I attended three parent teacher conferences at my field site. I sat at a different table than the teachers and parents because there is a student teacher and another block three student in my classroom. The conferences were for three very different children. One child displays mistaken behaviors in the classroom, one that struggles academically, and one that is on target academically and socially.
The Essential Conversation: what parents and teachers can learn from each other, written by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, focuses in on the “essential” discussion that occurs between parents and teachers when it comes to a child’s education and life while looking further into the hidden meanings behind this exchange. Lawrence-Lightfoot describes how often times the dialogue that occurs between parents and teachers has hidden undertones such as anxiety along with parental ghosts from the past along with several other trajectories that may impact how effectiveness of parent and teacher discussion/collaboration. The theme of Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book can best be summed up in a quote she shared about parent-teacher conferences; “Beneath the polite surface
In an educational environment portrayed by an immense weight on accountability, our nation has been occupied outlining its educational goals to allow us to take part in a global economy. Even in this situation, the notion of family and parent participation in school takes precedence. There are two substantial examples of this. First, in 1994, Congress constituted the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. In composition with Goal Flight, "By the year 2000, every school will promote partnerships that will increase parent involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children" (Sec. 102, 8, A). Some of the aspirations of this goal encompassed the installation of programs to increase parent involvement, encouraging parents in the support of academic excellence of children at home, and shared decision making at school. Second, parents are referred to a few hundred times in various parts of the No Child Left Behind Act (2002), specifically in Section 1118, Title 1. This section of the Act is written explicitly for parent involvement. “More specifically, this section requires that school districts and schools receiving Title I dollars must have a written parent involvement policy and build school capacity to effectively
Some students are more involved than others. Because I am like a “reading teacher”, I don’t really interact with a lot of parents, but sometimes a parent will just want to know how their child is progressing.
It is instilled in most parents to defend their young with that being said, parents should listen to both sides of the story before assuming that the teacher was wrong in their actions. Parents+ Teachers= A successful student. Another problem with parents not teaming up with teachers is the fear of being called a “bad parent”.
Communication between teachers and the parents of students is essential for the growth and success of the student both inside and outside of the classroom. This communication is best achieved through parent conference opportunities. One way that this is achieved is through regular open house nights. This is where parents, and other members of the community, are invited to come to the school and talk to the teachers and other faculty at the school. Another conference opportunity presents itself in a scheduled appointment between the teacher and the parent. This will enable the parent to meet face-to-face with their child’s teacher during a time that is more convenient to them, as these appointments can occur before, during, and after school. Additionally, conferences can take place over the phone. This is a convenient way for both parties to communicate effectively in a way that works best for them.
Parents need to be involved. • Maintain constant communication and open dialog. Teachers and faculty members need to communicate as a whole and come together to discuss the student and figure out what plan of action should happen next. "
Parents must be apart of the learning process, this will then help improve encourage children and student achievement. Encouraging parents and motivating them to be involved in their children school life is huge. Encouragement goes a long way, even with parents. Having the family support in the classroom is very beneficial to the students. Having that support will put them to be the best they can be.
Meetings with parents can go one of two ways. It can advance smoothly and without a hitch, or it can be an absolute disaster. To prepare for this meeting, it would be imperative to specify exactly what needs to be discussed. If a meeting doesn’t have some sort of schedule or plan to it, it can make for a very tense and awkward encounter. That’s the exact opposite of what it should be. The teacher should have a plan of items they should discuss to make sure both parties are on the right page. An outline would not be out of place when preparing for this meeting. Perhaps writing down the goals for such an affair would be valuable later on in the session. She should also include the student’s strengths, examples of the student’s behavior, and any questions she might have for the parent. It might also be fitting for her to record the response of the mother.
When they did stations, which I was lucky enough to teach at one, the students did arts and craft, a reading station, identify and looking at new words, and lastly a observing and writing a questions station. I was placed at the question station where I help the students write out a question they had about an animal. The teacher notified me that her class was all advance spellers and if they didn’t know how to spell something, they should sound it out. I found this to be true due to the students sounding out complicated words like dolphin and weather. Lastly, the school was filled to the top with parent evolvement. In the article Are Schools Doing Enough to Learn About Families, the author describes the way parents are perceived, “Parent engagement recognizes that much of what parents do to support their children’s education may not be visible to educators.”(Pushor) I find that in Park Hill, the parent’s actions and efforts are greatly visible to not only educators, but everyone at the school. The parents that volunteer have a great amount of support from the entire school, making them more willing to help out with
Parent teacher conferences take place on ongoing bases as the child moves from classroom to classroom. In the conferences child’s behavior, progress, social and physical needs are discussed. Additional meetings may be added during the year if the request is made by the teachers or the parents. The parents sign a form documenting the conference and are placed in the child’s file. Group Placement and Classroom Transitions: Child Transitioning- Teachers Responsibilities Checklist
Because parents will be seen and discussed in a positive manner and they will be welcomed to participate. Parents currently do not participate or are engaged in their child's education. I believe that administrators opposed to the meetings will send a negative message not only to staff but also to parents and cause parental disengagement. For parents they will be willing to be engaged and participate in their child’s education and be advocates for their children.
Parental involvement in education is a vital essential for creating a cooperative environment for the student to thrive and succeed in. When a student knows that he or she is receiving support both inside and outside the school, the chances of that child becoming responsible for and active in their education are more likely. I know that there can be difficulties including parents for many reasons. Such parents may be too busy, uninterested or just feel helpless. However, as an educator, I will still have an obligation to reach out to these parents and assist them.
As mentioned prior, students in middle school are going through significant changes. This means that there must be a clear path of communication between the parents/guardians and the educator. Parent-teacher conferences are a great way for parents to be involved in the learning environment. Through these conferences, parents can learn how their adolescent is performing in class. These conferences not only address academic progress, but also behavioral needs. It is common for students to act up for attention or to look cool in the middle grades. With parent-teacher conferences, the parent(s) can be made aware of any negative behaviors that need to be addressed. Another approach is a school newsletter, which I personally really like. Within the newsletter can be important upcoming dates, shout-outs, and relevant information. I really enjoy the idea of newsletters being sent home versus emailed. This is because I have students who do not have internet access at home. It is not fair for those students and parents to miss out if they do not have internet access. The communication line between parents/guardians and the educator is critical in the middle level. It is crucial for me to fulfill my role as an educator and communicating with the families. If I push this topic to the side, it is my student who suffers. It is not fair to my student to suffer if I do not perform my job the proper way.
Private schools encourage parent involvement as this enhances the child’s academic success by ensuring they are on the straight and narrow. While most parents are typically involved in the day to day