With all the effort that schools put into a child’s success, none of that would be possible without the help of the students’ families. Students that have the parent’s involvement as well as the school and teacher’s help are more likely to succeed as much of the research points out. However, the parents or guardians have to take action in their child’s school environments to make this possible. The main difficulty in this is finding a way to engage the child’s parents without interfering with the parent’s everyday responsibilities. In my perspective, as a student of the Middle East, parental involvement in school life is not a necessity.
As teachers, we are responsible for our students and should care about their well-being inside and outside of the classroom. However, there are just some instances where our opinions do not count and where we should stay out of the child’s family life even though we are required to report such instances as abuse. Most of our information as teachers depends on our expectations of the student or one of his or her family members. So, digging around in the student’s background can be difficult and dangerous to some extent. It is one thing to dig around for personal things and another thing to dig around in order to get to know our students. It all depends on the situation. Even though there is no difference in family systems in Kuwait, teachers will often collide with the reality of the importance of privacy issues and family information.
Teachers must be careful when dealing with children and their families, must be sensitive to the cultures within their classrooms, but also must be strict when the children are in their care. It is all based on balance. As stated, though I do not believe it is a necessity for parents to be involved with their child’s school, there is much research that states that children do better when the parents interact and learn from the teachers and vice versa.
Dr. Joyce L. Epstein helps us understand the ways in which teachers can help parents be more involved in their child’s education and promote success for their children. She states that teachers can help the parents by helping with parenting, communicating with them, letting them volunteer, helping their children learn at home, allowing them to help in the decision making process and collaborating with the community (Grant and Ray, 2010). There are benefits to these things just as there are challenges. But, parents can help their children if they will take the advice of the teachers on these issues. It’s all about communication and a welcoming environment according to the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships: An Implementation Guide published in 2009. It all starts there. If and when this occurs, parents are more willing to help their children succeed in their classrooms. This helps the teachers as well. It is important to share information and help families work with their children and get involved with this school. This not only helps the teachers get to know the families, but also helps the students as it shows them that their parents are taking interest in what they are doing in school on a daily basis.
Though I don’t believe specifically that it is a necessity for parents to be involved for their children to succeed in the classroom, I do see the importance of it. Teachers and parents can both be involved with the students in order for them to accomplish a specific goal or to do well in the classroom. If the parents get involved, it is easy to see how their children will do well in school. Communication and a welcoming environment seem to be a key standard when getting parents involved in their child’s school. This is true for many reasons. Some families have language or cultural barriers that keep them from getting involved. If they feel welcome, they are more likely to be a part of the important aspects of the school. Communication is key because it helps families understand what is going on in the school. These, to me, are very important and I believe this can be the start of something good for the child. However, as stated earlier, the teacher must know their boundaries.
(2009). Pta national standards for family-school partnerships: An implementation guide.
Grant, K. B., & Ray, J. A. (2010). Home, school, and community collaboration: Culturally responsive family involvement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.