Parents: Get Involved in Your Children's Education
Our elementary schools are filled with children who yearn to see their parents at an awards day ceremony, open house, or even just to meet with the teacher to discuss their school work. Concerned educators are asking for more involvement from parents of kids who are falling behind in class. The federal government is proposing an increase in the education budget so our teachers can be well equipped to teach our children. Even the state legislature is getting involved in education issues. It is imperative that these entities get involved. However, personal experience indicates that being an available parent is unquestionably the most positive influence for many children who would otherwise be drastically falling behind, failing, or even dropping out of school.
The National School Board Association (NBA), National Education Association (NEA), and the Department of Education all acknowledge the importance of having a parent involved in the child's learning process. These powerful organizations influence the United States Congress on behalf of schools across the country to increase the education budget for proposals such as; after school enrichment programs, tutoring, and bilingual education. As powerful as these organizations were, they needed people who were at the grassroots level to take the message to Congress so more funding could be approved for parent involvement programs.
As a school representative, I had the opportunity to visit Washington DC to address our congressional leaders about increasing funding for education on behalf of our schools across the country. A visit to an office of one of the senators who is a member of the committee on Indian Affairs is a very important lobbying strategy especially for a Native American representative. Unlike the lengthy formal introductory presentation that we were used to back home, the visit with a senator lasts approximately five minutes or less. Detailed preparation was vital for an educational funding request to even be considered. Needless to say, this was particularly exciting and challenging. the beginning of my involvement as a parent in important education issues on behalf of my children started with these visits to our nation's capitol.
Initially, a parent should establish a good rapport with he school of which the child is a student. This includes the teacher, other staff members and especially the principal. My son is a second grade student here in Las Cruces and I have visited his class to see how he is progressing with his education. Upon visiting and talking with he teacher, I emphasize to her that she has my full support in teaching my son and to be available for any future conferences that she deems necessary in reference to my son's schoolwork. Usually I receive a phone call from the teacher to inform me how things are going and if I need to be aware of any issues. My son and his teacher have an...