Studies show that when parents are involved in their children’s education, their children do better in school, but feel like you don't have the time? Any show of support or involvement will be warmly welcomed and appreciated. Whether you can give a few hours a year or many hours a week, anytime you support your child’s school you are actively improving your child’s educational experience and outcome.
1. Do what is asked of you. At the start of school you probably received a packet of information outlining the expectations teachers and administrators have for parents. This may include ensuring children arrive to school on time, notifying the nurse if your child will be absent, and sending your child to school with the proper supplies. Simply doing what is asked of you the first time will send the message that you support your child’s school, teacher and education.
2. Support the parent teacher organization. Maybe you can’t serve on the board or perhaps you can’t even attend every meeting. Somehow, someway get involved. Even if it’s showing up at sponsored events, donating used books for the book swap or folding newsletters at home one night a month after the kids go to bed. Whether you can offer your time, talent or resources, any show of support will be appreciated.
3. Offer to assist in the classroom. Let the teacher know that you’re happy to serve as a room parent or to assist in the classroom with special projects. Maybe you talk to the class about your career or collect cans for the classroom soup drive. Perhaps you’re a graphic designer and could throw the classroom newsletter together in no time. Consider how you can help and offer your assistance.
4. Show up. One of the easiest things you can do is simply show up. Schedule in dates of your children’s performances, parent teacher conferences, open houses, etc., into your calendar as soon as you get them. Make it a priority to work around these dates when you can. Most schools have their calendar done for the year by the first day of school. Be sure to get your hands on a copy so that you can plan accordingly.
5. Show your thanks. Let your child’s teacher and the administrative staff members at the school know they are appreciated. Send a thank you note. Say thanks. Bake cookies. Bring flowers. Do something every now and again to let them know that their hard work, commitment and dedication to your child does not go unnoticed.
5. Respond to calls for volunteers. If the teacher or school asks for help it’s because they need it. When you can, respond to calls for volunteers. Whether it’s for chaperoning a field trip or sending in cookies for the bake sale, when you have an opportunity to serve, try to take it.
With many parents holding down full-time jobs, there isn’t time to do everything. Whatever you can do, however big or small, will be greatly appreciated and seen as a show of support.