I wish to thank all the parents and carers who have attended information evenings at the College over the past fortnight. I have been buoyed by the commitment you make to your sons and the College. This week I share with you an article from Waterford.org about the importance of parents in the education of their sons. My experience at Marcellin is that the three-way partnership between parents, students and teachers is valued and robust. When we work as a team, the outcome is a win for all involved and for the young men whose learning is central to all we do.What is the most accurate predictor of academic achievement? It’s not socioeconomic status, nor how prestigious the school is that a child attends. The best predictor of student success is the extent to which families encourage learning at home and involve themselves in their child’s education. When parents are engaged in their children’s school lives, students have the home support and knowledge they need to not only finish their assignments, but also develop a lifelong love of learning.
What is Parent Engagement?
According to experts, the definition of parent engagement is parents and teachers sharing a responsibility to help their children learn and meet educational goals. Parent engagement happens when teachers involve parents in school meetings or events, and parents volunteer their support at home and at school. In this way, they make a commitment.
It helps to think of parent involvement as the first step to parent engagement. While teachers can advise parents on some things, parents also have important information about their child that teachers might not know. Both can bring perspectives to the table that enrich a student’s learning experience. Neither is complete without the other.
Why Parent Involvement is Important?
Parental involvement and engagement in education matters now more than ever because it’s in decline. In 2016, research showed a drop in parents who believe that intimate parent-teacher communication is effective. Parents now prefer remote methods of communication, like online student portals, and they are less likely to attend parent-teacher conferences or school activities. This shift is sudden and concerning due to what it means for parent engagement. While digital tools can help families stay informed, students are missing out when parents don’t offer their time and support.
Parent involvement in schools is the first step to parent engagement and, ultimately, parent partnership. When parents and teachers work together to establish a thriving classroom, the effect on their students is profound. Students with engaged parents don’t just have high test scores: their attendance, self-esteem, and graduation rate rise, too. Parent-teacher relationships are more than an optional classroom benefit. They are key for helping students on a personal and classroom level reach their academic potential
Parent Engagement and Student Success
Children with engaged parents are more likely to:
- Earn higher grades or test scores
- Graduate from secondary school and attend tertiary education
- Develop self-confidence and motivation in the classroom
- Have better social skills and classroom behaviour
- Have low self-esteem
- Need redirection in the classroom
- Develop behavioural issues
Parent engagement also decreases chronic absenteeism, or missing more than twenty days of a school year. Even after accounting for grade level and previous absences, students with engaged parents report less days of school missed overall. Two-way communication between parents and teachers commits students to daily attendance and raises class participation levels.
Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from family engagement: parents and teachers do, too. Engaged parents tend to think highly of teachers, which improves teacher morale. Knowing more about a student’s family life can also help teachers prepare lessons that better fit that student’s needs or interact more efficiently with families. And because students receive more support, classrooms with engaged parents perform better as a whole. When parents and teachers team up, everyone wins!