November is Parent Engagement Month it (PEM). PEM is a way for schools to ask parrents to become more engaged in the process of education. What educators know and too few parents know or even understand is the absolute importance adults play in education. Children, Teachers, School Principles, Parent Leaders, and districts need the parents of each child to be actively engaged. This blog will give you some ideas on how to engage on all of the various levels.
When children understand your absolute seriousness about their education it becomes apparent to them you expect them to do well. Many parents ask question like what did you learn today. Or what did you do at school? These questions can be a little intimidating to children. Here are a few other things to ask:
- What was the most favorite activity did you do in class today?
- Is your teacher reading a book to the class? What is the most interesting thing which happend so far in the story?
- If you had to name one thing today that bored or excited you today what would they be?
According to research teachers tend to pay more attention to children whose parents are actively engaged in education. Active engagement could be maximized by volunteering in the school on a weekly or monthly basis. It can be as minor as calling, texting, or emailing the teacher monthly to see how your child is doing in school and asking how you can support them at home. There are other Offer to ways to engage the teacher as well.
- Share your child's Multiple Intelligence
- Offer to talk to the class about your work or hobby.
- Offer to head up the phone tree to reach out to other parents for volunteering opportunities.
- Become a Room Parent
Schools often need volunteers in the office to do a variety of things. Speak with your School Secretary to see how you may best be of service. The principle may need help with security during the school day or some other kind of administrative task be sure to check in with them too.
Today's school has a lot more leeway for parent to engage. There could be everything from helping with bulletin boards, to organizing fund raisers, organizing after school activities, running the parent library, keeping the parent room organized and stocked. Working directly with the Parent Liaison or Association/Organization leader to plan meetings, invite speakers, or set-up/down meetings. Engaging your parent leaders is a great way of engaging in the school.
Running for office as a School Board Member is probably the most engaging way for a parent to get involved. I suggest before you get involved at that level you begin to attend or watch meeting sessions. Get to know the issues you care about and find out who is in charge. You may find you are better utilized outside the political arena and have more leverage as a concerned parent.
Parent Engagement is about each adult becoming actively involved in the educational process in whatever way is comfortable to them. I urge you to become as fully committed to engaging in your child's educational life as possible. The more you know about what is going on, the more effective you will be in ensuring your child is properly educated.
Believe in Parenting