19 Jun What Educators Would Like Parents to Know
Barely completing a sixth grade education in Guatemala, my mom didn’t have an understanding of the United States curriculum. In spite of her limitations, my mother was relentless in making sure that I received a quality education from an early childhood through college. In the process, I learned what every parent should know and have used this as a model not only in raising my daughter, Cenné, but also in setting expectations for the parents of scholars Mott Hall Bridges Academy.
Build Relationships: While your child is attending school, they are spending more than seven hours with adults who take on the responsibility of not only being a teacher, but also a parent in your absence. You are literally trusting someone else to not only have access, but influence over your child and their future. It is therefore your responsibility to request a meeting that is not limited to the quarterly parent teacher conference to discuss your child’s progress. This provides you with the opportunity to become familiar with the teacher and their expectations, along with the goals for your child’s success.
- Stay in contact by asking for the best contact information for you to communicate with the teacher after hours just in case you have questions or concerns.
- Education is a Partnership, Not a Service: Teacher and parents must work together as partners in education towards one mission, making sure their children gain knowledge and learn the skills needed to navigate through life. You should never consider a school as a service center where you drop off your son or daughter, expecting someone else to take care of them. Education requires a partnership that focuses on collaboration in support of academic and social-emotional progress. Sometimes there are circumstances that happen at home that can impact a child’s achievement at school, which is why having open lines of communication is also important. You won’t have to go into great detail about what’s happening, but giving a teacher or an administrator a heads up that there may be a concern, is really important. It goes back to establishing a relationship with a shared responsibility to ensure the success of children.
- Teaching Begins at Home: Parents are teachers who impart knowledge though their life experiences. Although my mom and dad were unable to earn a high diploma, they taught me the value of an education, importance of worth ethic. With that said, when you make school a priority, so will your kids because they always remember what they have learned at home. Talking to your child everyday to learn about their day opens up communication for them to share their feelings, it also shows interest in them as individuals. Take your child to the library or the bookstore to select books that will be of interest for them to read; take local trips to learn about history and hidden treasure that exist in your community. Children develop a sense of the world based on their home environment and life experiences; therefore, learning must begin at home and continue at school.
- Be a Volunteer: As a parent, I know your time is precious, but so are your children and they love seeing you in their school building that is until they get to high school. Until then, offer your services of being a group leader, mentor, or guest speaker. Consider asking how you can help, because there may be opportunities for you to leverage your network that can provide resources and opportunities that would be of benefit to the school-wide initiatives or classroom activities.
- A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way: It is not easy being an educator when you there are tremendous amount of pressure to get high outcomes on standardized assessments. This can squeeze the passion out of teaching that makes an educator feel underappreciated. A small gesture like a thank you note can be encouraging beyond measure.
Schools are not only institution for learning that provides knowledge, but a space that is should be nurturing to the students, as well, as teachers. It requires effective partnership and communication between educators and parents for our children’s success.