Don’t Leave Out the Parents

Parents – every teacher has an opinion on what their role in the classroom is.  Some people welcome them with open arms, others prefer to keep them in the copy room.  Whatever your take is, parents and dealing with them are an inevitable part of our job.  And yet nothing is really mentioned in teacher’s education about the role of parents and just how valuable they can be to our classroom.  No one sits you down and explains that when parents contact you it is probably because they have the best interest of their child in  mind.

I think we should embrace parents and their role in our teaching realm.  I think we need to stop assuming we know what parents want in our classrooms and rather ask them.  I think we should start assuming that parents are truly on our side and not someone who is out to get us.  This does not mean that I suggest they plan our lessons, but most parents know their child much better than we do, so we not ask their advice?Now is the time to reach out and create a lasting relationship built on trust and truly include parents in our classroom.

I think we are taught in college that we need to be the ones with the answer so if student X is acting out then we have to present a plan of act to X’s parents.  Why not dialogue instead?  Why not include them in the thought process rather than present them with a final product?  Mind you, I know that there are parents that are non-existent or truly do dislike a certain teacher, but even so, we must try.  After all, aren’t we yelling loudly how our voice is being left out in the education debate?  Don’t exclude parents from your classroom; what are we so afraid of?

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Leave Out the Parents

  1. Lisa M says:

    Do you know how many of my colleagues think I'm crazy because I try to include my parents in things I do in my classroom? There are parents who exist who want to support their children. We can't paint them all with the same brush!

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a Teacher and parent I try to involve parents. MOST will never show up. ALL are concerned. I wish more took a more active role.

  3. I think we just need to present the opportunity and I am not saying having tons of parent volunteers. We can have parent involvement through feedback and open communication rather than having them in the classroom. I think parents are too often dismissed as being in the way or troublesome when, in fact, they know their child best.

  4. Miss K says:

    Larry Ferlazzo just posted a list of different articles on how to involve parents in the class. I love your blog Mrs. Ripp!

  5. […] on the importance of bringing parents into the decision making process, as well as listening to them as experts.  I hope this gives parents the courage (sometimes) needed to broach even difficult subjects with […]

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