It takes a village to raise a child and in today’s fast-paced globalized world where families are ever shrinking and becoming nuclear, schools have become one of the most formidable social experiences for children. So while the importance of teacher-student community is well known, it’s the parent communities that can add the ever needed new perspective and value to the entire learning ecosystem at schools. Parents’ involvement in school kids’ education has several proven advantages. PTAs are a known regular feature in most schools, but there can be even more effective ways to involve families on campus, making a huge impact on the overall learning experience of a student through the impressionable school years.
Active parent communities not only benefit the students but the teachers and the school too. Involved parents enable classroom learning to be extended beyond the formal school structure. Therefore parents and caregivers giving students a more conducive environment at home can propel much of learning at home. In most cases, kids of involved parents score better grades are more confident and overall keener towards learning and performing at school. A parent is more likely to observe if the child is facing any difficulties learning at school and can help resolve them with the help of the teachers.
When parents pitch in to give ideas, suggestions and advice for school activities, it leads to the greater success of the overall teaching program. A school that actively seeks parent’s participation at school can make more effective programs that are relevant and beneficial to the students. In such a scenario, it is not the school that becomes the only entity responsible for the development of a child but a collective community’s.
Parent communities can also keep in check the school policies, which may seem unfair. Collective voices can help change unfair practices at school, when a lone parent complaint may be ignored. Therefore active parent communities help represent student welfare and can make a difference to the way the school framework is set.
It’s refreshing to see that schools are more open to parents’ inputs to beyond PTAs. International schools in Singapore are well known to embrace teacher-parent-student communities. The Canadian International School, Singapore, for example, encourages parents to spend time at the campus meeting the teachers, students and management. They are welcome to see the class in action on one of the open house days. If not, a personal tour can also be arranged on a date that suits the parents. Every parent becomes a part of the PTA at CIS and can volunteer time and energy in various school activities like helping out at classes, accompanying on field trips as chaperones or arranging and participating in school’s social events and talks. It helps that the school has students and teachers from over 70 nationalities on campus, making it a culturally rich experience for everyone involved.
It is a known fact that when parents, teachers, schools and communities work together to support learning, it translates to higher academic performance and improvement of school education overall. More schools can open doors to parents who are well informed and can add great value to school education system.
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