There is an old proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. The fact is, it’s true. The entire community has an essential role in the growth and development of its people. The NEA (2008) states that while the role of parents and family members is vital, the community also has the responsibility to assure the high-quality education for all its students. In the past parent involvement has been volunteering, assisting in the classroom, chaperoning, and fundraising. Today, school, family, and community are equal in a partnership to support goal-oriented activities that are linked to student achievement and school career success.
As a professional educator, I need to understand my students by demonstrating awareness of the student’s prior knowledge, culture, and family values (Diversity Proficiencies, 2016). As an educator, I need to work side-by-side with the family to ensure I am educating the student to the best of my ability. Culture and family values need to correlate in the classroom, but also the home environment. When parent and teacher would collaboratively the student is supported properly at home and school. This collaboration builds partnerships and fosters growth within the student learning process (Professional Dispositions, 2016).
Family and community involvement in education relates to higher academic performance and better improvement in school. When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to foster learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher-level programs (NEA, 2008). Involvement means different things to different people. Parent, family, and community involvement can include communicating, volunteering, supporting growth at home, decision making, and collaborating with a broad range of school, family, and community activities that engage and meet student needs. The school environment provides the professional education students receive on a regular basis, the families provide the support and encouragement to foster their learning, while the community can provide the nurturing activities, games, and environment to help promote their learning.
Education reform programs empowered teachers and families to significantly change schools. For starters, many schools are now offering a more student-centered approach to education. When the focus is more on the students and less on the teacher, students feel more cared for, listened to, and given a choice. With a more student-centered approach, some of the newly reformed programs assess student readiness, keeps students and staff accountable and gives state support for student choice. With these new reform programs, teachers and families have begun to change schools. Many public schools focus on state assessments and are data driven. More standardized tests, reading readiness, and stamina checks. My school, in particular, has developed a team of teachers that collect and present data for each grade level on a month-to-month basis to show growth and improvement. We are have started a reading initiative that is set in place to assess student readiness with reading potential. In my classroom, I have started to have my students keep themselves accountable with SMART goals. For math and reading, they develop goals and keep track of their reading and fact fluency. This new change gives my students the ability to stay responsible and track their own progress.
When it comes to social change I want my students to have direction and purpose. I want to prepare my students to be future ready in a world where it is difficult to find justice. Education that initials positive social change, giving them the direction and purpose to be prepared, will bring a change in the society we live in. Collaboration with my community, families, and parents with this goal by providing my students with support, encouragement, and a direction of how to positively impact the world will help guide them in the right direction.
NEA. (2008). Parent, Family, Community Involvement in Education. Retrieved August 17, 2016, from NEA Education Policy and Practice Department,http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/PB11_ParentInvolvement08.pdf.
RWRCOEL Diversity Proficiencies PDF File. 1st ed. Laureate Education, Inc, 2016. Print.
RWRCOEL Professional Dispositions PDF File. 1st ed. Laureate Education, Inc, 2016. Print