A recently concluded study released earlier this year suggests that kids whose parents have a good relationship with their teachers are more likely to encounter academic and social success.
The study found that teachers interacted more positively with the kids whose parents were judged as positively engaged in their education as opposed to uninvolved parents. The teachers in the study also paid more attention to kids whose parents were viewed positively.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia. More than 100 teachers participated in a program referred to as “The Incredible Years.” The program’s objective was to improve teacher’s classroom management skills and to help them develop more positive relationships with both students and their parents.
Teachers were asked to complete a survey of more than 1, 800 students and their parents at the start and the end of the school year. The teachers were asked about their relationship with their students’ parents in terms of quantity and quality and about their perceptions of parental involvement in their kid’s education. Student behavior was also observed. The study found that kids viewed positively were better behaved and also had better academic performance.
Decades of research suggest that parental engagement in kids’ education has a significant impact on behavior, academic performance, and overall development. Much of the available research on learning outcomes has found a strong relationship between family involvement and student achievement. For instance, a relatively recent study highlighted parents’ pivotal role in the successful education of their kids.
These research studies prove what we have always known – education begins at home. They highlight how parents can get involved in their kids’ education even where they’re crazy busy.
How to get on your kid’s teacher’s good side
1) Get involved in your kid’s school activities
Getting involved in your kid’s school activities is beneficial from whatever angle you look at it. It shows your kid you value school and her education and it shows her teacher you’re engaged in your kid’s learning. Being a PTA mom is not the only way to get involved. Attend school events. Volunteer for school activities when you can. Offer to run a workshop about something you’re passionate about. Participate in your kid’s school activities, but only if you want to. No participation is better than a half-hearted participation for all concerned parties.
2) Be serious about school work
Ensuring your kid’s homework is done correctly every time shows his teacher you care about his education. This doesn’t mean doing his homework for him. It simply means making sure he knows what he’s expected to do and does it seriously.
3) Don’t go overboard
According to one of the largest studies recently conducted on parental involvement and academic achievement, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found that being too actively involved in kids’ education could have a negative impact. The study, published in the book “The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education”, found that the parents who were most involved (for instance helped kids do their homework or met frequently with their kids’ teachers and principals) showed less academic improvement than kids whose parents were less present at school. The key take away from the study is that pestering your kids and their teachers won’t get you very far!
4) Foster open communication channels with teachers
Avoid challenging your kid’s teacher unless you have solid evidence that your kid is the “wronged party.” If his teacher reports misbehavior, ask for his or her help in solving the problem. If you’ve noticed the same behavior at home, share what you’ve found to work without imposing your suggestions. For instance, you could say “We’ve found Tom is more focused when we… do you think this would work in school?” Ask what you can do at home to help and show you’re interested in solving the problem.
5) Get in touch, even when your kid’s doing great
Most parents get in touch with their teacher’s kids when things start going downhill. By then, it could be too little, too late. Don’t wait until your kid begins to struggle to get involved. Casually discuss your kid’s progress with her teachers, even when she’s doing well. Even a simple “everything ok?” helps strengthen the teacher-parent bond. Like all relationships, strong parent-teacher relationships need work and they need mutual respect to thrive.
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