Parent Involvement=Student Success!

By: Jeff Nazarro

The past two years of virtual learning changed the face of education, and taught us just how critical parent involvement is to student success. Now that students and teachers are back in the classroom, teachers are happy and parents are relieved. BUT, that doesn’t mean that it’s time to let your guard down!

“…parent involvement Is critical to student success.”

In our world of exponential technological advancement, it has become increasingly important for parents to keep from lagging behind teachers and students alike. We saw that more than ever when the pandemic hit. Students, teachers, and parents were forced to move into virtual classrooms, and everyone was racing around to figure out the technology, and try their best to get in line with the “new normal.” Parents suddenly became co-teachers. The two years of at-home virtual learning reinforced the value of the parent-teacher-student working relationship.

“The parent-teacher-student relationship is critical for student success. No one piece can be skipped,” says Jacqui Murray, a UCR alumna and K–18 technology educator and author, who offers solutions on the blog, “Ask a Tech Teacher” for how teachers can help parents stay involved in their children’s education.

“ learning reinforced the value of the parent-teacher-student working relationship.”

UCR alum and educator Jacqui Murray “During COVID, parents found technology a roadblock to helping their children with classwork,” Jacqui says. “They were unprepared to take on the role of co-teacher, and there were too many geeky tools with too few instructions, and what they thought they understood, kept changing. Like students, they don’t want to sound like Luddites, so they struggle for a while and ultimately give up. With that comes either disinterest or pushback against your efforts to blend tech into learning. Both are dangerous to your teaching goals.”

Now that kids are back in the classroom, teachers want to keep their parents involved and up-to-date with the latest tech being used at school. Jacqui suggests, “Open up the lines of communications with simple emails, brief one-on-one meetings, or offer tech classes to parents to teach them the skills their students are learning. Teachers can also give parents a crash course in dealing with newer technology in their own lives, making them more effective ‘teaching partners’.”

“…teachers want to keep their parents involved and up-to-date with the latest tech…”

“I offer my parents training in everything students are doing (MS Word, PowerPoint, Google Apps, email, internet use) on my own time. I share my blog that covers fun websites and useful tech tips to help them reach a comfort level with technology. I have an open-door policy, so parents know they can always drop in for help on a login that won’t work or some tech trick they don’t understand (even if it’s not school related). I invite them to help in the classroom so they can either learn along with the students, or stay up-to-date on class requirements,” explains Jacqui.

At-home learning would have been much more successful if everyone had been better prepared, more aware of what their kids were doing in school, and better versed in the technology. It was a wake-up call all around, and the positive in all of it was that everyone found a new appreciation for how hard teachers work, and parents learned that their involvement was the key to their kids’ success!