First-Year Teachers and Parent Involvement
The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) publishes a survival guide for new teachers. The guide covers many areas including how to balance the traditional classroom with the realities of new technology and finding support in your first teaching year. One of the areas the guide covers is new teachers and parent involvement and that’s right up our alley here at The Latino Family Literacy Project™.
For us, parent involvement is essential for the academic success of students. As many of you know, we offer an effective program on parent involvement for K-12 Latino families.
DoE’s guide on parent involvement asked veteran teachers about their experiences with parent involvement. The teachers’ responses were quite interesting and demonstrate the importance of having parents involved in the academic process.
For example, teacher Julie Gutierrez from Richardson, Texas, said, “From the very beginning, I knew the importance of soliciting help from parents. I sent a weekly newsletter home explaining our week’s worth of activities, and in it, I gave ideas for working with the children. Conferences and phone calls also served as wonderful opportunities for me to get parents involved. Periodically, I sent papers explaining developmental stages of reading and writing so that parents might gauge their child’s progress and look forward to the next step. It’s amazing how quickly a child can achieve mastery when the support of a parent is present.”
Jennifer Rego-Brown, a teacher in Portland, Maine, made it a priority to involve parents into the process. As she put it, “If I could only pass along one important piece of information to first-year teachers it would be, keep the communication lines open between you and your students’ families…Create family-oriented projects for homework and classroom activities for families. Part of a healthy and successful education comes from the home. If you involve families and the community you will have more resources for your classroom…Families will feel as if they are a part of the classroom and their child’s education. Learning will also happen at home, not just in school.”
EdWeek also published a helpful article titled “Open Letter to a First-Year Teacher (from a Second-Year Teacher)” which provides helpful tips to help first-year teachers survive.
1- Don’t Take it Personally
2- Have an Outlet
5- Trust Yourself
For more on the DoE survival guide for first-year teachers and tips for working with parents, go here: http://www2.ed.gov/teachers/become/about/survivalguide/parent.html
To watch a testimonial video about one successful parent program in northern California, click on image below.