Written by Guest Blogger: Lisa Montierth
As parents, there’s nothing that we wouldn’t do to help our kids succeed. All week we tow them to and from school, lessons, and clubs, happily trading in our valuable time to help enrich theirs, all without blinking an eye.
So if you knew there was a way to help your child dream bigger, have better self-esteem, and enjoy school more, you’d probably do it in a heartbeat. Luckily, these benefits can easily be achieved – just by getting involved at your child’s school.
Being more involved in the classroom has so many benefits, and not just for your child; parental involvement benefits the whole class, the teachers, the school… it even benefits you!
Research has shown that when parents participate in the classroom, children are more likely to achieve more, get better grades, complete their homework, increase their self-discipline, and have a more positive attitude about school. Parental involvement boosts school morale and teacher satisfaction, leading to improved communication and more respect between teachers and parents. And the benefits extend to parents as well.
Parents gain confidence, become more responsive, and positively interact with their children more when they become involved in the classroom. They are more in tune with their child’s development, and their relationships with their children often become more affectionate, leading to the use of positive reinforcement rather than punishment in the home.
So: Parent engagement in the class leads to happier kids, more satisfied teachers, and better schools. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But it gets a little trickier when you remember that sometimes just finding the time to get dinner on the table every night is a major accomplishment!
The secret to successful and sustainable classroom involvement is being honest about what you can take on. It’s okay to make it easy on yourself. Sign up for things that you will genuinely enjoy, and don’t give in to any nagging doubts about what you “should” be doing at school. The National Parent-Teacher Association says that even three hours of school volunteer work per year can make an impact.
Being realistic about what you can do sets you up for success, and makes the experience much more enjoyable for everyone. Try one of these ways to get involved at school:
– Love reading and books? Offer to be a class reader or volunteer at the school library.
– Are you a secret drama or music star? Assist with an extracurricular club for the arts.
– Did you grow up playing soccer? Help out with a school sports program.
– Have a love of learning? Volunteer to tutor or work in the computer lab.
– Still don’t know have the slightest idea where to start? Just ask! Teachers will likely have plenty of ways that you can help out, from a bit of classroom organization to a big project like planning and attending a field trip. (Don’t forget, LivingTree makes parent/teacher communication a breeze!)