Parents!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BigTeacher, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    Feb 29, 2012

    Hello all, Im having a problem in my classroom of parents that are claiming they are unable to become more involved in their childs education. But i feel as if im doing everything i can in sending notes home and communicating in the agenda. Im new to the forum and was wondering if any of you have had this happen to you and if you have any ideas t solve this problem. Thank you.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 29, 2012

    What kind of involvement are you looking for from parents?
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 29, 2012

    Same question as cza...what are you hoping for?
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    This could be a great problem to have. Get them to volunteer doing some of the items you don't have time for. Get them to help prepare materials, centers, bulletin boards, etc. It will get them involved and both you and they will love it.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I may have misunderstood.

    Are you saying the parents are begging you for opportunities to become involved, or that you want them to be more involved but they claim to not have time or whatever may be the case?
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This is how I understood it...
    parents that are claiming they are unable to become more involved in their childs education.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 1, 2012

    I agree with the others, what are you asking/wanting them to become involved in and what are the roadblocks you are finding?
    More detail about these things can help us to begin to problem solve.

    In my school, parent involvement covers a huge range, from those who practically live at the school to those you may be lucky to speak to once or twice during the school year. Most of our parents who we see as not being involved do quietly support their children at home to the best of their ability. For many of our parents, English is their second language and they aren't necessarily able to assist much as their children get older. They may not come in to the school for meetings or community events because of their work schedule. They may not be available on the phone during the day because their place of employment doesn't allow phone calls.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    What do parents want to do to become more involved?

    I would talk with other teachers in your building, on your grade level, to see what they do to help parents to be more involved. Do parents want to volunteer in the school? Are parents looking for a newsletter of activities to do at home?
     
  10. tc.jamaica

    tc.jamaica New Member

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    Mar 2, 2012

    Parents involvement through homework

    Why don’t you try giving homework that involves the participation of the parents. This is very useful for students who are in the kindergarten (but this can also be used in the higher levels.) You can ask the parents to help their child in creating a homemade t-shirt, creating a simple art piece (drawings, paintings). The task to be given should be more on practical task or hands-on rather than pencil and paper task. Their product can be shown by hosting a show and tell. You can ask the assistance of parents to be one of the organizers.
     
  11. WhoDatTeacher

    WhoDatTeacher Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2012

    You can try having parents come in and help out with special classroom lessons, make copies, volunteer to help run centers in the classroom, have a "special guest" each month/week where parents come in and talk about their careers...
     
  12. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Mar 3, 2012

    I have pretty involved parents for the most part. There are several in my room that it's very difficult to get them to talk to me let alone come in. I love using my computer to keep in touch mainly. I have a weekly newsletter that I post on my website, e-mail daily, and update my website as needed.

    I also have parents who come in to do crafts with the kids for different celebrations, take the kids to the library in small groups, and even come in for special activities to help.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That single post was the one and only time the Original Poster has been here.

    Pity-- there's some good advice here.
     
  14. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    What i mean is the parents are asking for a daily summary almost and constant reminders of due dates and upcoming events. Currently i am constantly typing up notes twice a week to inform the parents and then having them sign the note to confirm they have received it. As i suspect some of my students fail to bring the note home.

    I guess what im looking for is a more convenient or easier way to accomplish this and appease the parents. Although i do believe that having parents on the same page as me definitely helps their child's grades. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, much appreciated!
     
  15. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    I have a website for much of this. Our grades are online. Perhaps seventh-grade parents need to realize that their kiddos need to be a bit more on their own than they were in elementary school. I don't know, though; I'm just guessing.
     
  16. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    Well to be honest I'm sure if i am completely comfortable putting their grades on a website. But i would be interested in some form of online system or website that will allow for more efficient and clearer communication to parents. Although i have tried a website in the past and it was a nightmare to operate. So I'd prefer to have a system recommended to me.

    Thanks
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Could you do some sort of e-mail list? Interested parents could sign up, and then you could send a quick summary each day--lessons, homework, and reminders.

    I'm not any help on recommending grading programs--we have a school-wide one.
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I would suggest using e-mail. This way you can send it all to the parents and not have to spend any of your time tracking down assignments. All of them should have e-mail at work, at home, or on their phone.
     
  19. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    Ya that might work. Although, i have been informed by some fellow teachers in the past to be weary of that email route because it then opens the door for parents to email you about whatever they'd like and at any time. But if there was a tool/system where i could post homework and daily summaries, i think that a system like that would be ideal. But i doubt such a system exists. Any thoughts?

