One of the biggest challenges schools and districts face is low parental involvement. It is often believed that parents do not make the time to be involved in their child’s learning community or do not care about their student’s academic progress. Even if the student is performing poorly or falling short of academic expectations. While it is the responsibility of schools to ensure that children learn, learning extends beyond the walls of the school. Parental support is needed.
As a school and community relations manager, I think the biggest challenge is not that parents don’t care about their children or don’t have the time to support them. It seems to me that parents lack a connection to the school, the teachers, and the material the students are learning.
It would seem that there is a quick fix to this problem, but as we all know, building meaningful relationships takes time, and parents’ relationships with students throughout their learning journey are important. You can’t overlook the big picture because it can affect your academic progress. . While building relationships with students, you should also focus on building relationships with parents and families.
learn from my experience
One year, my son, who was still in fifth grade, came home from school with a dizzying math assignment. I remembered the concepts he was studying from my own schooling experience, but trying to imitate the instructions I received from him was nerve-wracking.
“It can’t be this hard!” I thought to myself as I anxiously began writing down the methods and strategies I knew, hoping he would be more understanding. Unfortunately, my attempts to help him ended up teaching me how to solve math problems. I’m grateful he figured it out, but I was even more confused than when I started.
Please try to imagine. Can you imagine how other parents would feel if I was frustrated? This is the story of many families we serve. It is true that some parents work long hours during the week and cannot always devote time to their children’s academic progress, but in many cases, parents do not come to school because they are embarrassed about not being able to understand what they are learning. yeah. The child is studying.
In my role, supporting parents and families in the learning community is very important. Conversations with parents often include complaints that they are unable to support their children due to a lack of academic knowledge or skills.
These days, students learn in the following ways: “I do it, we do it, you do it” method. In this model, teachers work with students step by step to teach concepts. Students receive the information and personalized support they need to succeed, while being able to show what they can do with or without teacher support. It can be difficult for teachers, especially when students lack the foundational skills needed to learn grade-level standards. It can also be a stress factor for students. As a result, these stressors result in students entering families where they still require support from their parents and family members.
My role here is to act as a bridge between parents and school integration, emphasizing the importance of the home learning experience for students. While this is my primary job, schools and districts must remember that it is our role to support families in this teaching and learning process, and we cannot do this work without parents. not.
Build bridges to better connections and engagement
when a student has High involvement at home and parental involvement Going to school increases your success rate. As a school, once we became aware of the impact of low parent engagement, we made it a priority to identify the disconnect between schools and the families we serve.
We started by sending out surveys and having one-on-one conversations with parents.as turnaround school, this helped us identify gaps between what we know, what our parents want us to do, and where we need to incorporate additional wrap-around support. At Luther J. Price Middle School (LJPMS), by identifying this disconnect, parents can participate in workshops with instructional coaches and teachers to learn strategies they can use to support their children’s academics at home. We have started an opportunity to share. These workshops were offered in-person and virtually for parents who were unable to physically attend.
In addition to learning what parents need to support their students at home, the study also found that parents are reluctant to get involved because they don’t have positive relationships with teachers and schools. It has also become clear that This showed us how important relationships are and forced us to think of creative ways and opportunities for parents to be involved in the community that are less threatening and more welcoming.
One of the ways I accomplished this was by organizing activities that encouraged parents to volunteer and connect with teachers. One of those activities included a “King’s Breakfast” where fathers were invited to eat breakfast with their students. Recently, we organized a “Thank You Lunch” where families were invited to interact with the community as a family. Teachers, administrators, and district staff took this opportunity to interact with our families. It was an amazing experience for our family and even more so for our students. If teaching the “whole” child is important, parent involvement is equally important.
it takes a village
As a parent, I can’t think of a greater connection than the one I have with my children. As a child, I grew up in an environment where both my parents were educated and actively participated in my education. It’s not difficult for me to model that experience. As a parent and single mother, I want my children to have the best learning experience possible. Therefore, I choose to exist.
Yes, I have relationships with teachers who support my students’ learning, but that is my expectation and I have no other choice. I also want the teachers to know that I have high expectations for my son, and if I can support him in his educational endeavors, I will do so. Although my experiences are different from those I serve, I believe the ultimate goal is the same.
No parent I’ve ever met wants to see their child fail. Although the responsibility always seems to lie with the school, parents are in the greatest position to help their children. As the great educator Marva Collins says: She said, “Not knowing is not a crime. Not wanting to know is a crime.”
For schools and teachers, we need to help parents and families bridge that gap. What they lack, we can help our student community have greater opportunities to succeed. If that means that parents, teachers, and schools must work together to be foot soldiers on the path to student success and academic achievement, then that’s what we must do.
There is an African proverb that goes, “A child who is not embraced by his village burns it down in order to feel the warmth of the village.” This community is challenged by external factors that affect children’s progress and success. It truly takes a village to raise a child, and it takes this community, and more importantly, this partnership, to achieve the results we seek. By working together, we achieve more.