Let’s think about this for a second. While the answers may differ slightly, I’m willing to bet that it goes something like this: “for the children to grow up responsibly and achieve the best grades, and thus uphold the reputation of the institution”. While each school may have its own motto (mine was success through effort and determination) as well as cultural and social identity, the end goal is the same for each and every school everywhere.
Do your children embrace your school motto?
However, this is easier said than done. Beyond Eton, who many school kids do you see embracing the school motto- that is, if it’s not in Latin to top it off! A child’s health and wellbeing plays a prominent role in their ability to perform well at school.
It is not just about getting the right motivation and study materials, as it turns out. No matter how much a teacher may encourage or “discipline” a child, their parents’ attitude and engagement with the school and school-work is what tips the scale in how well a child performs, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found.
Being on the PTA helps your children
Some strategies suggested by the CDC to improve parental engagement included providing volunteering opportunities at school for the parents, for them to have decision making skills in the management of the school, and mainly communicating with parents regularly and efficiently.
While parents’ evenings are no new thing at schools, a once a year, or once a term parents evening will not always suffice to give parents a rounded understanding of how their children are performing, and what is needed to improve their performance at school. Having a crafty little sister taught me a lot about how one can manipulate the structure of parents’ evenings to see only their most favourite tutors- or even worse, “forget” that it was parents evening until half an hour before the end of the event, thus successfully just missing the tutors while appearing to have tried to help their parents.
Do you muck in at your child's school?
The data on child trends (figure 1) shows that while overall the attendance from parents for general meetings, and school events have improved since 1996, attending one to one meeting with teachers, and volunteering involvement has gone down significantly. Attending events has remained the same, but wouldn’t it be ever so nice to get parents together for something other than to discuss how ‘well’ (read: badly) their child is doing?
Now, is there a better way to provide (initial) involvement opportunities for parents *chaperones* than a good event? I say no. For parents from all walks of life, seeing their children perform, or showcase their talents can be a huge motivation for parents to encourage learning at home. However, in this day and age, getting those paper slips signed can be a nightmare. OFEC introduces to you a new system prepared for school, which facilitates e-ticketing system for school events and trips which provides parents with fast and effortless service. With this system Bookating, arranging an annual (or monthly) event is as easy as the click of a button (it really is). With a typical ROI of 12-18 months expected, you can easily brand the tickets, and see real-time view of sales and tracking. You can also add option such as ticket extras, ordering interval drinks or food (so that it can be arranged and paid for in advance of the event).
With all the administrative costs out of the way, what is stopping you from beginning your journey of parental engagement?
Involving parents is ultimately the key to a successful pupil, as studies have found. School can not only provide targeted suggestions and advice on support that parents can provide to their children at home, but involved parents can feedback on their children’s motivations and work patterns to school, and help the teachers find the best teaching method with the targeted information. As the nurseries and preschools do these days, it helps the parents know what the children did at nursery during the daytime just as it helps the key carer know how the child was at home over night. If one doesn’t know the other side of the situation, it may lead to an unsuccessful approach to development that negatively affects the children in case.
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