By Teachers, For Teachers
Getting parents involved in their child’s learning is just as important as teaching your students the concepts that they need to learn. Studies show that the more parents are involved in their child’s education, the better their success rate is at school. Partnering with parents, especially in the early grades where teachers can really use the extra help is essential. The best way to ensure parental involvement is through a kindhearted and friendly approach. Some parents may be reluctant to get involved because of a previous bad experience. The school, and teacher’s attitude, toward partnering with parents can change their mind. Here are a few classroom management techniques in which you can get parents involved in their child’s education.
The best way to get parents involved and keep them involved is to make a great first impression. Send home a letter before school even begins telling parents and students a little bit about yourself. Start the school week off by having a meet and greet, and invite all family members (even extended) to join in on the fun. Get to know the students’ families on a deeper level than just a hello. Studies show that people feel better about their child’s care when they know that the teacher is invested in them.
Researchers have been studying the effects of parental involvement on children’s education for more than three decades. They have all concluded that when parents are involved, the child will not only do better in school, but will also go further too. Studies also show that students get better grades, have better social skills, score higher on tests, attend school regularly, and continue their education even after they graduate.
Parents have benefits too. They are more likely to have confidence in themselves as parents, are held at a higher esteem from the teachers, and are more likely to continue their own education. Once parents can see these benefits and the value that they can bring to their child’s education, they will not be able to say they don’t have any time to be involved.
Setting up volunteer opportunities in the beginning of the school year you will give all parents (regardless of the busy schedules) a chance to participate in their child’s education. There are a variety of ongoing jobs that you can enlist parents to help you with. Whether parents have a lot of free time or just a few minutes, there is always a way that they can participate in their child’s education. Here are a few ways parents can get involved, either at home or in the school setting.
One of the biggest obstacles parents have is limited time. Most parents find it a challenge to get involved because of the demands of work and home life. Studies show that people today have very busy schedules and only have a few minutes here and there throughout their day that are free. Make it clear that you only need them for a few minutes or a few hours. For these parents, you may want to plan short tasks that parents can do in their spare time. This also benefits the parents who don’t like to come into school because they don’t feel comfortable. Here are a few a ways parents can help in their spare time.
Partnering with parents will make a dramatic difference in the lives of each and every one of your students. Parents can serve many different roles in their child’s education, from classroom volunteer to fundraiser booster. Any involvement, even if it’s just a few minutes a week, will benefit the child. Remember, parents are more likely to participate when they feel the school is welcoming and they are part of the team. The more the parent participates, the better it is for their child’s achievement.
How do you partner with parents in your school? Do you have any fun ideas that you would like to share? Please leave your ideas in the comment section below, we would love to read them.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the elementary education expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or visit her website at Empoweringk6educators.