Bridging the Gap: The Parent Perspective
Children learn from their parents by seeing, hearing and doing. As the last blog talked about the child’s perspective with Erikka, it’s now time to hear from the parents who entrust our children daily with educators. How can we ensure that the gap between home and school begins to come together?
Speaking from the parent side of the equation I can’t help but do all I can to get this process front and center. As parents we need to ensure we have a strong presence in our children’s school so that educators have no choice but to begin to bridge the gap on their end. Many educators don’t see a strong parental presence so they’re left to wonder as well.
Lisa Allen, the mom of a 5th grader here in New Orleans, is very passionate about her son’s education. She would love to see more parents step up and make sure their voices are heard. Children need to see their parents are invested holistically in their success. I asked Ms. Allen how she sees the gap getting closed between home and school.
She believes our educators can make it easier and less intimidating for parents to contact teachers. Many parents reach out to teachers and when they get no response back, parents shy away from the rejection. Open communication should be the priority in every school. Why should a parent ever feel they can’t walk into their child’s school and get information on their child?
It’s time for parents to truly begin to trust the educational system. Many parents have lost faith and confidence in the people in charge of educating our future. When will this cycle stop? It has proven to not work. These educators should make themselves available to any parent.
As I continued to speak with Ms. Allen I came to realize she has lost all faith and trust in the educational system in general. She feels the system failed her on several occasions.
First, beginning with her child’s academic success in the classroom. Ms. Allen stated her child was not performing as well as he could have but instead of the educator in the classroom calling to address the problems and work on a solution together, she didn’t learn of the problem until she received his report card.
To have a child sit in your classroom for weeks and not inform the parent of a child’s academic struggles is an injustice to the child and parent. By the time this parent received this quarterly report card, it was too late to try and correct the problem. So she struggled to find the extra time and attention they needed to make up for the previous 12 weeks.
This parent also realized her son was having problems with bullying at the same school, which she didn’t realize until AFTER his first physical altercation. She once again didn’t find out about the altercation until she picked him up from school, and he informed her of what happened during school hours. When she called the school, she was told it wasn’t a big deal. It is totally unacceptable to not inform a parent when a child is physically assaulted on school ground.
This is the reason why the gap between home and school needs to be a priority because our children are suffering. The educators and parents need to be on the same page. When children become the main focus in schools, then we will have a great educational system all around.