Parents play a vital role at all stages of a child’s education, and a supportive role in education can improve achievement. In this lesson, we will discuss how school and family partnership impact the students’ education outcome.
Teachers as Communicators
Communication is the most important element in creating a positive relationship between parents and educators. Communication is defined as two-way information exchange. For example, if there was a lock down, it is the responsibility of the school to communicate with the parents.
If the situation at a student’s home has changed, that might affect the student’s concentration at school, and it is the responsibility of the parent to communicate this to the educator. It is important for teachers to keep the parents involved through communication. For elementary and middle schools, a weekly email or newsletter should be sent out a week in advance. The letter should let parents know what the child will be doing in each class and list information about any test and quiz dates, along with ways for parents to volunteer that week.
Oral communication should be both negative and positive based on the situation and done on an as-needed basis. For example, when making a phone call about inappropriate behavior or academic failure (negative), be sure to call again when the situation improves (positive). The best-planned partnerships can fail if the participants cannot communicate effectively.
Benefits of Parents’ Involvement
To help support educators meet the challenges of raising attainment for all, and to provide every child the same opportunity, it is essential to get parents involved. Parental involvement is the key element in a child’s success and students who have parents that participate in a child’s education do better in school.
There are numerous studies that back up this statement such as ‘Hopkins, 2004’, and ‘Parental Involvement Is as Easy as PIE!’ It is the responsibility of the teachers and administrators to encourage parents to become involved. The promotion of involvement should not stop once students reach middle school, as is often the case, but should continue through high school.Research shows that parents who are regularly involved in child’s schooling have the following benefits:• Child’s self-esteem is enhanced; Improvement in child’s academic achievement• Child attends school more regularly• Child enrolls in higher level programs• Parent-child relationship is improved• Parent and child develop positive attitude toward the school• Parent have better understanding of the schooling processThe school can also benefit from the feedback from parents on the effectiveness of the policies and education provisions in practice. Parents’ involvement can help educators enhance curriculum and obtain ideas about how to best support children from parental view. Lastly, any concerns in the school environment can be addressed quickly when parents and schools work together.
Ways to Involve Parents
One kind of parental involvement is school-based, which includes conferences and responding to written communications. Other ways parents can get involved are volunteering for the library, lunchroom, or as a classroom aide.
To get involved in decision-making and educational services, parents have the option of joining the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Educators can also provide flexible scheduling such as providing day and evening conferences and providing school events at different times of the day throughout the year. According to research, schools that make parent involvement a priority see student outcomes improve.
Successful school-family partnerships require the sustained mutual collaboration, support, and participation of school and families. Both sides should make an effort to create a two-way communication that is effective and reliable. Parents are the first and on-going educators for their own children.
Parents, as partners, in education improves schools, strengthens families, and increase student achievement and success.