By Cassie Bingham, Volunteer Coordinator
In the formative years of a child’s life, there are often two adult forces that most influence and mold their experience and character: The Parent and The School Teacher. Both play incredibly important educative roles, although in different capacities, which should sometimes overlap.
Parents educate their children in those aspects most integral to their future social and professional success. They teach home values that will translate to the respect and integrity children will eventually demonstrate in all of their social circles. They discipline with love, hoping to instill a sense of positive interaction with others. They also instruct children in practical skills and assist with their comprehension of academic subjects. Children will ideally receive the emotional support necessary from their parents, to help them maintain academic success while navigating the complicated issues associated with growing up.
Teachers educate children in those areas that will lead them most efficiently and effectively to future academic success in college or university. They are professionals, trained to help students learn specific tools and study habits that will allow for them to do well in standard evaluations such as quizzes and tests. They will provide children with flexible tutelage according to their specific learning types and needs.
Since each of these responsibilities are highly significant, it is of utmost importance that both parent and teacher maintain consistent communication, and work in unison in order to provide children with a cohesive education, and ultimately a successful future. Parents at Guadalupe School have the daily opportunity to stop by and speak with their children’s teachers, in addition to the regularly scheduled parent teacher conferences. They are also provided with teacher emails and phone extensions, in order to be able to contact them quickly from home. Teachers are encouraged to call parents or send home notes with children in order to inform them when students need special help with homework assignments or are perhaps struggling in another aspect of the classroom.
One way in which Guadalupe teachers and parents are beginning to work together even more, is through volunteer work. There are several parents, who frequently help out in teacher classrooms, and provide added support while also becoming more conscious of the ways in which their children are receiving an education at Guadalupe School. This includes two moms who completed almost 200 hours of volunteer service each last semester, a large bulk of the hours coming from their help in the classroom.
Outside volunteers can also facilitate open communication with parents while working closely with Guadalupe teachers. The school hosts several reading tutors throughout the day who work with students one-on-one. Because of the unique opportunity of having a more intimate teaching session with students, these tutors can report particular learning needs to teachers, who in turn can communicate with parents.
Teachers and parents are encouraged to continue to forge relationships with each other, and offer support whether through reliable communication or providing volunteer opportunities. The result will be an increasingly more effective learning environment for Guadalupe children, and more chance of academic and professional success.