Friday, April 29, 2011

A Position of Influence and Great Importance by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

  A Position of Influence and Great Importance by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
“You can’t lead where you don’t go or teach what you don’t know” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Parents, one of the most important and influential positions that you can hold in the arena of Education- School is President of your child’s Parent-School Association or Organization, commonly known as the PTA or PTO. Now don’t everyone jump up and go running down to your child’s school to assume the position. First, one has to be nominated and then elected to the office. Second, the PTA or PTO President’s position is one of leadership, great importance, responsibility and influence. Therefore, do not accept the position if you are not willing to prepare and lead. On the other hand, do not shy away from accepting the nomination and position (if elected), if you desire to make a difference in Education and your child’s school and willing to learn.

Parent-School Associations or Organizations are no longer, nor should they be solely concerned with fundraising. The face of Education has and continues to change. As the Parent-School Organization or Association President, you, officers and other Parents should be on the cutting edge, front-end, partners, sitting at the table and major decision makers as to what occurs in Education, with your school and children. Such entails becoming well-informed, knowledgeable and educated about the Education process. As PTA or PTO President of your child/ren’s school:

Ÿ  Are you prepared for the position or most importantly, are you willing to learn?
Ÿ  Do you understand your role as President and what the position entails?
Ÿ  How much time can you devote to your child’s Parent-School Organization, both inside and outside the school?
Ÿ  Is the Association or Organization’s Legislative Committee as important as your Membership and Fundraising Committees; have you and your officers planned and organized in advance of the school year; met with the school principal, etc., and etc?
Ÿ  Do you and other parents sit school committees?

Tip: PTA or PTO President, if your school PTA or PTO does not produce a newsletter, consider producing one and circulating it in an effort to get community involved with and informed about your school’s activities?

Why is President of your child’s Parent-School Association or Organization a position of influence and of great importance?
Ÿ   Being PTA or PTO President enables you to assist and work with all sectors both within and outside the school setting.
Ÿ  The PTA or PTO President, school principal and school staff can work together as Partners in Education.
Ÿ  You can become a major decision maker and assist with charting the direction for Education, your school and students.
Ÿ  You can assist and build relationships with Parents and garner their involvement.
Ÿ  You can build bridges to connect Parents, Schools and Community.
Ÿ  You can serve as Liaison between the school and businesses and/or community.
Ÿ  You can present Parental concerns at school board, community and public meetings.

The position of PTA or PTO President is one of influence and great importance. Being well-informed and educated about the Education process and involved with your child/ren’s school(s) can further expand your influence. Your and other Parents becoming well-informed, knowledgeable and educated about the Education process and your schools can alleviate some frustrations, helplessness and hopelessness, which many experience in and with their child/ren’s school(s) and Education and also assist you and others with becoming proactive as opposed to reactive.

Note: In June of 2011, Parents Taking Charge in Education will announce the Parental Mini-Guide Books Series #2. One of three titles: Leading Your Child’s Parent-School Organization or Association: Basic Qualities Needed for Effective Leadership by Mrs. Dorothy Barron. Mrs. Barron also coaches and conducts workshops to PTAs/PTOs.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author and Founder of Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ending the School Year by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                        Ending the School Year by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
“The most important phase of a child’s life is childhood; for it is here that all other phases emanate” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Parents, attending school conferences are an important way to be involved in your child’s Education. End of the year school conferences can benefit both you and your child. Do not underestimate the importance of and/or fail to attend or schedule the conference simply because it is the end of the school year. Some important reasons for attending end of the year school conferences:
Ÿ  You can meet with your child’s teachers to access your child’s academic progress over the school year and they can provide you with knowledge about your child’s academic strengths, weaknesses and other pertinent information.
Ÿ  You can utilize the conference assessment information to plan some summer activities to assist your child with retaining, building and reinforcing academic skills.
Ÿ  You can balance meaningful academic activities with activities your child enjoys (if different) to ensure that he/she relaxes from the rigors and stress of the school year, thus, preventing overload and burnt-out. Learning and fun can coincide. Please see that your child enjoys his/her summer vacation.
Ÿ  Educators can often advise you of sources and resources that are available to you and your child over the summer.

