Contrary to popular belief, this is when your child needs you the most. High school is the time when everything counts. Their school experience to this point has merely been practice for the big game!
Volunteer Smarter Not Harder
Network with other parents; knowledgeable parents are your most valuable resource. They can tell you which teacher to avoid, provide tips for getting resources for your child and how to navigate parts of the system you haven’ t figured out.
- Join the PTA; PTA parents have their finger on the pulse of the school and generally know what is going on.
- If you can, volunteer for one major event a year. You don’t have to volunteer for everyting but volunteer for something (i.e., staff appreciation breakfast, sign-in table for school auction, concession stand, chaperone school dance). Visible parents have more access to school resources.
- Visit your child’s school periodically to maintain the relationships you began at the beginning of the school year. Spend a morning checking in with the guidance counselor, observe a class, and/or chat with the office personnel. Remember, information is your best tool for avoiding academic landmines.
- Take time to lend your expertise. Teachers appreciate parents coming in to share their skills with their classrooms. For instance, since I organized many political campaigns and actually ran for office, my daughter’s US Government teacher would ask me
to come in and talk about campaigns and the election process. I loved interacting with the kids and they were given a closeup real life exposure to our electoral process.
Spending just 10 hours during a school year can have a profound effect on your child’s academic achievement and help them prepare for life beyond high school. Of all those involved in your child’s scholastic life, you are the only one who has to deal with the consequences. Don’t be afraid to take control and set-up expectations for your child and those who are employed to ensure their academic success.
For more information regarding effective parent involvement strategies, visit the Parents for Student Success http://www.parentsforstudentsuccess.org/2.html