5 Ways to Involve Parents in Classrooms
- Dec 02, 2014
The teacher was explaining the concept of ‘noun’ during the English class. All the students were seated at their desks, listening to their teacher. Or, at least, pretended to listen attentively to her. You know the concentration levels of seven-year-olds, don’t you? But, one of the students couldn’t even pretend to like the class. He was Alex. He always sat in the back bench and drew circles in his notebook whenever there was a grammar class in his school!
However, Alex is not the only child for whom education is like a burden. You will come across many such kids, who hate going to schools. It’s because somehow, they are not motivated enough to learn. I have seen some kids crying bitterly whenever it is time for school, clutching their parents’ hands. For, they are yet to be accustomed to a traditional school ambience.To combat this problem, several schools are making attempts to involve parents inside classrooms. This works wonders for all kinds of students, including those with terrible home-sickness. Let us observe how it helps students learn better:
Communicating effectivelySome teachers request parents for assistance through notes or leaflets, which they send home via their children. But are they really enough to persuade parents? Don’t you feel teachers must employ a more direct approach while communicating with parents? Dear teachers, don’t hesitate to reach out to parents through modern technology. For instance, you can shoot a mail to them, send a text message to their cell phones or even notify them through social networks like Facebook. You can even speak to parents over the phone. Effective communication is really necessary, in order to get the parents participate in the classroom.
Planning home visitsHome visits are a great way to engage parents, especially for those who do not respond to any other forms of communication. Face-to-face interactions are truly perfect. It would be an extra drive for reluctant parents to be actively involved in the school activities. Moreover, if teachers pay visit to the homes of children, to speak to their parents, they can get an idea about the home environment. So, they can easily figure out if the home atmosphere is conducive to the academic growth of children. For instance, if the domestic environment of a student hampers the child’s progress, teachers can think about alternative ways to help children learn better.
Sharing positive feedbackWhen I was in kindergarten, I remember how my class-teacher highlighted my faults in parent-teaching meetings! Let me share a secret with you. I was an introvert as a kid, and found it difficult to communicate with my classmates. Whenever my mother visited school to collect the report-card, my teacher complained to her about how silent I was, or how I nodded even when I failed to understand her instructions. Needless to say, I received a sound thrashing after that. Teachers must appreciate the qualities of students, and share positive feedback about them with their parents. This would motivate students and parents too.
Teachers must tell parents clearly about how their cooperation is required. I mean, in which fields. Some teachers want parents to assist kids as they complete their homework. Others might want parents to guide students with their spelling and grammar. I have come across certain children who face difficulties in reading fluently. So, teachers of such schools would prefer parents to listen to their children as they read out passages at home. When kids notice their parents interested in their studies, they automatically start taking academics seriously. I myself performed quite well in school exams as my mother spent a lot of time tutoring me at home.
Engaging working parents
Maximum parents are full-time working professionals nowadays. So, regular interaction with such people might be challenging for teachers. However, this problem can be solved if teachers think more creatively. For instance, parent volunteering shifts can be arranged at the early hours of the day. This would enable such parents to contribute before they leave for work. Teachers can even use ‘Google Hangouts’ or ‘Skype’, to help parents play an active role inside classes. This way parents can help their children even without being physically present in schools! So now working parents too can offer their share in their child’s learning process.
Trust me, there are several benefits of involving parents in the class. Most importantly, it constantly keeps parents in the loop. They can keep tab on the academic progress of their child, and inspire them to learn faster.
It helps students, school teachers and also the parents, and can never go wrong! Tell me which kid would not feel comfortable in the assuring glances of his parents, when he makes a silly error solving sums?
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