    Thanks
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    There are lots of inexpensive, or even free, web hosts where you could set up a website to post homework. My board uses Moodle; there is no cost to us. I've also used TeacherWeb in the past. I post daily work, announcements, reminders, links to websites, copies of assignments and rubrics, etc. It only takes a couple of minutes at the end of the day to update it.
     
  21. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    Has anyone else ever tried either of these systems? I'm looking at both right now, but would love some other opinions first.

    Thanks
     
  22. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Mar 4, 2012

    I have not used either of those. Our district uses edline. Edline is good but I don't know if you can do it as an individual teacher.
     
  23. strepsils

    strepsils Companion

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    Mar 5, 2012

    Any easy idea to get started is a class webpage - or even a blog through WordPress.

    I would include weekly summaries of what students are doing in class, a section for homework and perhaps a calendar. Direct parents to the page and encourage them to ask students about what is expected. If students cannot remember, parents could guide them towards the webpage.

    It shifts the focus back on student responsibility for their own learning and it shouldn't be too much work to update one page, rather than writing x number of emails.
     
  24. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    O thats a great idea thank you. However is a web page easy to use? im not very tech savvy and become frustrated with certain technologies. But i love the idea of placing the responsibility back on the students, perhaps if they take more of a role their parents will be better informed. By the way i looked a Classroom Booster and it seems to be professional. I'm going to see if it is easier than operating a web page.
     
  25. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    We use a grade level website that has lots of this info. (My program was part of my MacBook - iWeb, I think. Our tech guys got it linked via school website. I do update it weekly, which takes about 10-30 minutes, depending on whether or not I am posting student writing samples or blog-work.)

    We also have our students write the info in their assignment notebooks/agendas, which parents sign daily. That might not work for 7th graders, though - unless you train them correctly.

    I also use a distribution list for my class - and it is truly a lifesaver when it comes to communicating effectively and efficiently!
     
  26. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    O well thank you all so much for all of your input. I really Apreciate it. Parents can be so hard to deal with sometimes. It seems like they keep looking for mistakes that i may make, meanwhile im trying everything i can to be the best teacher. I get so upset right now.
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Have you decided on a site that you may be able to use to help facilitate parent communication; you mentioned earlier in this thread that you were investigating a few.

    What specifically do you feel that the parents are looking for--more communication about homework? Progress? Marks/Grades? Something else? What methods does your school use to communicate with parents--paper newsletter? website? email? If you can tack onto this, it may be more effective.

    I know that most school boards in Ontario are going into our March Break next week. That would be an ideal time to get something into place that you can "launch" right away when you get back.
     
  28. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Daily note is tough to do but weekly is nice
     
  29. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    Well so far I've looked at all suggested websites and online tools. Also considered emails and weekly news letter but the latter two just seem like too much trouble, I'm trying to get away from constantly typing and printing out newsletters. There are a couple characteristics of Classroom Booster that i really like. For example, it is very easy to use and update from what i can see. Also, i can see how many and how often the parents and students in my class are viewing it. And i really like the fact that i can email the parents in my class from Classroom Booster and they are unable to respond to me. So that solves the problem of 2 way communication. What do you think?
     
  30. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Weekly newsletter aren't too hard once you get the format down. We send one each Friday with spelling and vocab words, skill info, as well as any tests or quizzes planned for the coming week.

    I will have to check out classroom buster...
     
  31. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    I understand what you're saying with the news letter. And i agree it isnt that much trouble once the format is made a layout. However, with Classroom Booster it leaves me a place to write a summary of the day, and any reminders, even a classroom calendar. I find that it is much easier to log on and update the info once a day then too type it out all at once. I guess it depends if you'd rather spend the time once a week on the newsletter, or spread it out over the five school days. Either way we are kings and queens for doing this to help our students succeed! well at least that's what i think....
     
  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sounds as though you are sold on the tool you are going to use.
     
  33. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Great! So glad you found something to help! Yes, we are doing both students and parents a big service by communicating frequently. I have found that it benefits me in the classroom equally as much as it does the kids and families. You are building a strong foundation by keeping parents in the loop.
     
  34. BigTeacher

    BigTeacher Rookie

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    Yes! It hurts sometimes because it feels like i go unappreciated by both students and parents. But in the end my students are what means most to me even if i fail to get recognition. I know my school board does not care whether or not i use a system to help inform the parents, but i feel that i should give it a try because i think it'll benefit my students and help them learn. It is difficult sometimes though for me and other teachers i am assuming when the parents are overbearing or criticizing.
     

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