Friday, January 14, 2011

Parents Taking Charge in Education: Part V. - Parents: Your Stake in Society’s Most Precious Resource- Our Children by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents Taking Charge in Education: Part V. - Parents: Your Stake in Society’s Most Precious Resource- Our Children by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

“No one is going to do for you what you should be doing for your own child/ren” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

First and foremost, I want to thank the many parents who engage in positive parenting in addition to the many challenges you face both in and outside the home. Whenever I am able to interact with parents, I am enthusiastic of the positive experiences parents are providing for their children, many of which you hear and view via the Internet.

Parents, I need not waste a lot of time telling you what many of your already know; you have the greatest stake, because the most precious resource- our children, belong to you. Foremost, it is up to you, the parent to provide good, positive examples and the best you can offer from a financial standpoint to enable you to care for your child/ren’s needs; you also serve as their protector. To assist children with growing and developing, sometimes, you must allow the child a “prodigal moment;” such entails the child learning the hard way or encountering the school of” hard knocks.”

The goal of most parents is to nurture and assist their children with becoming well-rounded, happy, well-adjusted, self-sufficient productive young adults. Parents do not accomplish such alone; such involves many people from various sectors or walks of life. As you assist your children in the area of Education, there are a number of things of which you should be cognizant:

1.      Education is Big Business, as well as Political. It is big business because contracted providers supply to schools everything from toilet tissue, lunches, textbooks to services, jobs and more; it is political because politicians, policymakers via policy decides everything from the curriculum down to the number of students per classroom.
2.      Parental expectations for their children differ in Education; what suffices for one parent does not for others.
3.      The family composition has drastically changed, yet society for the most part has failed to incorporate solutions to meet those changing needs of parents.

There is much controversy about a parent’s responsibility and involvement in his/her child’s education and school. Personally, my position on parental involvement within the schools and for that matter, anywhere is that parents should find the time to be wherever their children are and engage with those who interact with their children. When it comes to parental school involvement, if a parent lacks involvement, it is important to know the reason(s). In a past post, I share a number of reasons why Parents are not involved or have ceased to be involved in their Children’s Schools and/or Education. Parents, I would like to now leave a number of thoughts and encountered situations for your review and consideration:

1.      With the entire Education panorama shifting, Parents, it is pertinent that you become knowledgeable, educated and informed about the Education process, how such affects and the effects upon your child.
2.      You should be a part of the decision making process. Of what most parents are not aware are that you should be an integral part prior to curriculum programs being implemented into your child’s school. In fact, education laws and policies mandate that parents be involved, but most parents are not aware of this fact. One thing I found very interesting and cryptic while reading the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) was that most of the programs listed within NCLBA were programs that were already part of or should have already been implemented in the schools.
3.      Parents, most of you are busy and have inordinate responsibilities; most do not want their time wasted, nor can you be expected to be in two places at once. However, should you desire, you can be fully engaged and involved in your child’s school without spending a lot of time in the school; such entails an organized process.  
4.      Conflict- most parents are no longer wasting time arguing with schools about their children’s needs or lack of and certainly are not going to assist schools in introducing programs or activities which they perceive to be disadvantageous, non-productive and even injurious to their children and their children’s Education. Let me provide a quick example- I sat a special school committee in which the goal was to write a proposal for a school curriculum program. To curtail the story, at the end of the grant writing process, I could not endorse the proposal or sign my name to it. The school took the liberty and added my name to the proposal prior to having sent in to Washington, DC, in spite of my request that it not be added. I simply located the grantor’s contact information and wrote a letter which explained my position of why I could not endorse the proposal and the fact that my name had been added without my permission; the grantors did not approve the school’s proposal that year.

Please join me on next week as we continue with Part V. Parents: Your Stake in Society’s Most Precious Resource- Our Children and conclude with the Community’s stake.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author
Parents Taking Charge in Education at

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