Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Parent Involvement...

Parent Involvement...

More Related Discussions
142 Replies 2155 Views

There seems to be a lack in parent involvement in the classroom, it seems to get worse year after year. I provide daily opportunities for parents to volunteer, as well as monthly parent involvement activities for parents to attend & I get no interest from parents or even a response. For example, this months family involvement activity was "pizza & puzzles," the parents were invited to put together puzzles with their child & enjoy a light pizza snack. However, out of 40 enrolled students only 1 parent actually participated. Is this happening every where (the lack of parent involvement)? Does anyone have any suggestions on ways to promote more parent involvement in the classroom?

Comments (142 Replies)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Laura L's picture

We have had great turn outs at our harvest festivals. We provide food and have games in the classrooms for the children. Games include ghostly golf, beauty parlor, fishing, and ring a coke (2 liter). The biggest hit is the Bingo at the end of the night. Parents and Grandparents stick around for hours to play bingo. Each grade is given a theme to make a basket...such as hollywood (movies, popcorn, tickets, candy, etc) This has raised alot of support and funding for our school.

Robin's picture
Robin
Teacher

Lots of families are untraditional in their working schedules. Some parents are not available after hours or during the school day. Some parents at my school work two of three jobs just to make ends meet.

Heather Maddox's picture
Heather Maddox
Special Education Teacher 4/5

I too have seen the number of parents involved in thier kids educaiton decrease. As special education teacher, I always call and send home notes for meetings. So far my best trick has been my treasure box. I tell the kids that when their parents send in the form or come to a conference they get to pick a prize. I collect free or cheap stuff and I show them when I add new stuff. I also have a collection of special polished stones and beads that I let the kids pick from. We also have a monthly lunch where we have the family come and show off their student. At the beginning of the year I put out a board with donation sticky notes like "1 bag of Jolly Ranchers" or "I pack of sticky notes" or "1 game of Mancala". Then they have donated something and they are done. Just some thoughts.

Kate Brooks's picture

I think many parents believe that all communication coming from a teacher/school is going to be negative. I believe that by starting the year off by making a positive phone call (i.e. calling parents on the first day of school to share a positive experience the child had) can show parents how communication with teachers can be positive and beneficial to students.

Kate Brooks's picture

I think that reaching out to parents in a positive way, i.e. calling parents on the first day of school to share a positive experience the child had, can show parents how communication with teachers/schools can be positive and beneficial to the student.

Monica's picture
Monica
Teacher

I work in a Title 1 school, with low income families. I have noticed a tremendous difference with parent involvement in schools of lower income. The economy has also placed a strong effect on parent involvement because it makes it more difficult to find time to meet with parents due to them working more to provide for the family. I feel that communication is key. I send home behavior reports daily, which keeps them involved with the classroom. I also send home notes to all parents if there is a specific concern that may be addressed, even if it's just with one student. I make it class whole so that the students aren't singled out. We need to remember that even parents just donating to the classroom, or writing notes is involvement. With our current economy, we don't necessarily need their time, but anyway that they are helping is still beneficial.

Takisha's picture

Ariene, early in the discussion, you mentioned podcasts, can you explain what this is?

Takisha's picture

Parents play an important role in the lives of their children. Unfortunately there are some parents that do not have the time to be more involved. I generally think that parents care and are concerned about their children's education. However, due to the demands of their job(s) many parents do not have the time to participate. On the other hand we have parents who show up at every event and participate in any/ all activities. Where do we find a balance? I know that communication is the key. In order to keep parents more informed, I have a weekly newsletter, explaining what will be covered throughout the week, and also giving them activities they can do at home to assist in ensuring their child's success. An article that I recently read Parents need to be there for children Campaign Aims to Get Families Involved in Education Process in News4jax.com, states that "we should make their home environment an extension of the classroom." I also communicate via email. At my school we also have a parent conference that requires the parents to come in and discuss the progress of their children, and at that time they receive their child's report cards. We also have monthly P.T.A (Parent /Teacher Association) meetings. As teachers we have to stay committed to our students, we have little or no control over the decisions parents make to be involved in their children's lives, but we have control over what we do as a "stakeholder." Once the parents realize and see our commitment, they too will buy into the idea that it is very crucial to be a part of their child's education.

Renae's picture

I think Ariene brought up a good point that we may need to adjust our view on what we consider to be parent involvement. Support and communication from home are invaluable and take time and effort on the parent's part. Many times parents are only available in the evenings, but they are tired from work. Thus, to get them to come into the school we need to use novel ideas that are of direct interest to their families. Currently at my school we are doing a school wide science fair. The projects are done mostly at home, which requires some parent involvement, but we are also offering support at school so the parents do not feel overwhelmed. We are then going to showcase the projects for the community in an evening event. We have invited community members to come in and judge the projects, however, they are judging to offer our students positive feedback that will encourage further learning. Therefore, the community members do not need to feel that they do not know enough to be of help, they just need to be willing to help us build up our students. Also, as further motivation, the only way for students to exceed standard they must be present at the evening showcase to present their project to the community.

Renae's picture

I think Ariene brought up a good point that we may need to adjust our view on what we consider to be parent involvement. Support and communication from home are invaluable and take time and effort on the parent's part. Many times parents are only available in the evenings, but they are tired from work. Thus, to get them to come into the school we need to use novel ideas that are of direct interest to their families. Currently at my school we are doing a school wide science fair. The projects are done mostly at home, which requires some parent involvement, but we are also offering support at school so the parents do not feel overwhelmed. We are then going to showcase the projects for the community in an evening event. We have invited community members to come in and judge the projects, however, they are judging to offer our students positive feedback that will encourage further learning. Therefore, the community members do not need to feel that they do not know enough to be of help, they just need to be willing to help us build up our students. Also, as further motivation, the only way for students to exceed standard they must be present at the evening showcase to present their project to the community.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.