Parent and Family Engagement Matters

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How to get your parents and teachers working together in partnership. 

Parent and family engagement in a child’s education is a powerful predictor of academic success. Yet, many parents are noticeably absent from school activities. There are any number of reasons why—stress and survival mode among them. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association showed that 73% of adults said they are overwhelmed by the number of crises facing the world right now. 

One sure thing that keeps parents from being involved in their child’s education is their not knowing how to be involved.

  • Be intentional and invite parents to participate. This may sound obvious but keep sharing opportunities with parents on ways they can get involved. Invite them to a live lesson. Ask them to join a coffee chat and discussion. Grade level does not matter. Invite them to participate.  
  • Improve communication. Effective communication is a two-way flow of information. Newsletters, blogs, and online calendars are great at providing information to parents. But it’s critical to actively solicit feedback from parents. Host a family night. Use social media to connect to parents. 
  • Try to view parent involvement through the parents’ eyes. You are teaching their child, but it’s important to realize your student may not be their only child. Parents with multiple children in varying grades are navigating different levels of learning and involvement based on ages and stages. Consider these questions: Is their job demanding and stressful? What does their home life look like? Are they also caring for aging parents or extended family? 
  • Exercise patience. Remember, it’s not within your control whether a parent engages in a school activity. But, if they did not attend, be sincere and let them know they were missed. Find out if they have a special skill or job they’re willing to share as a guest speaker. Keep the open invitations coming.

Want more?
Check out this post to go deeper into the importance of the connection between parents/families, schools, and student achievement.    

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