Time to Make a Difference
In a day and time where we all are for the
most part simply trying to survive, as parents many of us
have neglected the most valuable asset we have to
contribute to the future. Our children.
Juggling our jobs and our family
lives seems like an impossible task at times. More often than not our
participation in events and issues that directly affect our children are the
events and issues that we give the lowest priority. We sit back and
look at the system, we complain and we talk about how ridiculous it
all is, yet we can't seem to find the time to get involved. PTA and
School Board Meetings go unattended. Parent Teacher Conferences are
attended if there's a problem, and our children's pleas for help and support
are viewed with skepticism rather than intervention. Our children
desperately need us to take a stand.
Parental Apathy the Root of the Problem?
Probably to a large extent the answer to that question is
yes. As a society we should be appalled when parents
aren't active participants in their child's education.
The possibilities of an improved educational system
through active and vocal parental involvement are
limitless. Consider these thoughts. Would
bullies be quite so troublesome if their parents were
aware and involved?
Would standardized test
scores be so low for our public schools if parent's were
more tuned in to their children's academic performances?
Would federal funding be in jeopardy for any schools in
any district if as parents we raised our levels of
expectation in terms of our children's
academic achievement? Could checking your
child's homework each night make that much of a
To say that meeting all our
responsibilities as parents is difficult would be the
understatement of the millennium. At times it feels
like the perfect mix and balance is an impossible dream
and it may well be. What we have to remember however
is that we really don't have a choice. Without
change, ...the world we're creating by our lack of
involvement is a frightening prospect.
What Parents Can Do to Make a
Get involved. Let's exercise
our own peer pressure as adults on other parents. If
your job interferes with the level of your participation,
get involved where you can. Lend your expertise to
your PTA's and School Administrators. Organize
neighborhood groups to help your schools clean up their
campuses. Donate and volunteer whatever you can,
whenever you can. Pay attention to what your child tells
you about their experiences at school. Report
questionable circumstances to your principals.
Intervene often and early when you're made aware of
situations that may have negative outcomes. As
parents we have to become proactive rather than reactive.
Every effort makes a difference and together we can make a
A Checklist For An
One way to start improving your school's parent-school
partnerships is by assessing present practices, says
Joyce Epstein at Johns Hopkins University. The following
questions can help you evaluate how well your school is
reaching out to parents.