Comments (5)

Comment RSS
Secondary and Post-Secondary Educator

Thanks for sharing your

Was this helpful?
0

Thanks for sharing your insights on this topic. As a music educator, the parents are typically much more involved with our program (due to volunteering and chaperoning for the numerous functions throughout the year). This creates a sense of family and unity that the students ultimately benefit from. The thought that parents and teachers alike are on the same page regarding the growth of the students is a great ideal but also requires a good amount of effort. I often find myself performing a balancing act, to ensure the parents are involved without having them too involved. Some may suggest that it is a good problem to have, but there is a fine line between parent involvement and parent hinderance. I love the parents who help out with our student activities and appreciate their concerns for their student's success. As teachers, extending the olive branch when things are going well, will definitely put many credits in the bank with your parents.

Teacher and Educational Journalist

Thanks for thoughtful

Was this helpful?
0

Thanks for thoughtful response Stephanie and for the very good link.

Mark

Mr. Phillips, I thoroughly

Was this helpful?
0

Mr. Phillips,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post which I feel is an excellent spotlight on the importance of parent and family involvement in their child’s education. As a current undergraduate student focusing on education reform and youth empowerment I have increasingly found evidence and arguments for the essentialness of parent interaction with teachers as well as parents fostering a home environment which encourages learning and participation in school. Your suggestion to visit the Educators’ and Parents’ Relationships section of Education.com is a wonderful resource for teachers and parents alike who wish to strengthen the relationship they have. I especially appreciated your suggestion to “create student projects that will culminate in a show for parents,” as it fosters an environment which welcomes parents into the school-sphere through the simple act of viewing their child’s work.

I did have the same concern as CMBG in assigning homework that requires parent and family involvement; however, your response gave me confidence that you recognize the struggles some students could potentially have in completing such an assignment. I would like to address one part of CMBG’s response in which they said, “Where you know that the parents want to be involved, involve them! Absolutely. But where you don't know any such thing, then please just focus on the student and what the student can do.” I am wondering, CMBG, how would a teacher be able to know that parents want to be involved without first reaching out to them? I agree with you, CMBG, that a teacher should never hold a student accountable for grade-based homework that requires parent or family participation, but it seems that the real issue at hand is how to handle a situation like that if it comes up. Mr. Phillips brings up a good point of first knowing your students’ situations and then assessing the probability, merit and consequence of an assignment involving parent participation – and isn’t being able to reach out and decipher that situation the mark of a truly good teacher? My suggestion for any teacher who may find him or herself in a situation where a student’s parents do not actively participate in their child’s school life is to be the proactive one: reach out yourself! I found a great article on “School Family” that explains how all gestures - even small ones - from parents can make a big impact, from simply asking how their child’s day at school was to taking on a role in the Parent Teacher Association. In the end, shouldn’t teachers and parents be trying anything they can to strengthen the school-family relationship?

Here is that source: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/754-5-reasons...

Thanks!

Teacher and Educational Journalist

Response to CMBG

Was this helpful?
0

I agree, in part. I think it's always knowing who the students are, and knowing the social context, when you make any decisions about lessons, homework, parent involvement, school politics.

I also think how one approaches these ideas (mine or those of others!) should be in the frame of "what can I get from this and what doesn't fit for me."

I work with teachers who are teaching kids in the inner city, as Daryll Sevilla was. They still come up with ways of involving parents, albeit probably not with oral history projects.
The parents who didn't have time to be engaged in homework, still had the time to come out to see the kids' films.

Mark

"Try to come up with homework

Was this helpful?
0

"Try to come up with homework assignments (if you must assign homework!) that include parents, not as tutors, but as equal participants. In a social studies class, have students interview parents or grandparents about their experiences related to the topic."

Some parents do not have the time or the inclination to do this, and if that is the case, it is not the student's fault. But the student will suffer for the parent's lack of participation. Please think through the ramifications of assigning homework that requires the participation of people over whom the students might have no control (or people who don't exist in the student's life).

"As a biology student in high school, I did a project on the relationship between genetics and the taste of certain foods. It included my parents, sister, grandparents and other members of my extended biological family."

That sounds great! Some students do not have extended families (biological or otherwise). Some do not have grandparents; some do not have cousins or siblings. Some live in nuclear families that are estranged from the extended families. They'll really feel the lack if they're assigned to do homework that requires participation by a nonexistent extended family.

Where you know that the parents want to be involved, involve them! Absolutely. But where you don't know any such thing, then please just focus on the student and what the student can do. Please do not make the student responsible for making his or her parent do stuff the parent cannot or does not want to do, or for making stuff up about a family he or she doesn't have just to complete a school assignment.

Thank you!

see more see less