Parent involvement cannot be overlooked as a key component of student success in class. However, at the middle and high school levels, sometimes parents and guardians may feel intimidated by the content material. Personally, if my mom wasn't a math major, I don't know how I would have survived all of those pre-calculus homework assignments! Regardless, parents should understand that they do not need to know the content material in order to engage in open conversation with their students about class. This conversation is a way of staying involved with their student's classes.
As this year's Open House approached, I wanted to create a clever acronym for a flyer to give to parents. After a few sleepless nights, I came up with this:
"Lend an EAR to student success!"
The EAR stands for the following:
Encourage your student to...
Ask your student...
Remind your student...
Encourage your student...
...to understand the value of learning the class content! For my Spanish classes, I think it is so important to learn Spanish. My students and I complete meaningful activities in class that demonstrate the value of learning Spanish, but if my students can hear this at home as well, that would be even better.
...to speak with the teacher if they want extra help and support. Encouraging students to reach out to the teacher for extra help is so important. Teaching your student to advocate is an important part of life.
...to ask the teacher if there is an issue with grades, etc., in class. We can fix the grades - sometimes we input the wrong grade for the wrong student and need a gentle reminder to fix them!
Ask your student...
...how's class going? Sometimes this simple question can bring to light any positive or negative things happening in class.
...what vocabulary (or grammar or other content) are you learning right now? How might you use this in the real world?
Remind your student to...
...regularly check the teacher's website! Personally, I put all of my class information, homework, activities, hand-outs - you name it! - on my classroom website. Students can clarify any questions that they have or re-download any misplaced worksheets.
...study for upcoming assessments. This is an obvious one!
...complete the homework. We assign homework for a reason (hopefully). It's great review for an upcoming assessment or great practice.
...check the online grades to make sure all assignments are in and there are no errors.
...practice the content with helpful websites.
The back of the flyer contains additional information that is important for parents and guardians to know like classroom routines, classroom participation, grading practices, and more.
Parents loved receiving this flyer at this year's Open House. They chuckled at the clever acronym and enjoyed the concise information.
Download a FREE version of this flyer that you can edit for your classroom here:
"Lend an Ear" Family Engagement Flyer
Thanks for reading, and if you have other great ways to empower parents and guardians in your classroom, please comment below and share!
Happy teaching, and good luck with the start of another school year!