Parent Engagement Builds Student Success
When it comes to a breakfast of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. This old saying is roughly comparable to the issues facing our schools today, as they consider the kind of relationship they want to build with the parents of their students. (Dennis Shirley 1997) Overcoming systematic challenges such as closing the achievement gap, and ensuring that all students are ready for school, requires engaging parents as partners and champions for change in our school community. According to Dictionary.com, “a parent is a child’s primary caregiver and is well positioned to provide a child with the on-going support and supervision needed to be successful in completing their schooling”. Parent engagement should start as early as kindergarden all through high school, the parents are giving their children an early and important start, in school and in their own personal life. Whether or not children get on the path to high school graduation in the first place and stay on track throughout their school carreers is significantly influenced by the extent to which parents are committed in engaging in their educational endeavors. Parents are key ingredients to their children’s successes and also their failures. Why Parent Engagement Matters
According to Push and Ruitenberg, 2005, engagement involves, “enabling parents with the knowledge or opportunities to make a connection and take their place alongside teachers in the school community with their children”. It requires fitting together their knowledge of their children, teaching and learning with teachers to help their children gain the knowledge they need to be successful. Parent engagement is very important in the whole school community, (which involve parents, students and teachers) yet a challenging task. Constraints on time and resources often present some parents from communicating and encouraging their active engagement. Parents who are actively engaged in their child’s learning are interested parents.(Henderson & Mapp 2002). They can become engage by showing interest through communication about what happens at school on a daily basic, this would help set the stage for parents-children decision making as they grow older. They can also stay informed by networking with teachers to find out what happens in the classroom, the school and the community. Parent engagement is more than a school council meeting or a Parent Teachers Association. It can take the form of volunteering for a field trip, meeting and communicating with teachers one-on-one about their children and school related activities. Engaged parents is given the opportunity to serve on school councils and are involved in decision making. It is very important for parents to ensure that there’s a quiet place set aside from all distraction for the children to do their homework at home and also help with homework. This way they can still be engaged even if they cannot find time to go to their school. Many schools and programs that have successfully recruited parents as volunteers say the first step is to identify the specific goals for parent engagement, and act on effective strategies that will help meet those goals. All forms of parent engagement, no matter how small they may seem, are beneficial for students or program participants. Almost every school, congregation, sports association, or youth program has parent volunteers who know how to “make a difference.” Other parents need little encouragement, and information about what they’ll be expected to do in order to tip the balance between staying home and getting engaged. Carney Hall (2008) While it’s true that some parents rarely show up and don’t respond to sign-up sheets sent home in backpacks or posted on bulletin boards, there are ways to draw them in to attend school or program functions and volunteer on-site. The Effects on Parental Engagement
Carole Rhodes is an author, mother, teacher and...
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