Engaged Parents—Who Needs „em?Developing Teacher-Parent Partnerships That Focus on Positive Student Learning and Behavioral Outcomes
NORMS Be timely, present and participatory Phones on silent or stun Minimize sidebars Return from break
GoalsAt the end of this session, participants will:1. Have knowledge of what research says about engaged parents‟ effect on student performance and behavior.2. Have knowledge of a variety of ways to encourage parents‟ engagement in their child‟s education.3. Have engaged collaboratively with one another on ways to plan for increasing parental engagement.4. Be able to serve as a resource of information to others.
We know you‟re a teacher, but tell us more….. http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22CV4M7N6ED
Regardless of family income or background,students with involved parents are more likely to: Earn higher grades and score higher on tests Attend school regularly Pass more classes, earn more course credits Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school Experience increased academic success Graduate and go on to postsecondary education *Source: A New Wave of Evidence, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2002)
A parent‟s physical presence does notnecessarily equal a parental involvement. The involved parent provides the following to his/her child: 1. Support 2. Insistence 3. Expectations
6 Types of School-Parent Involvement1. Parenting2. Communicating3. Volunteering4. Student Learning at Home5. School Decision-making and Advocacy6. Collaborating with the Community *Source: School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, J.L. Epstein, Corwin Press (1997)
No significant learning occurswithout significant relationships. *Dr. James Comer
Memorable ExperienceThink about your life as a student. What memory “stands out” for you? How has this affectedyour approach to yourown child‟s education?
Going Beyond the traditionalParent-Teacher Conference:More than Spaghetti Suppers
It‟s your first visit to a new dentist. Whatare the things you see and hear that mightincrease or decrease your confidence inthe ability of the doctor and staff?
You are a parent, visiting your child‟s newschool. What might you see or hear thatmight increase or decrease yourconfidence in the school and its staff?
And the Survey Says… Inventory of my Secondary School‟s Family Friendliness—go to: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/U2KH6UXQGR6A
And the Survey Says… Inventory of my Elementary School‟s Family Friendliness—go to: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/U2KH6UXNGR53
Engaging Parents From the Start: Welcoming Culture Invite, Invite, Invite Inform, Inform, Inform Phones: real people Newsletters, website, school blog Feed them and they will come Nix “Parenting Class” titles Each one—reach one (or more) Safe Schools—for parents too (emotional)
“I know you believe you understand whatyou think I said, but I am not sure yourealize that what you heard is not what Imeant.” *Richard M. NIxon
Tips for better communication Clarify everyone‟s needs and wants. Be sure you understand what each really is saying. Convey a willingness to learn from each other. Agree to disagree agreeably. Use objective, non-judgmental language. Agree what each of you will do. Don‟t take it personally!
Be Mindful of These When Communicating w/Parents:1. MUTUAL RESPECT2. USE OF NON-EDUCATIONESE3. HOW HOME DISCIPLINE IS HANDLED4. HOW TIME IS VIEWED BY PARENT5. ROLE OF SCHOOL AND EDUCATION IN PARENTS’ LIVES
Effective Communication SkillsInvolve:Paraphrasing conveys attention and understanding. I’m listening and I care.Clarifying provides greater specificity for either observer or teacher. “Help me understand . . .”Mediating stretches thinking, considers other possibilities. “What if . . .”
And now, a word from our participants: Paraphrasing and Clarifying
Can‟t I please justteach and leave parentengagement to theParent Facilitator?
