Creating a Strong Parent Community
Educating future generations is without a doubt the most amazing and satisfying line of work that can be done in the world. Having said that, the profession of teaching is a difficult one for a variety of reasons. There are a lot of factors that can influence a teacher’s year, such as the number of students in their class, the administration, the supplies and resources available, their coworkers, the composition of their class, and of course their families.
A parent who is willing to work with their child’s educator can be their greatest ally. The only thing that could possibly be better than that would be a group of parents who are supportive of each other! I have experience working with students of all ages and grades, from preschoolers to those in the sixth grade. I have also taught in a variety of educational settings. I can say without a doubt that the support of family members has a strong correlation to a student’s success in learning and to the community that exists within the classroom, and this holds true regardless of the age of the students.
As educators, we have the ability to motivate parents to participate in our classrooms in meaningful ways. The following is a list of ideas that we can recommend to our families. If you can think of any others, feel free to suggest them in the comments section below.
The following is a list of helpful activities for parents: Pre-K
1. Make yourself available to assist during lunch or with an art project. 2. Give your teacher a donation of gently used books or art supplies. 3. Volunteer to read aloud to the class as a “Guest Read Aloud.”
4. Make it a habit to spend at least half an hour a day reading aloud to your kid.
5. Encourage mathematical education by incorporating counting into the activities you do on a regular basis at home (ex: counting socks in the laundry, counting eggs while cooking, etc.)
The following is a list of helpful parent activities broken down by elementary level:
1. Please come to a party celebrating publishing to show your support for writing.
2. Make yourself available to assist during the publishing process by typing up the students’ work.
3. On a different morning, stay late and talk about something you are particularly skilled at. You might even consider acting as a guest instructor in a subject related to your particular area of specialisation.
4. Help your children develop a sense of responsibility and organisation with their homework by having them show it to you each night so you can verify that it has been completed and that they understand it.
5. Always be on time for the beginning of class; teachers have a difficult time concentrating when there are distractions.
The following is a list of helpful parent activities for upper elementary.
1. Read aloud to your children at home. Even though they may be strong readers and are currently in the sixth grade, the texts are challenging and only getting more difficult.
2. Bring between one and five specific questions about your child’s progress to the parent-teacher conferences that you have scheduled, and be prepared to answer those questions.
3. Address your inquiries to the instructor. Ask your child’s teacher for advice if you are unsure how to help your child with their schoolwork at home when they reach middle school because the material is more difficult.
4. Describe in an email an instance in which you made use of a resource provided by the teacher. Hearing about other people’s achievements always fills us with joy. (For example, a member of my family sent me an email asking about a website that I had suggested.) They mentioned that it had been a great help to their son, which made me really happy and put a smile on my face.
5. When dealing with behavioural issues, it is important to remember to maintain composure and adopt a positive, rather than a pessimistic, attitude. Always make an effort to collaborate with the instructor and present a united front.
Trust is the foundation of a community in the classroom. Our children must have faith in us, and we must have faith in one another. The most effective learning takes place at those times.
An Amazing Memory
My favourite memory involving my family is from a time when the whole class community got together for a party to celebrate the publication of a book. It was a collaborative team teaching class for second grade, and my co-teacher and I had printed compliment cards for the students’ stories. One student did not have a member of their family with them today. Another adult approached him and handed him a card with his first compliment already written in it. That sparked an incredible idea, and all of our families started writing compliment cards for children who weren’t just their own, including children from other families as well. The ideal family member shows genuine interest in their child’s classmates as well as in the classroom as a whole, rather than focusing solely on their own child. In my mind, this particular memory exemplifies the ideal atmosphere of a classroom community.