10 Ways Parents Can Help Reform Education
As a parent, you may find yourself concerned with the state of the education system in your local school district. Whether you feel like your child could be learning more or if the environment just isn’t conducive to learning, we all know that there is room for improvement. The question is, how can parents truly help to reform education on a daily basis?
Changing the way your school functions and grows doesn’t require major time commitments or financial obligations. You can start by doing small things today that will have a huge impact on the state of your child’s schooling long-term.
- Vote: Exercising your right to vote is critical to making positive steps towards reforming the school system. When the time comes to elect new officials for your child’s school or the local school district, pay attention to proposed policies. Take note of politicians and other potential candidates who are proposing solid ideas for lasting beneficial change.
- Keep up with national news: Start to take a look at the bigger picture of education as a whole in our country. Educating yourself on the national issues regarding academic standards can help you to make better decisions and advocate more strongly at a local level. Use your power to vote to create lasting change at a national level when bills are up for approval.
- Join the PTA: Spending more time within the walls of the local school gives you a front-row seat to what daily life is like there. Joining a parent-organized group like the PTA allows you to advocate for changes and discuss your ideas with other potentially like-minded individuals. Banding together is a great way to effect lasting change.
- Attend special events: Mark that pancake breakfast on your calendar, and start showing up for all of the arts events and award ceremonies that the school puts on. Spending more time in the school gives you experience with how it runs and keeps you involved with your child’s work. It also allows you to build relationships with staff in case you have questions or concerns in the future.
- Pay attention to your child’s grades: You don’t necessarily have to have a perfect student to be concerned about the state of affairs at their school. However, you should be an active participant in their education. Pay attention to whether or not they are completing homework and classwork. Seek out extra help or assistance from their teacher if they are falling behind.
- Encourage your child to learn everywhere: Help your child to develop a healthy and lifelong love of learning. Teaching them to enjoy reading, to pursue their interest in science, or to ask questions about how things work will all inspire them to see the world in a different light. If they love learning, their education will surely reflect that.
- Learn more about your local school: Don’t just assume that every school functions the same as it did when you were a kid. Take the time to understand the rules and regulations of your local schools by investigating their curriculum, textbook choices, and required courses. Read the standards that teachers are held to and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to staff: Do you feel like the principal punishes children unfairly? Do you have a specific concern that could be addressed by the school district? Don’t hesitate to contact the individual whom you believe could help to answer your questions or make changes to policies you believe are unjust.
- Ask your kids: Before you move full-steam ahead by organizing a protest, ask your kids how they feel about certain issues. They have to live in that environment firsthand, and their input may be different than you expect. Take the time to ask questions not only about what they dislike but about what they enjoy and the things that are done well.
- Remember you have a choice: You have the right to ensure that your child receives the education that you desire. As a result, you can select which school they attend even if that means you will need to move to do so. Weigh the options of public school, private school, or homeschooling to decide which will offer the best education for your child.
Creating educational reform doesn’t have to mean spending hours of your time picketing outside the local elementary school. You can take small steps on a daily basis to stay involved and keep communication lines open. Consider where you can add a few of these steps into your life today to start improving your child’s schooling tomorrow.