By Zakiya Moore, Guest Contributor
Growing up I always knew I would be someone who would help connect people to some form of resource. However, I never knew it would be in counseling.
My first choice was nursing, but I couldn’t take sticking people with needles and watching people get sick. I chose counseling because I enjoy working with people and listening to ways I could help. As an elementary counselor, my focus is on dealing with behaviors and coping skills. Parent engagement is low on the list as I’m often called to a crisis. After reading this article, “Parent Engagement,” I clearly understand the importance of parents being a part of the process of their child’s education.
This article helped me to look deeper into parent engagement. The article talks about the importance of a positive relationship with the families and sharing power with parents in creating policies that assist the family with health promotion. I loved the way it developed an action plan that engages families in the overall process and gave examples of how school staff can connect with parents by hosting different events and including families in their school mission.
We do not have a dedicated staff that engages are families with our school. We do have a PTO, but I feel that is different. This article sparked something in me that allows me to think deeper into parent engagement.
After taking some summer classes this year, I truly feel that families are the backbone to a child’s success. As a counselor, I gain so much insight about a student when I have the opportunity to talk to the parents so that we can come up with a plan that helps the child and the family. Families are often excluded or ill-informed when assisting their child with their education.
Parent engagement goes far beyond the ice cream socials. Through parent engagement, families have the opportunity to advocate for their child, keep clear lines of communication, and share power. This article lays out a clear step-by-step plan on how parents can be well informed and involved.
As a counselor my goal this year is to have a committee that really focuses on parent engagement. This article allows me to write a plan and present it to my principal. Even though I feel we do an okay job with parent engagement, there is so much more to keep families involved.
Zakiya Moore is a student in the IU School of Education at IUPUI.