Education: Parental School Involvement
In their book, Getting the Best out of Public Schools, authors Dr. Steven and Virelle Kidder share an article written by Linda S. Page on how parents can become involved in their children's schools. And according to Page, "The type of parental involvement that makes a positive difference in student achievement is more than 'volunteering.' While supporting the teacher is important, your concerns go deeper than this; and so should your involvement. Parents must become directly involved in their children's academic learning experience."
Page suggests that mothers become aware of what their children are being taught, the amount of time they are spending on core subjects, the textbooks and testing instruments that are being used and how a mother can become involved at the schools.
In addition, you can evaluate yourself to see if you are contributing to your children's education process. Page provides a checklist of questions for you to ask yourself, including the following:
- Am I creating in my child a love for learning?
- Do I see that my children do their homework every night?
- Have I met my children's teachers?
- Do I know my children's teachers' educational objectives?
- Do I know what my children's assignments are?
- Do I send my children off to school with a nutritional breakfast?
- Am I teaching my children the value of being responsible for school work by being responsible for my own work?
- Do I attend at least two parent-teacher conferences a year?
In fostering relationships with school faculty, follow the chain of commands (i.e. if you have a possible misunderstanding, go to that person first) and be sensitive to the time constraints of the faculty members when setting up meetings. During the meeting, have your questions already prepared to keep the discussion on task. Remember to show courtesy and respect to the faculty member, and consider acknowledging that you are aware they also have your child's interests in mind. Also be sure to ask the teachers what you can do as a mother to make your children's education more effective.
Page encourages, "The most vital component for an effective, cooperative effort between parents, teachers, and administrators in schools is a positive relationship... Both educators and parents must make a concerted effort to build positive, trusting relationships through mutual courtesy, respect, and efforts to accommodate without compromising convictions."
This article was based on the article, The Case for Parental Involvement in the Schools by Linda S. Page in the book, Getting the Best out of Public Schools by Dr. Steven & Virelle Kidder.
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