For decades, there has been a constant battle over who is primarily responsible for educating the youth in America. There is a simple answer that is not so simple after all: everybody.
Teachers take the obvious role as the formal and official educators in the country. They are professionals in child development and their content area(s) which makes them seem like they are the most responsible for teaching. Parents, however, share this opportunity. It is no secret that parents are the first teachers. This is from whom a child learns morals, ethics, language, manners, and so on. If done correctly, parents usually become the beings that the child responds to most. Because of this “innate” control, parents should take a front seat in the education of their children. In addition, teachers send the students home with work to do for practice. Inevitably, a student will run into some obstacles on some assignments, and here is another place where parental presence is important.
The above example sounds idealistic after we consider the fact that all parents aren’t able, available, or willing to help their child. So in those instances, what do we do? Some say revert back to the teacher and, unfortunately, others just let the child fail. This is where the third party comes in. The community has an equal responsibility to ensure that their citizens are properly educated. Government and community agencies should see it as a requirement to have a hand in education.
Now that we have laid out three moving parts, how do we get them on the same page? This looks like too many hands in the kitchen which could be the recipe for disaster. If all these hands works together, however, the perfect concoction can be created.
Towards a home-school-community partnership
Simple communication efforts should be made (initiated by either party) to make sure that our kids get what they deserve. Imagine a community where the director of the local community center is in constant communication with the schools. She spends her day talking and interacting with teachers, principals, and even students during school hours then transports that same energy and philosophies to her center. When a parent comes to get his child from the after school program, that director is not only reporting on what the child did there, but also how he performed in school. This cyclical relationship is beneficial to parents, teachers, and community leaders because everything about the children is synthesized. The students will find it easier to transition from one entity to the next as opposed to compartmentalizing the different aspects of their lives.
This partnership, once established can continue to grow. Before long, school events can be held at the community center and entire classrooms can celebrate the birth of a new baby sister. By incorporating all parts of a child into one, that child is more likely to be successful. That child does not see a distinct line between school and otherwise. Community leaders and parents will be able to better serve their children academically and teachers will better serve them personally. The education of our students will improve in all areas by this partnership.