If you are a parent that wants the very best for their child, particularly in the realms of their education, then it’s important to be aware of the fact that being more involved with it, particularly through the school, is likely to do your child more good than hiring a dozen tutors. Children of engage parents tend to be much more engaged themselves, so here’s how you can ensure that you are involved enough in your child’s school and education.
- Attend school events
- Go to parent organization meetings
- Be there for parent-teacher conferences
- Be vocal with your support
- Stay in contact with the teacher
- Ensure your child is ready for school
- Build a strong support of education at home
- Understand the pressure teachers face
- Offer financial help
- Volunteer if you can
- Manage homework at home
Attend school events
School events play an important role in building a community around the education of children and, what’s more, typically involve the children, so supporting those events can also mean supporting the whole class of kids directly. From concerts to plays, student exhibitions, award ceremonies, and more, try to make time for at least some of the events. Some important ones to catch are the back-to-school nights and orientation events, which can be very helpful for introducing yourself to your child’s teacher and opening the lines of communication.
Go to parent organization meetings
Whether they are official Parent Teacher Association events, or they are simply more informal organizations of members of the school’s faculty with local parents, it is always a good idea to attend parent organization meetings where you are able. For one, you want to be able to advocate for your child and their education and to be aware of the challenges that both might face, both internally with school organizational challenges as well as from external challenges, such as a lack of funding from the local government. Schools, parents, and children alike all benefit from the ability for all parties to get together to advocate for the best interests of the school.
Be there for parent-teacher conferences
On a more personal level, you should always be there, when possible, for parent-teacher conferences. We know that, often, these conferences can be somewhat tedious affairs, and there’s a certain level of apprehension about the possibility of hearing that your child isn’t doing as well as you would hope. However, they are important opportunities to communicate with their teachers, to hear more about what your child’s needs might be to help them engage as best as possible in their education, or even to offer your own feedback. If you haven’t attended a parent-teacher conference yet, make it a top priority to make sure that you are there for the next one. If you don’t, it also communicates to your child, and they may make the assumption that you’re not as invested in their education as they thought or might have hoped.
Be vocal with your support
One thing that any teacher will tell you is the truth: it’s always the parents who are dissatisfied who are the most vocal. It makes sense, after all, if things are moving along smoothly, why would you raise a fuss? However, you should take the opportunity, whether it’s at a parent-teacher conference or otherwise, to show the teacher just how much you appreciate them. You don’t have to (and indeed, shouldn’t) give them any gifts or do them any favors, but simply thanking them for the time, energy, and effort they put into your child’s education can be just the kind of emotional support they need. Teaching is a very hard job, regardless of what some might think, and any validation can make it much more worth it.
Stay in contact with the teacher
When it comes to direct communication with the teacher, you want to make sure that you’re not putting too much pressure or stress on them. If you have concerns, you should be willing to address them and, indeed, if a teacher can identify ways that you can really help your child’s education at home, they may be more than happy to let you know. Make an open offer, asking the teacher if there is any way you should get in touch with them if they want to talk more about your child’s education. Don’t try to reach out to them without any form or prior engagement, that’s too much for any teacher to have to deal with.
Ensure your child is ready for school
If you don’t want to give your child’s teacher extra work, then you will do what has to be done to get your child ready at home. It’s important to note, this doesn’t just mean making sure they’re dressed, washed, groomed, and fed. You should take the time to make sure that they are emotionally ready, as well. Helping them develop a positive mindset, especially towards education, and reinforcing the importance of virtues such as sharing, kindness, and patience at home can help you shape a child who is also a great student for the teachers. If there’s a problem child disrupting the class, then it’s usually the parent who can be seen as the one who needs to step up.
Build a strong support of education at home
In keeping with the idea of your role in shaping the student who is a part of the teacher’s class, you should also be mindful of what kind of attitude they are developing towards education. Sometimes. a negative attitude toward education may simply be down to the fact that school can be hard, tiring, boring, and otherwise difficult to acclimate to. If your child is having any issues with their schooling, then it’s important to be attentive, to work what it is, and to do what you can in your power to fix it. Otherwise, however, you can play an important role in shaping a child’s attitude towards education by showing it in your own attitude towards it. For instance, it’s not a good idea to bad-mouth the teacher or school at home, even if you’re frustrated, as your child may well mirror your attitude.
Understand the pressure teachers face
Keeping with the idea of the attitude that you and your child might have towards education, a good way to keep it in check, even if you’re frustrated, is to try and see things from the perspective of the teacher. Many would agree, that managing even one child is a handful. Managing a whole classroom of them for several hours a day, while also trying to deliver them an education at the same time, is an effort that is nothing short of herculean. As such, simply try to keep the perspective of the teacher in mind, the kind of pressure they face, and how they could probably use what extra support you might be able to offer.
Offer financial help
Aside from the support that you can offer by being more involved in school events, communicating with the teacher, and basically better supporting your child’s school life at home, there is a lot that you may be able to practically do for the school, as well. For instance, most schools are always in need of additional funding. While reaching into your own pocket to see what you can donate is always welcome and a generous gesture, indeed, you might be able to help even further by organizing something like a collection for teacher donations. A lot of people might be willing to contribute, you just have to know how to put together those fundraising efforts to ask them in the first place.
Volunteer if you can
Money is always helpful, but it’s not the only way you can help, either. Whether you want to do more, or you’re worried that finances might be a little tight, your time and skills may be able to offer just as much help to your child’s school, as well. There are a lot of different ways you can offer to volunteer, whether it’s to help chaperone children as part of school trips, to help in organizing school events, or to otherwise contribute skills such as tutoring towards the further support of the children’s education, there is a lot that you can do. Simply ask the school what you might be able to do to help them, and they will likely be glad to direct you to where they need the support.
Manage homework at home
Lastly, a good way to support your local school is to make sure that your child isn’t giving them any more work. In particular, it’s a good idea to give serious thought as to how they organize to do homework. For instance, you can set a specific time period for doing homework when they get back from school, provide a dedicated space free of distraction to focus on it, and even get hands-on with helping them. Ensuring that they are staying on top of their homework means that they’re not going to be stressing their teacher out, nor are they going to be falling behind.
If you want to know what else you can do, then be sure to ask your child’s teacher about it. If they have any needs that you can help with, they will let you know.