There is a growing divide between education and one of the major stakeholders…parents. I put the blame on the shoulders of administrators and here is why…
Parents do not know their role in their own child’s education. We are always stating “parents are the primary educators of their child” yet we, as professional educators, are not showing them how. Parents need guidance in this just as much as a child needs guidance with how to critically think about a math problem. My solution is a simple one that I hope to employ as an administrator.
Get parents in the school!!
Start with a mandatory (yes…mandatory) meeting a the beginning of the year in which they are walked through the ins and outs of supporting the learning that is going on in the classroom while their child is at home. It goes beyond asking the child “How was your day?” to which the child gives a one word answer “Good.” It goes beyond homework. It will also cultivate a team spirit amongst educators at school and parents at home for the sole purpose of success of every child.
Parents need to volunteer in their child’s class at least once (and hopefully more) during the school year. And not just to do some photocopying! Parents should be actively involved in the learning of their child, and others, in the classroom so they can see the practices the teacher has in place and hopefully carry them forward to the home.
School council needs to be an attractive option for parents. Far too often do I walk into a school council meeting (even with a highly active parent population) to see fewer than 10 parents at a school with over 700 students. This needs to change! Critical decisions are made at these meetings that effect the education of the students. Administrators need to survey their parent population in regards to increased attendance at these meetings.
For those people who are at the end of this blog with the thought “parents don’t have time for this!!”, I say really?! How can you not have time for your child’s academic success? How can you prioritize ANYTHING else above this? Even work should come second to raising your child and ensuring their success. My answer to you is MAKE TIME. If you can’t and your child is not succeeding…look in the mirror for the answers not at the teachers.