Engage the parents! (Image taken from http://leader.fhsu.edu/)

On to the twelfth goal of the 30 Goals Challenge.

When teaching young learners or teenagers, it is essential that the parents or caregivers be engaged in their kids’ learning process. This way they can see how their children are doing and what they are doing with the teacher.

I am sure you remember, either from yourself or from movies, when you arrive home after school and the first question mom asks is “What did you do in school today?” Well, moms (or dads or caregivers) can now become so engaged in their children’s education – they are even able to know what happens daily in school.

* There are more opportunities now for open days or open lessons. There are no longer teacher-parent meetings once a year – I hear from other educators that their schools actively involve the parents, by allowing them to sit in on more lessons, or even take part in organising parties, events and book fairs. This way, the parents feel closer to the school and a sense of a small community is born.

* School and class blogs and wikis. It is great to see more and more blogs and wikis popping up every day one the internet. Some classes choose to share projects written by the children, or the teachers update the parents what is being studied in class. That can give parents the motivation to extend children’s learning outside the classroom – if for instance they are studying dinosaurs, the parents can buy or borrow books on this subject, organise a trip to a museum (if the school has not already done it) or make crafts with the kids at home and make their own dinosaur.

* Lots of parents ask to help out in various activities. Educators should be very happy when this happens, as the parents feel closer to their children’s class – that is where their willingness comes from and is a very good sign. It can also save educators time and the kids are also happy to see their parents at school, helping out! Parents can read books to their children’s class, or describe a particular experience, anything at all.

I would be very interested in hearing how parents are engaged in countries around the world. Feel free to add any new ideas to the comments – and thank you in advance!

  • You can also read Shelly Terrell’s post and watch her video on Goal Number 12.