By Jessica Vician
The beginning of the school year is a time when everyone is motivated to do his or her best. Teachers are rested and eager to learn about their new students, the students are excited to see old friends and use new supplies, and parents are happy that their kids are back in school.
Take advantage of the renewed energy and motivation by starting a parent engagement initiative at your school this August and September. If you invest in the right program, you can sustainably build it by allowing parent leaders to drive your parent engagement efforts.
To start a strong parent engagement initiative, you will first need to train your teachers. They should learn why parent engagement is so critical for student success and how to foster ongoing, meaningful communication with parents.
The YOU Program Teacher Training Workshop can train your teachers, social workers, coaches, and counselors to:
- Implement effective parent engagement strategies
- Evaluate & continuously improve teacher-parent partnerships
- Improve the effectiveness of parent communication
- Create an action plan to foster two-way, meaningful communication with parents
Once your teachers understand how to implement their portion of the parent engagement initiative, you can recruit parents to help with the next step. Put out a call for parent leaders, incentivizing parents to take a stronger role in their children’s education and help improve the school.
Then, host a parent leadership training workshop to build these parents’ leadership skills so they can help organize parent events and meetings that foster strong parent-teacher partnerships for student success.
During a YOU Program Parent Leadership Training Workshop, parents will:
- Evaluate their current parent engagement efforts
- Conduct effective and engaging parent meetings and events
- Integrate effective parent engagement strategies into their home and school structures
By bringing teachers and parent-facing staff members together to develop the skills and tools needed to practice effective parent engagement strategies, these employees will start the year prepared to enlist all parents, regardless of their prior participation levels.
Engaging all parents will lead to increased student achievement. By inviting parents to become leaders and help implement a parent engagement program at the school, you will create a sustainable approach to maintaining that student achievement throughout the upcoming school year and beyond.