It’s not too soon to prepare for fall parent involvement! Inform parents now about fall events, such as back-to-school nights or open houses. If possible, specify dates, times and whether or not children are invited. Give families as much time as possible for planning.
Meanwhile, be prepared to address concerns about involvement before these key events. Then when teachers present volunteer sign-up sheets, parents may be more willing to add their names. Here’s how to address some common parent questions:
- I grew up believing that teachers are the experts on education. When parents get involved, aren’t they just interfering with teachers’ work? Research shows that parent involvement is critical to student success. Teachers want and need to work with parents. No one knows students better than their families.
- I don’t know how to get involved. What should I do? In addition to supporting your child’s education at home (such as monitoring homework and talking about school), spend time at school. Volunteer in the classroom, if possible. Attend school events and meetings. Also visit the school website to keep up with happenings.
- How can I fit parent involvement into my busy work schedule? vSome businesses permit time off for volunteer work, which allows parents to help out at school. There are many ways to pitch in at home, too, such as preparing class materials for the teacher and encouraging your child’s learning.
When communicating with families, remember that language differences are a common barrier to parent involvement. Provide resources that make the process not only possible, but also comfortable, so that parents will want to get involved.