The One Tip Parents Need To Be More Engaged Next School Year
The One Tip Parents Need To Be More Engaged Next School Year
“Parents don’t know what they don’t know – The Early Learning Lab”
Start with any of the ideas below or find new ones; no one way is right, It does not matter where you are starting from, the school really wants you to just start.
Ask questions, makes suggestions but most importantly be a part of your child’s learning experience – because we only have them for so long.
In Columbia the spring of 2017, Maryland a 50th anniversary birthday celebration marking the creation of the city of the great visionary Jim Rouse, add in a dialogue about diversity and inclusion to mark the celebration; an article called Bridging the Divide with a video published by Baltimore Sun highlighting the hopes and dreams of a couple of high school student in the Howard County Public School System who hadn’t been exposed to some of the opportunities as other students in his school, and off I went.
With my own children in the GT program though a single momma I felt guilty; in my heart I had my perspective on why the opportunity had missed the students, having come close to losing all during the recession of 2008, I’m aware of the hindrance that are unique to some families and not others.
- A busy working life
- One’s level of education
- Dressing differently
- Not having access to a car or public transportation
- Confusion about what the school offers and what is expected of you
- No time or resources to reach out to teaching staff individually
- Conscious about your language barrier or uncomfortable with an accent
- Socioeconomic conditions
- Demographic conditions
- And family and household conditions that affect school readiness
- Not having anyone with this educational experience in the family to defer to
I asked myself questions like; (1) how can I tell other parents about the resources and opportunities in the schools. (2) how do I urge the parent and child to want to challenge themselves (3) how can we make the best use of the resources available in the school system, the county and the state of Maryland. (4) What can we do better to help children in their early years, which research has shown as one of the best period to make the best impression for their future.
To me, it was an engagement and communication issue, are parents taking the opportunities their teachers and educators are facilitating so parents can ask questions like back to school night, parent conferences and other events, and of course there is still the opportunity to reach out to teachers via email or the phone.
I called, spoke, visited, read articles, watched videos and asked the teachers and educators in my school system questions to understand what we as parents needed to know and do. I gave my quest a name, the 3-2-More Project, 3 more things for the parents to do, 2 more for the student and More once they have both exhausted the 3 and 2.
Not knowing what we don’t know is the problem, but when we ask for help about what we don’t know we get the answer we need.
As one educator said, …the engaged and educated parent is a win for the school and school system because there is no better public relations agent than that type of parent.
Here’s the recurring question I asked the teachers to understand and get all the tips: If you could share one tip with parents on how to be engaged next school year what would it be?
But first, let’s define what parent engagement is?
I found parent engagement in schools defined by the Center for Disease and Control as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents.
An engaged parent community recognizes that not all parents can be involved in the school and looks for other ways to support those parents.
Asking the question of teachers and educators:
“If you could share one tip with parents on how to be engaged next school year what would it be?”
Below are some of the tips from the 3-2-More Project
What parents can do to become more engaged;
- Attend the One (1) PTA meeting
- Grab a neighbor and attend back to school night
- Meet with your School administrator
- Meet with PTA committee
- Attend one PTA conference
- Participate in one volunteer activity
- Join school improvement team
- Attend your schools Title I Night
- Speak to the PTA president; what’s their goal, mission for the school year
- Check your child’s first day of school folder
- Join the Principal’s email-list
- Make use of the school computer learning and tracking programs
- Find a buddy parent; a new or an old parent you know
- Introduce yourself to your child’s counselor via phone, email or visits the office.
What the Child can do to be more engaged;
- Join a school club
- Take AP/Art/GT or explore things they already love and enjoy through seminars and workshops
- Read for 15 minutes daily
- Set social media rules of engagement
- Prioritize and set goals
- Complete your homework once you get to home from school
- Create a family media plan
What the school can do to be more engaged;
- Offer childcare help to parents so they can attend School events, explore using feeder school students
- Reduce the amount of time parents need to be in the school for activities
- Conduct a survey how can we help you as a parent
- Brand other under-represented parents as school ambassadors
- Create a school community based learning center hour
- Make back to school night information available before the event
- Have an under-represented parent breakfast event where parents can share what they know with each other
- Help parents understand their own media use habits and routine
Change Watch: DO this – What MORE can parents, schools and the community do;
- Build better relationships and communications channel with our families.
- Explore having parent committees like those in a head-start program within the school that take on the role of solving grievances and confusion that stem mostly from miscommunication and assumptions.
- Look for ways to engage via volunteering that don’t necessarily fit the model of a traditional volunteer experience.
- Try conversations starters like; have you done X, Y, Z with your child or as a family?…
- At the grocery store
- At the doctor’s office
- In your neighborhood
- When you are hanging out with friends
- At a party
- At the park
- In the library
I’m forever grateful to everyone in Howard County that has helped me bring this to pass, click 3 – 2 – MORE to print the commitment sheet.
Sincerely in Joy,
Don’t forget to like, share and comment and find more 3-2-more tips on Instagram@teafortwoandacrowd
Encouragement from an optimistic single mom.
Life changed for me in 2008, and since then it has been an adventure.
I have learnt to love the road I am on, and smell the roses while driving on it too.
I believe that standards of living can change without a moment’s notice, affecting our old way of life.
That Passion can die, and be reignited again.
I found my passion and It’s writing and the story behind it.
I’m super passionate about hospitality, leadership and finance.
I am a single mom of boys who wants to change the world through a smile and genuine service.
I own up to the fact that I make an awesome follower.
I encourage and I inspire. I write, I blog, sometimes – I lead well, and sometimes I follow badly. But the important thing is to get started.
I recently met Simon Sinek, the Start with Why Guy and and so continue to inspire the world.
Email me for a free 20 minute chat or to help you on your way to your Why.
from my heart, xoxoxo