You Can’t Do This Alone - Resources for your Spanish Classroom
Many schools offer an Open House for parents and students to attend before the start of the school year. This event allows parents and children to meet their teachers and see their classroom. You can also review rules, explain parts of the curriculum, and give parents an idea of what to expect this year. However, an open house is also a perfect opportunity to let parents know what their roles should be, and how their involvement in their children’s education beyond the classroom is really the key to their child’s success.
Families today lead different lives than years ago. Most households consist of two working parents, and some families are dealing with divorce, single parent homes, blended families, illness, and other hardships. So it’s important to stress to parents and caregivers that you understand their situations and are willing to do what you can to help their child. However, it’s important to emphasize that a typical school day only has a few hours of classroom learning. Between lunch, recess, special area classes, assemblies, testing, and other requirements, a few hours a day is not enough for students to grasp all the concepts they have to. It’s essential for parents to maintain a routine at home which encourages their children to study, read, do homework, complete projects, or even to just review for a few minutes the concepts learned that day. Not only will this help to strengthen concepts, it will also allow the child to feel that what they do on a daily basis matters and is relevant to their family as well.
Several studies, including ones quoted on this page by the National Education Association (NEA), states that when parents are involved, students earn higher grades. They attend school more regularly and have a better sense of how to behave socially with their peers.
Not only can parents be involved outside of the school by talking to and helping their children, but they can also volunteer in the school. This helps to secure a consistent presence in the school and gives parents the opportunity to know what is going on in their child’s school. An article on Edutopia gives some ways in which teachers can engage parent volunteers in the classroom. Opening communication channels, finding ways for working parents to volunteer beyond the classroom hours that conflict with their work schedules, and showing appreciation to parents when they volunteer can help foster a close working relationship with parents.
Establishing the desire and need for parental involvement early will not only help you, but it will help your students achieve greater gains than you could possibly imagine.
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