As a first year teacher I recognize the importance of parent involvement in the classroom and in the student’s home setting. Building a healthy connection with a student’s family is essential to creating a positive education setting for children. The benefits of parent involvement in the schooling of children are well documented . Indeed, there is compelling evidence that parents’ interest and support are the primary factors for students’ success or failure in school . I have mapped out a plan action for involvement that is convention for parents as well as useful to the students educational needs. The first step in any relationship is the introductions. The teacher should introduce herself before the first day of school. This can be done by constructing an introduction letter for both the student and the parents. It is a good idea to send the letter introducing yourself a week to two week before school begins. The note to the child should be fun, letting them know how excited the teacher is to have the child in her class.
The parent letter should contain a similar note and a date for an orientation. It is ideal to be able to have two orientation (one late afternoon and the other at night) to give parents a better opportunity to attend. After the teacher has sent a letter the next step is to set up an orientation. This is meant to be a stress free time for the student and their family to get acquainted with the teacher and the classroom. It is essential to have a prepared classroom. The child’s name card on desk, cubbies should be set up and name tagged as well and the teacher should also have a classroom schedule post. The teacher should be attentive and be ready to any questions parents might have. The first day of school is a mile stone in a child’s life. It is important to let parents know that they are welcome to come in on this joyous day. If parents are able to be there this gives the child time to adjust without the anxiety of separation.
Following the first day a night phone calls should be made. The purpose of the phone call is to make sure the child made it home safely and to see if the parents have any additional questions. The phone call should be positive and reassuring. The next step in having a parent cooperative classroom is to send home a survey. The survey is intended to be a way to gather more information about the student and their family. You can find out about the child’s family, her/his interests and hobbies. Suggest the parent and child do the survey together so the child may add thing that might be of important to him/her. A class newsletter is essential in keeping parents involved. A class newsletter needs to be sent home weekly. The newsletter states the activity and goals for the week and also any specail days that may come up such as holidays (no school) plays and parents lunches. A weekly newsletter keeps parents involved and informed.
Last but not least in the plan for parent involvement the teacher should create an M.O.O.S.E (Management of Organizational Skills Everyday) notebook for every child in the class. An M.O.O.S.E notebook is a three ring binder that goes home every day. The M.O.O.S.E notebook contains a monthly calendar; that should be sign daily, a clear plastic sleeve that contain a lunch menu and the teachers weekly newsletter, this is also where any papers or homework is put. Any papers involving parent volunteer opportunity should also be put in here. The M.O.O.S.E notebook is a great way to have contract with parents every day. Partnerships between parents, community members, and the school can improve school programs and school climate, provide support and services to families, increase parents’ skills and leadership, connect families with others in the school and community, and help teachers with their work. Having a parent cooperative classroom is beneficial to everyone involved. We as educators need to make sure we do everything in our power to build partnerships in our classrooms.