By Teachers, For Teachers
On the National PTA’s top 10 list of Things Teachers Wish Parents Would Do, “be involved” ranks number one. Studies show that parental involvement in a child’s education has a major impact on academic success, regardless of economic, ethnic or cultural background.
To promote parental involvement throughout the year, keep parents informed, encourage their participation in your class, and make the most out of parent-teacher conferences. Try these 9 steps!
Keep Parents In The Loop
• Distribute newsletters or e-mail bulletins regularly to inform parents about study units and classroom activities. Notify parents of upcoming tests, long-term projects, and special events. Include your contact information and encourage parents to get in touch if they have any questions or concerns.
• Keep parents abreast of their child’s progress so the report card doesn’t contain any surprises. Ask parents to sign tests and other key assignments. Send home a progress report midway through the marking period.
• Create a website and update it frequently with photos (with parental permission), samples of class work (ie: art work, poems), homework assignments, handouts, study guides, and other useful materials.
Invite Parents Into The Classroom
• Welcome parents into your class to share information about their culture or to demonstrate a hobby, such as photography or cooking.
• Invite parents in as guest speakers if their career is relevant to a topic you’re covering.
• Request parent volunteers to prepare materials for class projects, assist students during “writer’s workshop,” or handle administrative tasks such as organizing the classroom library.
Ensure Conferences Are Productive
• Maintain a positive attitude. Start the parent teacher conference with positive feedback about the child’s behavior, social skills, or academic performance. Rather than pointing to weaknesses as shortcomings, identify them as areas to target for improvement.
• Reassure parents that their child can overcome the challenges they face if you work together to help them. Suggest ways for parental involvement to support their child.
• Ask for the parent’s input and perspective. Find out if they’re satisfied with their child’s progress. Ask about their child’s attitude and homework habits. Parents can offer valuable insight that may help you work with their child more effectively.
How do you get parents involved in their child's education? Share in the comments section!