Parents as Partners

By Marvetta Thompson

In my 13 years in education, I have heard the phrase, “Parents as Partners” thrown in discussions, debates as well as intense heated arguments with stakeholders.  However, do we really know what the phrase means, do we have a uniformed definition of what this phrase entails? As a new parent, I think about what this phrase means to me in the perspective of both an educator and parent and what I would want this relationship to consist of in order to ensure uniformity in the field of education. 

 

  • Breakfast/Lunch with the Principal - School leaders should come up with a consistent forum where parents and school leaders can discuss upcoming events, opportunities for parent workshops, concerns, ways to participate in the decision making process of the school and norms. 

 

  • Monthly newsletters/Regularly updated website - Depending on the parents level of technology usage, schools should have the option of a printed newsletter and regularly updated website which highlights important events, special announcements, teaching parents about daily check-in questions to ask, apps to support parents which various content area support at home, and local community resources to support your child in emotional/social development.

 

  • Open classroom visitations -  Implement and remind parents that every classroom has an open door policy to visit a classroom (announced or unannounced). Whether this is to observe how your child is behaving in class or to get an idea of the teacher’s personality and relationship with students, parents should have the opportunity to visit and get a better perspective of the school and its’ implication of mission and vision for all students.

 

If we want to indeed treat parents as partners let’s give them more opportunities to participate in discussion and the decision making process of the school. Let’s not talk about it, let’s implement and support.