Parents’ support to their children in their formal education leads them to become successful in school. Some parents understand that they have to be involved in formal education of their children, but sometimes, they do not know where to start from and when to find a time to make positive communication with their children’s school. Therefore, schools play a fundamental role in fostering parent involvement in school. To promote this, schools can initiate ways to communicate with parents through parent- teacher conference, inviting parents for meetings and organizing workshops/presentations about parent’s role in their children’s education, both at home and school. The school can create a partnership with families to respond to parents’ concern and queries. Consequently, children will be better at academic performance in school.
Description of population:
The school is a private one, and the rule for primary enrollment is that students who live close to the school can get admission. All students are girls including special needs students. The school begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. All teachers must have a bachelor or masters degree, are required to work full time and assistant teachers work part-time. They have a volunteering program also for work. The school climate is positive and comfortable because of caring teachers and supportive personnel. Every adult at school works to meet the students’ academic, emotional, physical and social needs.
The classroom is a kindergarten classroom that has ten students with high socio-economic status. Each classroom has one teacher and two assistant teachers who provide individual and group support and work with families to help students reach their full potential. The classroom involves cultural and linguistic diversity. The school system is Arabic and English languages, therefore, most of the students are fluent in Arabic and English. The school offers extra-curricular activities such as math club, various sports etc. It is also aiming at getting parents more involved in their child’s learning by creating activities for parents and children to engage together, giving the parents opportunities to volunteer and arranging parent-teacher conferences.
The three types of parents’ involvement that I chose are volunteering, communication, and learning at home.
Volunteering provides opportunity for parents to see their child in a different environment and increases the understanding of the teacher’s job and also implement school activities at home. It also improves connections with the school community to facilitate their child’s learning and opportunities for success.
Goal: Enable at least five employed parents to participate in the volunteering program.
Lack of time prevents employed parents from being actively involved in their children’s school. In order to compensate for this factor, I will meet with the parents to make flexible schedules and they can choose a day and the period of time that they would be available to attend and participate with their children in the classroom. However, every week, a different parent will come in with a ‘Goody Bag’ which includes snacks for each child in the classroom. I will inform the parents about a weekly theme to help them make a design for the Goody Bag accordingly and participate in the activities with children. If they have extra time left, I will discuss with them about their child’s strengths, weaknesses and behavior.
However, if the parents are super busy, I will ask them for the best time and date to make something at home, related to the theme of the week. Suppose if the theme is about sea, they can make a design that involves anything related to the sea, make a sheet about any word that may be found in the sea, or collect a picture about this theme. Then, they can send it to me with their name and the child’s name. (Tracie Bolin, 2012)
Depending on how many parents choose a date and agree to become active volunteers, I will measure the success of activities. If I find out that the number of parents agreeing to volunteer is not enough, I can ask students to encourage their parents to volunteer. Therefore, the evaluations form that I would use to know how many parents get involved in the volunteer program is as below:
Parents who will help in the classroom
Strong communication with parents is important to support children’s learning. Therefore the teacher must build a sense of community between home and school to meet the all needs of the children.
As a teacher, I will provide a form to the parents to fill out. The form will include the phone number of the home, email address of each parent and other information about families and their children. Therefore, I will call the parents monthly to discuss various concerns about their child such as child’s behavior and child’s progress, and answer parents’ queries. (Susan Graham-Clay, n.d.)
I will also send an email every two weeks. In addition, send Report Cards that provide information about children’s progress and analysis of academic areas such as, strengths and weaknesses, learning style, assessment of the child’s social development, specific goals for the students to work on, and associated suggestions for the parents. Hence, the Report Card should be easy and clear for parents to understand, so parents can also respond about their child’s progress via the Report Card or they can write some questions for teacher. (Susan Graham-Clay, n.d.)
Learning at home:
Goal: Helping parents understand student assessments and to become involved in their child’s education at home. Activities:
On the first day of class, I will create a bag for each child that includes the rules of the classroom, books, specific activities with clear directions and materials that parents might need for the activities to be done at home. So this approach will help parents support their children’s learning at home and help them to understand the grade level as well. (“Involving Families in Children’s Learning, pg.6)
Moreover, I will work with other teachers to organize workshops for parents, to give them opportunities to learn strategies that will help them become involved and productive in their child’s learning at home. In this way parents will become familiar with the strategies and be able to implement them at home. Along with the strategies, the workshops should provide information about what to look for in their child’s work and progress.
Equal involvement of both the teacher and parent is vital for a successful educational growth of a child. This will provide children with the same learning environment both at home and school. Therefore, it is important that schools and teachers take active measures to promote parent involvement in children’s learning at home and school. A strong working relationship between the teachers and parents can go a long way in promoting active learning growth in children. By implementing volunteering programs, activities for learning at home and building a strong two-way communication with the parents, teachers can accelerate the learning growth of children. These are productive measures and strategies for teachers to encourage parent involvement in the learning process for children so that they are provided with the same learning environment at school as well as home. It also gives parents a clear insight into their child’s learning strengths and weaknesses and brings more awareness. Together the teacher and parents can identify and work on the child’s weaknesses and areas where he/she may need more support.
Tracie Bolin. 2012. Top 5 Ways to Use Parent Volunteers. Teachers, Where Teachers Come First. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/top-5-ways-use-parent-volunteers
Susan Graham-Clay. (n.d). Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers. Retrieved from http://www.adi.org/journal/ss05/Graham-Clay.pdf
Education Career Advisors. 2011. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/tools_templates/student_profile.doc
Involving Families in Children’s Learning. (n.d.). How To Kit. Retrieved from http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/howtokit/involve/involve.pdf