Monday, May 26, 2014

Parental Support and Involvement: Should Teachers Make Do Without It?

More and more, the buck seems to start and end with teachers.

We seem to be the only ones held "accountable" for all that goes on in our classrooms, and it is frustrating!

It's become the norm to send a child to school and hope for the best.

I have done what I need to do as a teacher to get parental support, and then some.

If I post videos and sites you can use to supplement what your child is learning in school, why aren't they using it?

If I send email reminders, and newsletters, with information about what is going on in class, why is it you still don't know?

If I ask you to read one of your child's posts on their blogs the entire school year, why is it you haven't read a single one?

Why is the test checklist signed every week, but their grades are a surprise at conferences?

If  I send an email, could you  take a second and say you received it? Or even respond to it if a response is required?

Why can trip slips come back in a day, but important notices take repeated phone calls?

Why have I never met you during the course of the school year?

These are just a few of the issues that continue to frustrate me, year after year.

All parents do not work two-three  jobs, are homeless, suffer from poverty, are on drugs, or alcoholics. This seems to be the consensus of why parental support is lacking. Others believe parental involvement is not necessary or useful.

Parenting requires hard work, effort, and sacrifice. It is not an easy job, and hats off to all who do it. If you are not willing to put in the hard work, make an effort, and sacrifice for your children when it comes to their education, teachers will work without you, but we can't always pull it off.

I don't want parents held "accountable", just as I don't want teachers to suffer from "accountability."

What I do want is a parent who realizes they need to join us in providing an education for their child. School is not a day care center. You can't drop them off, pick them up, and that's it. I know supportive, involved, parents exist, because I have worked with many of them!

If a teacher provides ways for you to support, and be involved, in your child's education, take advantage of it. If they don't, find out why. If you don't know what to do, get help! But be involved, your child is worth it!


  1. Hello Lisa, I know how very upsetting it is to desire the parenting involvement, even to desire that parents show that they care at all for their child! I have had the same type of experience that you are talking about in running a preschool, we provide a bus service with our van that has the childrens safety seats in it. This bus service is provided to enable the children in any local daycare to attend the preschool. Therefore there have been times when I have never seen any of the parents because they only have to drop off their child to the daycare that we pick their child up from. As we send all the papers home in each childs backpack that the child has finished, I am saddened by the backpacks which contain most of the childs papers that have been done because it makes me wonder how much the parents look at the childs papers. Then there are the children who don't have the projects or papers left in their backpacks and the child tells you outright that a parent has thrown them all away! Unfortunately, I do not have an answer for these type of situations. I am sorry! I hope you have a good summer anyway!!

  2. As a high school teacher, I grapple with the same thing! Parents tend to think of their children as being old enough to figure it out, and that just isn't the case. They are still needed to make sure their child has a greater chance of success.

    On another note, I really love your writing style! If you have a moment, please check out my new blog about being a young/new teacher. Thank you!

  3. Well said! It seems that if it comes to baseball practice parents will do whatever it takes to get their child there, but for some reason parents do not have time to read with their child for 20 minutes at night. I am a busy parent and I am guilty of forgetting to send back a paper that needed my signature, but I try my hardest to make sure to get everything done. I get embarrassed when I forget something, how can parents choose not to participate in their child's education. As you stated, it is not just down and out parents who are uninvolved in their child's education Sometimes the people who you would think would be the most involved in their child's education are the ones that are the least involved. No matter what a parent's background, parents need to show their kids that education is important. Kids catch on quickly and if it doesn't seem like it is important to them, it likely will not be important to their kids.

  4. Hi Lisa, Parental involvement in a child's education is so important. The family is the primary source from which the child develops and grows and children definitely reap the rewards of parental involvement. I believe that parents who consider their involvement in their child's education unnecessary, do not understand or are unaware of its importance and benefits to themselves and their children, and then there are those parents that just do not seem to care. Sad but true! They are what I consider 'backward' in their thinking that they can make a positive difference in their child/children's lives.