As elementary, middle and high school teachers and administrators search for ways to engage their students, sometimes the one missing element is parental involvement.
Eighth-grade math teacher Julie Crow said the best way a parent can connect with a child’s teachers is to show up at parent-teacher conferences.
Crow, who teaches at East Jackson Middle School in Commerce, recommends other methods of staying in touch with your child’s teachers:
- Use the Web. “More than 95 percent of schools now have their own Web sites,” Bower said. “Using the Web also makes it much easier, especially for parents gone during traditional hours.”
- Call. “The old standby is telephone contact between the parent and teacher,” said Don Bower, a UGA Cooperative Extension human development specialist. “Make sure to call during the teacher’s free period if the teacher has one. Parents need to understand when it’s a good time to reach the teacher.” Teachers generally only have about 90 minutes per day to call a parent back as well as complete other projects, Crow said.
- Ask. Question the child about homework assignments, tests and notes from the teacher. Talk to your student. “I think parents need to do more than just meet with their student’s teachers at conferences,” Crow said, “even if it’s not necessarily to talk to me more, but talking to their kids more.”