Involving Parents & Caregivers in Student Education Video

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  • 0:02 What Is Parent Engagement?
  • 1:03 Defining Quality…
  • 1:57 Involving Parents and…
  • 2:37 Create an Environment…
  • 4:09 Get Personal/Why Not…
  • 5:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Educators know students are most successful when parents and caregivers are involved in their child's education. How can teachers and administrators engage parents? This lesson presents ways to provide varied and meaningful engagement.

What Is Parent Engagement?

Gwyn was just put on a team responsible for increasing involvement from parents and caregivers in her school. Their principal chose her because she has great relationships with the parents of students in her own classroom. Gwyn knows the benefit of involving parents and caregivers. The research is clear that when schools have successful parent involvement, students improve in several ways - better behavior, attendance, and grades.

What is parent involvement? The term refers to a growing trend to engage parents and caregivers in the education of their children. School communities like Gwyn's sometimes struggle to engage parents, or even accurately decide what good parent engagement is. Gwyn knows many fellow teachers and administrators even have stressful relationships with parents. Her first job is to decide exactly how her administrators define successful parent involvement.

Defining Quality Parent Involvement

Before Gwyn can start working on increasing parent and caregiver involvement, she needs to determine exactly what that is and how it looks. After several discussions with the administration, she now knows quality parent involvement includes a few factors:

  • Parents should participate consistently in the child's education
  • Some parents are active in out-of-school activities like Parent Teacher Organizations
  • Parents can also work with students at home, helping with homework or reading with their children
  • Parents and students should discuss school and education
  • Discussion between parents and the school should be ongoing and open
  • Teachers can partner with parents to make educational choices

Armed with this information, Gwyn can now move towards creating a plan to get parents involved and engaged.

Involving Parents and Caregivers

Gwyn knows parent involvement is more than the number of parents who attend curriculum night or volunteer in the library. Increasing real parent and caregiver involvement and engagement is a process that will take some time. She wants to avoid arbitrary methods of evaluating parent involvement, like counting attendance numbers at out-of-school functions.

Instead, Gwyn wants to mimic what she does in her classroom - build a partnership with parents. By letting parents know that they are vital members of the education community, Gwyn and the faculty at her school can find methods to engage parents and caregivers. Let's take a look at a few she can use.

Create an Environment of Learning for All

In her classroom, Gwyn uses techniques to make sure all of her students learn. She views parent involvement in the same way. To increase success and feelings of confidence in parents as partners in their child's education, she needs to guide parents towards ways that they can be successfully involved. Parents often feel uncomfortable, intimidated, or not 'smart' enough to interact with teachers. Gwyn and the other teachers can help break these boundaries down by:

  • Visiting parents at home
  • Offering workshops
  • Involving parents in homework

One method that many districts participate in, is a home visit program. Educators in this program meet the parents and caregivers in their homes. The first visit is to establish a trusting relationship. Future visits can focus on student expectations, achievement, or ways parents can offer their students support.

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