at school, I was teaching at home and my son was getting consistency from both places. I was also always present at every parent-teacher conference because I wanted to know both sides of the story. Sometimes my child would blame the teacher for his or her mistakes, so during parent teacher conference I got to hear what the teacher has to say. Bad behavior was not tolerated, and there was consequences if bad behavior was discussed during the conference or even over the phone.
Communication is Vital
Going back to my six year old and him loving school made me really think about the kids that do not like school and don’t want to go. Could it be because their teacher is not nice or doesn’t take the time to get to know them as an individual person? My son's teacher asks me at the beginning of the school year to share things about my son, what he likes or dislikes which I was happy to provide to her. Teachers need to understand that each student is different and each student needs are not the same.
When I think about teacher and parent communication, I think about parents and their communications with their children. For example, a kid comes into the house and asks his mom for a cookie while she is cooking dinner. The mom says no because dinner is almost done. So the kid heads to the living room to see his dad watching television and asks the same question about eating a cookie. The dad says yes, and the kid heads back into the kitchen to open the cookie jar. Mom notices and yells "Boy, what did I tell you?" The kids blurts out that dad said yes to eating the cookie. At this point, mom and dad have a discussion and are arguing about the cookie. Reality is that the child just manipulated the situation because he never shared that he already asked his mom and she said no.
This is just like parents and teachers miscommunicating with one another. A child will only share what benefits them, and then this puts the teacher in a bad situation and now the teacher is defending themselves and the parent is defending their child. This is why I get both sides of the story before taking sides. I love my children, but I know that they are not always right so getting to the source of the problem helps open up communication barriers.
Danielle Hall lives in Milwaukee WI and is the proud mom of three beautiful children one daughter who is the oldest and two sons. Danielle hobbies include reading, writing, spending time with family and being active in her church ministry. Danielle has obtained a Master’s of Science Degree from Concordia University in Organizational Leadership and Administration May 2016. Danielle also attended The Institute of Children’s Literature located in West Redding CT to obtain a diploma in Writing for Teenagers and Children in July 22, 2013. Danielle shared in the publishing of a book with 19 other authors called, Flowing from the Heart of God a 365 day of God’s Inspired Readings. This book was published July 28, 2013. Danielle has 20 plus years of corporate experience in the workplace and her goal is to become a best-selling author.