As 21st Century teachers, we understand the importance of parental engagement and the results that can be had from involving parents and guardians in their child’s learning journey. Here are a few of my favourite tried and tested ideas.
Parents are essential in a child’s learning journey
Involve parents. Give your students homework which is more creative that require their parents’ participation. Explain the importance of extra curriculum activities to parents. Share homework tasks that promotes interaction between guardians and students. If parents understand what learning outcomes you want to achieve, they’ll be able to give a helping hand!
Inspire parents to learn
As believers of lifelong learning, we should be the ones who inspire parents to continue their own educational journey. Parents need to lead by example. For instance – if parents don’t read, how can we expect children to fall in love with books? Encourage parents to track their children’s progress on the school’s learning management system or if this isn’t yet an option, invite parents to follow you on social media and share recommended reading, learning activities at home, articles about your subjects and emphasis on the importance of learning in day to day activities. Use social media effectively.
Patience is a virtue
Parents want the best for their child and more often than not, they’re not the most objective people. Sometimes, they might even wrongfully blame you. Don’t be overly defensive. Be calm, listen and allow them share their concerns and frustrations. Help them to understand that their child has a lot of positive attributes. They’ll eventually understand that you want the best for their child as much as they do.
Celebrate student success!
When I was a young student, getting a teacher’s note to give to my parents often led to the assumption that I was in some sort of trouble. Today, we can change that perception. Send positive notes and celebrate a student’s accomplishments. Show parents that they have a lot to be proud of. This will inspire students to work even harder.
Food for Thought – Is Parents’ Day too late?
Here’s an idea. Why not meet parents at the beginning of the school year and not just mid-year? Parents need to understand what the year ahead is going to be like and the challenges of the syllabus planned. Teachers want to create a personalised learning journey for each child; a plan that should involve parents from the start. Furthermore, if parents reinforce what is being taught in class, the learning process will accelerate. Any views on this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Students have a wonderful support system that includes the school, teachers and parents. If everyone works together, children will have an even bigger chance of enjoying their learning adventures.