Headshot Young Girl

Kate Mackintosh

VIA22 APAC

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Challenge

The current challenge that I’m experiencing in education, and in particular within our school, is a lack of parent engagement in their child/ren’s learning. Our current school culture sees parents coming to the ‘big’ events such as athletics carnivals, however there is a distinct lack of parents involved in general day to day classroom activities - very few classroom helpers in the junior grades, and close to zero helpers in the middle and senior classes. Teachers share students’ work with families through their online portfolios and struggle to get parents to even ‘like’ the post. We weren’t even able to run a Mother’s Day stall or breakfast this year because there were just not enough volunteers. This is leading to a disconnect between the school and families, and sees parents as passive observers rather than active participants. We acknowledge that there are barriers to engagement such as parents that work full time, however as a school that values parents as co-educators of their children and mentors throughout their learning journey, we are not demonstrating this value as outwardly as we could be. Parental involvement in schools has been proven to be a key factor for children’s academic outcomes, so we need to make this more of a priority. I want to explore ways parents can be utilised in the classroom, either physically in person, or through the use of technology. I want parents to feel and recognise the value of their engagement and participation. I want teachers to openly welcome the authentic involvement of parents in our classrooms. I want students to experience the joy of having their parents contribute to their learning at school. The result would be an enriched curriculum for students who would in turn feel well supported and experience increased success.