How does classroom management fit inthe parent-engagement puzzle? Materials Layout Instruction Classroom Management Policies Behavior and Procedures Time *Source: Behavior Management is not equal to Classroom Management, D. Ginsburg, Education Week (2011)
Scenario:Mrs. Allison, a ninth-grade science teacher, has been having trouble withSamuel Hodges misbehaving during lab time. After his second disruption,Mrs. Allison told Samuel that she was going to contact his parent. Thatevening, Mrs. Allison called Samuel‟s mother, Ms. Andrews, and told herabout Samuel‟s misbehavior.Ms. Andrews told Mrs. Allison to hold on; Mrs. Allison could hear Ms.Andrews talking to Samuel in the background. When Mrs. Andrews cameback on the line, she said “Samuel told me that he didn‟t do it and my sondon‟t lie. “ Mrs. Allison replied that she saw Samuel‟s misbehavior and thatshe had talked to him about it after class. Mrs. Andrews shouted into thephone, “Listen, I‟m tired; I‟ve worked hard all day and I don‟t have time forthis. My son ain‟t no liar; he said he didn‟t do it and I believe him—becausehe don‟t lie to me. ”
With Your Partner/Group:Discuss: Is this scenario a realistic one? Could the teacher have used a different approach and, if so, what would you suggest? Why do you think Mrs. Andrews reacted as she did? Debrief
Effective Classroom Management = Engaging Parents‟ Involvement Communicate, communicate, communicate—early, often and in variety of media Let parents know your rules, routines, procedures; teach to kids and practice—REGARDLESS of grade level Make yourself available—give advance notice of available talk/meet time Know how to use parent PR—be open, be inviting, be yourself Invite, invite, invite—into your class and into your activities Catch the kids doing good stuff and shout it from the rooftop to parents (especially the ones you know you‟re going to have to call conferences for before October arrives). Don‟t be afraid to “phone home” and let the kids know of your boldness! Document, duplicate, deliver and be determined (to follow up)
Parents are not a single group 1. Career-oriented/too busy to attend school activities 2. Very involved in school activities 3. Single parents—working two jobsThink of parents as being 4. Immigrant parentsmembers of distinct 5. Parent w/overwhelming personalsub-groups. issues 6. Surrogate parents 7. Children who are, in reality, their own parent
Some parents choose to act as friend rather than parent to their child. Three possible reasons for this:1. Divorced/single2. Schedules3. Own parents‟ history
Ideas and Suggestions to Encourage More Parent Activity in Schools
Engaging Specific Groups of Parents: Two-career parent: fliers, web page, newsletter, email updates on class/school events, color-coded information (white-nice; yellow-concern; red—immediate attention), if call at work only do so to ask them to call you back when they are off work to talk Non-working /uninvolved parent: volunteer phone call updates, home contacts, coffee “klatches” at one parent‟s home with 3-4 other parents/principal/counselor Surrogate parent: since tends to be grandparents/foster parents, offer support through a mentor who contacts them monthly
Engaging Specific Groups of Parents: Immigrant parent: short videos (not commercially produced), dubbed in their own language explaining how—school works, talk to teacher, what grades mean, what homework is, etc. Single parent: activities with open time frames, food, child care, and possibly on weekends; videos introducing the teacher at beginning of year Unavailable parents (child self-parenting): teacher child how to care for self, provide linkages for student to other school service agencies, counselor provide lunches for kids of similar circumstances to meet, eat, and discuss relevant issues.
Ideas for Engaging Parents: Museum format for parent meetings. Introductions Video Let children attend with parent (volunteers work with children) Child-care for moms without support systems to attend activities. Gift baskets or gift certificates donated by community businesses. Food Offer classes for parents (filling out applications, computer, English, small-business)
Ideas for Engaging Parents: Fliers: use both written AND visual information Send home simple, how-to activities for parent and child Make connections—each one/reach one Make home visits—as appropriate Hold activities in community centers or other non- school locations Use a variety of announcement media throughout the year Buffet—make it easy, provide a variety of ways to be engaged
Ideas for Engaging Parents: Invite, Invite, Invite—and Ask Personally Welcome Wagon Pair newly involved parent w/experienced parent volunteer Follow-up with parents on volunteerism surveys/responses Limit meeting time—less than an hour Make it easy--provide variety of time slots if possible
Ideas for Engaging Parents: Show your appreciation—simply say “thank you” yields rewards Reach Out—all making an effort, all the time Get the kids to perform (science fair, band concert, literacy/math night) Be at the activities; be visible yourself Speak to individual parents—be mindful to include all Listen to parents‟ suggestions; ask for input
Building Communities of Support: First-line staff trained to greet Diverse school-design teams identify needed support systems and develop solutions First-of-year home contacts by teachers, lasting no more than five minutes. Ask parents and students informally and conversationally what the school can do to better serve them Weekend activities; not athletics but other family- oriented activities Donuts for Dads--Coffee Chats for Moms— Grandparents‟ Lunch
Building Communities of Support: Picnics on Playground or Block Party (after school, on weekends) for Parents/Children Information for parents such as basic money skills, conflict resolution skills, etc. Student-led parent/teacher conferences Child-nominated parent awards Awards ceremony for Parent Volunteerism (using variety and diverse definition of)
With Your TeamBrainstorm, discuss and map out a plan for increasing parental engagement at your school that can be implemented in the upcoming school year.
“Locate a resilient kid and youwill also find a caring adult—orseveral—who has guided him.” Invincible Kids, U.S. News & World Report
Sources:• Payne, R.K. (2006), Working with parents: Building relationships for student success (2nd ed.). Highlands, TX: aha! Process, Inc.• Payne, R.K. (2005), A framework for understanding poverty (4th revised ed.). Highlands, TX: aha! Process, Inc.• Creagh, M.L. (2006), Nobody wants your child. Atlanta, GA: Rock Hill Books of Atlanta.• Price, H.B. (2008), Mobilizing the community to help students succeed. Alexandria,VA: ASCD.• Other sources are cited within the document.