It is very important to involve the parents in the learning process of their child. It not only encourages the parents to know what is going on in the student’s life, but it also encourages them to work with their students outside of the classroom as well. The tricky part is discovering the best way to communicate and involve the parents, especially in rough communities. Yet this is something that is vital parts of helping the teachers help the students. Students with involved parents tend to have better attendance, better grades, and have a more consistent progress from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Encourage the parents to be involved with the students both at home and at school. If possible, have the parents read to and with their children at home. This will increase the child’s chance of learning to read and helping them recognize words and spellings. Have them discuss the books and stories. Not only will the child enjoy the story itself, it will help the child work on paying attention and their memory skills. Provide a way to encourage parents to not only check their child’s homework, but also to communicate back that they did it as well. This will not only encourage the child to communicate with the parents but also involve the parents.
It may also be a good plan to communicate with the parents about what is going on with their child at school. The child’s social life as it presents itself in the classroom could be a reflection of how things are going outside the classroom. Troubles in either part of their life could affect the child’s grades, as well as their classroom participation. Talking it out with their parents and other trusted adults in their lives will enable them to focus on the classroom when appropriate, and absorb more information.
When possible, encourage the parents to become involved in the classroom as a volunteer. Given enough options, most parents would be able to participate on some level in the classroom. A few ideas include allowing them to be classroom helpers, or even to tutor before or after school for those who need help. They could also volunteer to read to the class, or help individual children with reading during their quiet reading time. Some parents are more comfortable helping with fundraising, or chaperoning field trips. There are plenty of options depending on the age and grade of the classrooms. Outside the classroom they could even participate in PTA meetings and school board elections.
There are many ways to run the individual classrooms, many of which are highly effective. Some years, it could even be extremely tough to get through to the tougher sets of parents. However, with plenty of work, many of the parents will come around at some point throughout the school year. In the end, with the help and participation of the parents of the students, everything done in the classroom becomes that much better. That will be better for the parents and kids alike, because it helps both their learning and their relationships.