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Parent Involvement

The Cal State site outlines its pre- and in-service course offerings for teachers to work with families of kids who experience difficulties in school.The pre-service aspect is especially appealing, because it is rarely addressed, except in sociological dimensions, in teacher credentialing programs. Then, new teachers are caught off-guard when they encounter the enormous obstacles of both under- and over-involvement of parents of their students.NewSkills by the Department of Education contains valuable information for student teachers to master for facilitating parent involvement in the schools.

Look at the Chalkboard. LearningFirst, sponsored by almost all of the major volunteer and professional organizations in education has three goals--high achievement, a supportive learning environment and parent and community involvement. Its first targets are core subjects, ie. reading and math. Point your parents and students towards math challenges for the whole family at Figure This, sponsored by the NCTM.

EduPuppy bills itself as a resource center for parents and professionals of children in pre-school thru grade 2. The materials seem more appropriate for older children. It is a good collection, especially for parents. is very comprehensive, helpful to adults and students.

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The myth of parent involvement in schools in decades past is that parents told their children to go to school and do what the teacher says and all wishes will follow. Today, many parents are not so compliant. They may object to policies and attempt to design the curriculum. Other parents for whom schools are unknown environments may be hesitant to become involved in their childrens' schooling. No simple set of stereotypes can handle all the complexities but often the students become the victims either from disinterest or misinformation. So it is important, if we are to improve the schools, that consistent training about family involvement be offered to teachers.

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