It’s Time to Pull the Cover Off to Expose the Truth About Family Engagement
I work hard to ignite family engagement in education. This is my professional mission. I am deeply committed to devoting the rest of my life making that a reality.
In doing so, I have come to terms with the fact that most educators and families recognize the importance of parents being partners with their child’s teachers and their school district. I have also grown to accept the bottom line as it relates to the capacity of others to embrace the ideas that I have been promoting about family engagement with an open heart. Here is my simply stated conclusion.
There are other educational priorities held at a higher level of esteem than family engagement is.
Just because that is the reality that exists now does not mean that more people will place it at a much higher level of importance in the future.
I am not comfortable with that reality. If I was
merely okay with that truth,
I would join those who accept the status quo and believe that all is relatively well concerning parental interactions with educators. If I was
merely okay with that truth,
I would stop my work and consider all that I have accomplished as being good enough. If I was
merely okay with that truth,
I never would have invested so many of my personal resources, including a lot of time and money, to be a voice for change in this area.
I have more determination to accomplish my mission than I have ever had before. My focus is razor sharp. I am committed to working harder than ever to achieve my purpose at this point in my life.
The Benefits of Family Engagement
The benefits of family engagement represents a critical area that needs to be examined. This is especially true because these perks fail to be emphasized in a robust manner within educational circle as well as among parents. Instead, all of the powerful advantages associated with increasing the level of family engagement tend to be overlooked and they remain obscured.
All of the benefits associated with family engagement cannot continue to be concealed. The positive outcomes of teachers and parents working together in harmony for the betterment of the learning experience for students must be revealed.
Who Receives the Benefits?
Those who reap bountiful benefits include include the following: students, educators, parents, and our global society. Each group will be analyzed.
There are positive things that happen to learners when parents engage with their child’s teachers.
- Students perform at higher academic levels. Homework is completed regularly and students complete their educational tasks more consistently.
- Students develop self-advocacy skills.
- The behavior of students is more appropriate.
- School attendance is more consistent.
- Students are more apt to respect school personnel and their classmates.
- The confidence of students blooms inside and outside of school.
- Many dreams that children and young people have come true.
- Students are motivated to succeed throughout their educational experience.
- Learners embrace a future filled with promise.
- Students are more likely to graduate high school and continue their education.
Many positive outcomes result for teachers and school personnel when families are engaged in their child’s education.
- Students begin school in their early years prepared to learn because of their exposure to learning.
- Parents reinforce the expectations established by the teachers and the school at home.
- Instructional disruptions due to inappropriate student behaviors will decrease.
- Parent leaders will be a source of support for teachers and will rally assistance in providing tangible help to classrooms and the school.
- Students remain productive and engaged in their learning at higher rates.
- Professional stress is reduced.
- Parents will provide help to the teacher when their children need to make more appropriate learning and behavioral choices in the classroom and within the school.
- Professional joy will be experienced as students achieve at higher academic levels as evidenced in various assessment data.
- Positive peer interactions will become the norm.
- Educators will be able to appreciate the help that parents provide with any learning that takes place at home.
When parents are engaged in their child’s education, wonderful things happen to them.
- Trust is established between the parents, teacher, and school system.
- Parents will experience peace because they will have confidence in the school that their child is enrolled in and are placed with the teachers that they are.
- They assume the responsibility for determining the educational destiny of their child instead of exclusively placing their child’s future in the hands of others.
- Parents become partners with teachers and work together collaboratively as their child is educated.
- They have a voice in their child’s educational program.
- Parents will be able to discuss family concerns because they are able to be transparent with educational providers. This will enable designated educators to connect the parents to much needed resources at home.
- Pride fills the heart of parents because of the overall educational success of their children.
- Parents serve as positive role models and set an example for other parents who are disengaged to follow.
- The school will serve as a powerful support system for students and families who need various interventions including mental health and therapeutic services when parents agree to receive them. Some services may even be provided to students and families on site.
- Parents become empowered to share in the responsibility to educate their children.
Family engagement provides extra advantages within our global village.
- Adults will remember the powerful lessons that their engaged parents taught them. These lessons will be reflected in the life that they live
- The process of education is valued and teachers are held in high esteem.
- Citizenry are likely to become more productive and contributing members of society.
- Individuals are more apt to continue using the mental health resources that students received during their school years.
- The collaborative spirit that was developed when students were a part of a caring learning community at school is likely to continue to develop into adulthood. This has the capacity to result in people caring for their fellow human beings all over the world.
- More people will live a life of purpose.
- The rate of incarcerations will decrease.
- There is a high probability that citizens will reflect the characteristics associated with being a good neighbor. This will manifest in the respect that they have for other humans beings, the property of others, the rights of others, and the global environment.
- It is very likely that the individuals who had a strong work ethic during their school years will maintain their work ethic on their jobs.
- More members of society are likely to become resilient adults.
“The truth will reveal itself.”
Here’s my golden ticket that helps me accomplish my mission.
Dr. Deborah M. Vereen is a retired Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, School Principal, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Assistant to the Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement, and Professor of Multicultural Education. Her website is www.Drdeborahmvereen.com and her YouTube Channel is “Ignite Family Engagement”.