Parent Teacher Groups should allure new families to get involved with an aim to have increased participation and ultimately a stronger group.
What are Parent groups without Parents!
Working for Parent involvement is really a crucial and a regular responsibility of a Parent Teacher Group. Every year, with new admissions at schools, new memberships at Parent Teacher Group are a must. Parents might join, or even tend not to join the organization, but we need to make sure they participate, and be involved throughout the year. According to the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships by National PTA, the first and foremost standard is Welcoming all families into the school community. And for this you need to follow some simple steps:
1. Develop personal relationship with the parents-
Attention is vitality. By paying attention, you connect better with the parents. You can make them feel required, welcomed and respected.
To do this, first of all, make sure the people at the front office greet the parents in their home language and share all the correct information regarding the Parent Teacher Group and the school.
It would be great if there are family volunteers who can meet new families and make them understand what needs to be done.
You cannot do it alone, you need to involve the team.
2. Create a family-friendly environment-
A family-friendly environment will help you attract the families and make them feel comfortable. This may help in the involvement and participation. For this, you need to keep the building very clean, and make sure that it is easy to navigate and reach places such as the library, principal’s office, etc.
It would be great if the teachers and the clubs at the school talk to the parents and guide them through the curriculum and responsibilities.
3. Provide volunteering opportunities-
Parents would do anything for their children, provided it does not take a lot of their time. Volunteering options for parents who cannot give much time should be kept open. Respect even a single effort and display your gratitude for it.
At later stages, parents can form a volunteer club and reach out the parents in the neighborhoods and backgrounds and offer various volunteering options at the school and home.
4. Respect all families-
No matter the race, ethnicity, class, family structure, religion and physical and mental ability, parents are the best well wishers for their children. And they will, if they find any positive results, participate in the parent groups because it is for the benefit of their children.
A PTA can design the classrooms to reflect the diversity of the community, and work with parents of all neighborhoods and backgrounds. This may give the parents an inspiration to join the group.
It is the responsibility of the Parent Teacher Group to breakdown all the barriers to family engagement.
5. Remove economic obstacles (if any)-
It is the responsibility of the Parent Teacher Group to reduce the costs to bare minimum or none, at all the levels of participation and engagement for the families.
You can reduce or dismiss the entry level charges, give special offers to participating parents during the activities and events, and make sure you understand and empathize with all the problems families are going through. Be kind in all the situations and you will have a successfully enough participation in your Parent Teacher Group.
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