Parental classroom involvement is beneficial for both the students and yourself as the instructor. This involvement is so important, that a decade-long study by the National Education Association found that students whose caregivers are active in their classroom life, on average, attend school more regularly, earn higher grades, perform better socially, tend to go on to post-secondary education after graduation, and are more active in their school life.
Unfortunately, many caregivers across the country expressed that they do not feel welcomed in their child's classroom or even that they feel ostracized by their child's teacher. On the other hand, some educators may feel overwhelmed by the constant demands from heavily active parents. To strike the right balance of parental involvement, there are plenty of ways to earn parents' respect, follow national standards, and accommodate a variety of parent situations. You can learn about these and more tactics in CDA classes from ProSolutions Training.
Earn the Respect of Your Students' Caregivers
Parents and caregivers who feel you truly care about their children and provide concrete ways for them to get involved tend to be more comfortable entrusting their children to your care. Building a bridge from mutual respect and admiration is one of the first steps toward getting your students' caregivers engaged. Simply sending out periodic fliers without talking with them first is impersonal and leads to less involvement in the long run.
To earn their respect, be straightforward and kind when meeting them for the first time. Don't overload your talk with overly optimistic jargon or set false expectations. Be honest, saying that you are pleased to meet them and truly hope they can help out in whatever capacity they are able to contribute. Respecting parents is also about understanding that they have varying work schedules, cultural backgrounds, and language barriers. Learning to accommodate all of these factors will show the families you care and will do your best to see that they have a place in their child's education.
Communicating with parents and other caregivers is a vital skill you’ll learn when you take CDA classes from ProSolutions Training.
Following National PTA Standards for Parent/Teacher Involvement
Depending on your educational setting, you may need to follow PTA regulations and suggestions for getting parents active in your classroom. One of these factors includes establishing regular lines of communication between you and your students' parents. Weekly newsletters, emails, or even occasional meetings are helpful ways to meet this goal.
Furthermore, providing community resources for parents and multiple avenues for classroom involvement are two more mandates set by the PTA. Being welcoming whenever you have a parent volunteer in your classroom is also important, along with ensuring that all caregivers are positively contributing to the classroom learning environment by reading books, chaperoning field trips, tutoring individual children, and participating in engaging activities.
Meeting a Diverse Range of Parent Needs
Some parents may work long hours or have non-traditional schedules, which does not allow them to be as fully active in their child's educational journey. Meanwhile, other parents may have ample time to assist you in your classroom. Learning to equally appreciate the time and effort every family is able to contribute to the classroom creates a sense of community and teamwork among all the families involved.
One option for parents who may have more time to volunteer is to become a "classroom parent". For example, they might show up a few times each week to assist with extensive projects or activities. To help with managing the number and frequency of visits by parents who come more often, try creating a rotating schedule so both you and each parent knows their date and time for their visits each week. In addition, for parents whose schedules are a bit busier, requesting their help with fundraisers, field trips, or parent appreciation nights once a month or a semester will still show your appreciation without imposing on their demanding schedule.
ProSolutions Training offers online CDA classes, such as the "Family Engagement Package" for interested professionals looking to learn more about their field. Contact us today to learn more about our services!