Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/In Today's Schools Table of Contents/Parental Involvement

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Parental Involvement
Observations and Reflections from Today's Classrooms

Type Responses Here At the school that I work at we have a PTA (Parent Teacher Association). This past year I attended a lot of the meeting because 1) I work there and I want to support the association, and 2) I have a child that attends the school so it gave me a great opportunity to keep up with activities that were planned. There was not a lot of participation when it came to parents. I know the biggest turn-out for a PTA meeting was when there was an open house for the bookfair that was going on, so it brought a lot of parents and this is how we had parents at the meeting and there was also entertainment that some of the students participated in.

Personally, I am a parent that is very involved in my children's education. I have had the privilege and not so privileged to have come to know some of my children's teachers, but one thing a teacher cannot say is that I am not involved in my child's education. Parents have to be and should want to be involved in their child's education because it shows that they care. Msmhobbs04 (talk) 21:15, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I saw both positive and negative parental involvement during my observations at an elementary school. The positive involvement was of parent volunteers helping out in the art classroom. They would come in to help with the art projects and especially enjoyed working with their child's class. The parents were not only being involved in their child's life at school, they were also very helpful to the teacher. The negative parental involvement was when a very negative, hard divorce of one of the child's parents came into the school. The mom and dad were fighting over custody of the child and one parent tried to take the child without the courts consent from school. The cops had to be called!Hcogg001 (talk) 20:52, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

At our elementary school we have a great Parent Teacher Organization. There wasn't a day when you didn't see multiple parents in the school. They helped with everything from lunch duties to photocopying. The highlight of our year in the Physical Education department is "Field Day". At our elementary school of 300 students we had over 30 parents volunteering that morning. They run our events and allow our two PE staff to oversee everything. Their help is priceless for us. Having active parents in the schools leads to better student achievement in the classroom. Jtmitchem (talk) 19:20, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I completed my observation at a local elementary school in two different grades. I observed kindergarten and fourth grade. It was mainly in my fourth grade observations that I noticed for a poetry jam a large number of the parents came to support their children. During the poetry jam students took turns going in front of the class and reading selected poems from a journal they had been working on the entire year. It was during school hours and I was very pleased and a little shocked to see how many children's parents left work or previous engagements to make it to the poetry jam. The children whose parents could not attend were cheered on just as loudly as the children who parents were able to attend. It made me realize how important parents involvement is with the school and thir children. Lwill031 (talk) 18:08, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I have not been able to complete my observation yet, but I am a parent of 2 children one of which has completed two years pre-school. I believe parental involvement is crucial to a childs success. When teachers assess students it is beneficial to students as well as parents. This helps us to be aware if our children need extra help. I know from my experience I could never get enough feedback from her teacher. I was always wanting to ask questions and find out how she was doing with everything. No matter what I always wanted to be at school for every function and event. I really want my daughter to see that I am supporting her and care about how she does in school. I know parental involvement is so important for the teachers as well. If teachers and parents work together for the benefit of the student they will be sure to succeed. Aferg006 (talk) 05:12, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I have spent many volunteer hours in my children's school during the last 6 years and I can't say enough about how beneficial parental involvement is. Their school has a 30 hour per family volunteer requirement each year. You don't have to interact directly with the students, (other volunteer activities include lawn care, maintenance, etc.) but overall, the parents are very involved with their kids here. It is truly a nurturing environment and very family oriented. Unfortunately, I know it won't be this way at a public school, which is so sad. I wish it was a requirement that parents had to volunteer in some way at their kid's school. Children need to know their parents are interested in what they do. Parental involvement generally helps teachers too. I know I will try my hardest to get parents involved with their children in my future classroom. ~~ Sciaston (talk) 23:06, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Parental involvement is the bridge between school and home. I learned a lot in my observations about the importance of parental involvement from the two teachers that I observed. The resounding message was that the students that had the most difficulty in class also had a challenging home life. One of the students in the 4th grade was a poor student, she had difficulty in class completing her assignments. I learned from the teacher that she was going to be held back in that grade. Her father was in prison and the mother worked full time and also had a part time job to make ends meet. The girl stayed with her grandparents frequently and did not make friends very easily. It was not that the mother did not try and participate in her school life but she really did not have the time to attend functions or go over homework. I felt so sorry for her, but the teacher was encouraged that she would be fine, she just needed another year to mature and establish a firmer foundation. Also in the special education classroom the teacher pointed out that the students that had parents that were involved greatly influenced the advancement of the students. As a parent, I also know the importance of staying on top of their assignments and maintaining constant contact with the teachers. One of the ways that we have been able to do this is through the website that posts grades and assignments and messages for our student which has resulted in a great tool for maintaining parental involvement. I think that this will prove useful as a teacher also.Jnewh001 (talk) 00:59, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I have yet to complete my observation, but one things stands clear: parental involvement is critical to the advancement and learning of a student. My mom was always head first in everything that had to do with my education and my extra-curricular activities that ultimately landed me where I am today. I have a full scholarship at Old Dominion. If my mom would not have gotten involved like she did, I don't know where I would stand today. It is vital to a student's development to have the support of parents and/or legal guardians. When a parent never makes the time or ignores the needs of the student, then it becomes a deeper problem. I tell this occurs by observing classmates and friends whose parents are never around. They seem to not take school in a serious manner. Ehern004 (talk) 17:39, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I have not done my observations yet, but I have an excellent story about parental involvement that I heard/dealt with when I was substitute teaching last year. I was substituting for an ninth grade earth science teacher who I had in high school. Excellent teacher might I add; all the students loved and still do love her. Anyway she left a list of possible trouble makers and told me if I had any problems to leave their name and she would take care of them. Well I had a big problem out of one boy. I left her his name and she ended up calling me at home and asking me exactly what happened. I told her and afterward she apologized for his actions (which wasn't her fought). Then she proceeded to tell me about him and how he was toward her. She decided to give his parents a call and let them know how he was behaving in her classroom. Hoping to seek extra help she talked with her mother and told her what was happening and to her surprise the mother cussed her out and told her she was the worst teacher at the school (teacher won teacher of the year the year before if that tells you anything) and then proceeded to call the principle. Crazy huh? When I was in high school my mom would have thanked her then busted my bottom!! The teacher then told me that parents have changed just as much as the students have over the last couple of years. She stated that they are not near as involved today as they have been and tend to blame you instead of their child. She said that each year it gets worse and worse. She firmly belives that most parents just don't care how their child behaves or acts, which is very sad. Hcomb003 (talk) 22:20, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I have completed 15/30 hrs of my observation, but so far have not seen any instances of parental involvement to report on. However, I work at a preschool, and can certainly speak about parental involvement in my classroom. We have one student, who is now 3 and has recently moved up to our room from the 2 yr old room. Since day 1, he has been having problems with hitting the other kids. We immediately began talking with his parents, who requested that we leave a note in his "mailbox" everyday with a happy face or sad face, depending on how his day went. Apparently his parents gave him rewards and praise for "happy notes" and the behavior soon stopped. It was through the involvement of the parents that we were able to redirect his negative behavior into something positive. Alucy001 (talk) 00:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

If there has been one thing I have learned about a school in general, it is that the parents’ involvement will more or less decide a school’s success or failure. As a child, I use to think that Parent Teacher Associations were just organizations for adults to raise money so that students could go on field trips. Now that I am older and am actually examining education, I see that PTAs and similar organizations are much bigger than that. It is a way for a community to build a thriving environment in which their children can learn. I know one of the main reasons teachers leave is because of work load, but I think that contributes to the lack of parental support. I know that many students would actually learn quicker and better if they had additional assistance at home. But I also know that not every parent is like mine, who put in hours during the evening when I was in elementary and even middle school. And it is also not an issue that parents do not want to help their student, but they simply do not have the time to do so. That is why I think that classroom websites and emails are more beneficial for parent than the students. They can just access the site from the computer at work or home, and be updated with the classroom. Email is also so readily available to the public that if a parent cannot physically come to a school, they can still be in contact with the teacher and their child’s progress. Adart001 (talk) 01:37, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

In my experience as a teacher, parent involvement can determine everything. It is not how motivated, or smart a kid is, but if they are borderline then it is their parents that can make the difference. Sadly, parental involvement rarely comes from those kids who could have the most benefit from it. It is the parents of the A students who is constantly calling for questions, and extra study materials, and it is the F students parents 9 times out of 10 that won't even return my phone calls when I inquire about study habits or other ways I can try to help. All the books say parental involvement is the key, but in practicality, the kids who really need a parent to be involved, rarely have one.Scrai010 (talk) 01:58, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

The majority of the parental involvement in the classroom itself stops about middle school in most cases. I did my observations in a band classroom, where the parents are relied upon to help theprogram run smoothly. The school band program has a very good history of a very active parental body. The parents help with everything. Whether it be chaperoning the competition trips or helping make sure everyone is wearing a bow-tie. The likely hood of the band program being able to function without the help and dedication of the parents is very unlikely. For instance, if the parents weren't involved then the students wouldn't be able to take those competition trips due to the school system rules regarding the ratio of chaperones to students. I think that the parents involvement also takes a great deal of stress off of the teacher's shoulders. Rcoll029 (talk) 04:11, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Parental involvement is very important in order to help students reach their potential at school. During my years of teaching, I have followed the advice of my bosses with respect to contacting parents. The administration requires that we contact parents and record such contacts on a contact log. I also try to get parents involved through extra curricular activities such as potluck functions or field trips. Sending home progress reports frequently is another way to stay in touch with parents; this helps them know whats going on with their child and help the child where help is needed. Mbrowder (talk) 03:26, 17 August 2009 (UTC)