As the school year ends for some parents, it is “ramping” up for others. Do you have a child who will begin kindergarten at a new school in the fall?
Ÿ  Have a conference with your child’s pre-school teacher(s).
Ÿ  If applicable, make sure you have all the proper school documentation necessary for your child entering school in the Fall, as well as required vaccinations.
Ÿ  Depending on your interest and anticipated level of involvement in your child’s Education and/or with your child‘s school, may I recommend you visit the anticipated school in which your child will be attending in Fall and prior to the school ending for the school year (summer). Check out the school and request a copy of the student-parent handbook. Obtain the Parent-School Organization Leader’s (PTA/PTO President) contact information; you may want to call and introduce yourself as a new parent.

Are you a Parent-School Organization Leader (PTA/PTO)? Many of you will want to meet with school principals prior to school ending (some will meet with you and officers over the summer) and spend time over the summer meeting with your officers and planning the organization’s agenda for the following school year. If you wait until school resumes to plan the organization’s agenda for the school year, you will have waited too late.

This school year is coming to an end and many students will soon graduate; may I extend Congratulations to each student and his/her Parent(s) for having reached this milestone.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author & Founder of Parents Taking Charge in Education

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Refilling Your Pitchers & Recharging Your Batteries by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Refilling Your Pitchers & Recharging Your Batteries by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

“It does not matter how large a problem one has; nature is much larger and has a way of allowing one to put things in proper perspective”(Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Have you ever served others pouring from a pitcher? Pitcher this: you pour and pour from it, but when the liquid within is substantially reduced or the pitcher empties, it must be refilled in order to continue serving. How about battery operated devices? At some point in time those devices that “run” must recharge or they will fail to run at all and such is why we recharge battery operated products. Perhaps, you are asking, what does refilling pitchers and recharging batteries have in connection with a Blog about Parents and Parenting?

Parents, your bodies are equivalent to the aforementioned; you run here, there and everywhere; you give and give and give until many “run down” and/or there is nothing left (empty- complete exhaustion). Unless you set aside a little time for self on a regular basis in order to refill your energies and recharge your bodies, you will find that you no longer have anything of self left to give anyone else.

Parents, Spring has sprung; spend some time in and with nature. Go out and refill your pitchers or recharge your batteries by enjoying some of the simple pleasures of life- take a walk in the woods or along a walking trail; sit beside a body of water; visit a botanical garden; sit on the top of a mountain, take your lunch to the park or simply take a blanket outside, sit or lie on it and watch a bird soar or the sun set. These are some of the simple outdoor activities that provide some quiet time and allow you to reflect or meditate; such can enable you to refill your pitchers and recharge your batteries and thus, assist you with becoming a more relaxed person and a more productive parent. Another advantage of being out in Nature; because it is much larger than we, it can allow us to put our own problems, regardless of how large, in proper perspective.

Carving out time for self does not come easy with most Parents. Perhaps, such can be accomplished with a little organizing, prioritizing, putting things in proper perspective and making some adjustments; let me share an illustration which includes all four. I have always realized the importance of exercise; when the health spa in the community closed, my husband suggested we play tennis. My husband and I organized our schedules. After one of us dropped the kids off at school, we would go to or meet at the tennis court. If our schedules conflicted, we reorganized and played in the late afternoons. There were/are a number of advantages of being outside and in nature; but back to the illustration involving tennis. 

For a long time, I had trouble winning any games at tennis against my husband; he was extremely good at it and he served a “curve ball.” I would be all over the tennis court trying to determine the direction of the curve ball once it hit the court on my side. My having complained, whined and decried, “no fair” did not help me win any games; a proper perspective and an adjustment were needed. After constant observance, I finally realized that the key to the “curve ball dilemma” was to insure that the ball not land on my side of the tennis court; I had to return the ball while it was in mid-air. Having made that adjustment, enabled me to hold my own as his tennis opponent. I finally won some tennis matches against and while partnering with my (former) husband.

Parents, what are you waiting for? Refill your pitchers and recharge your batteries; make time for yourselves and learn to take life one step and one day at a time.

Note: Special thanks to Mr. Patrick Barron who has granted use of and permission of his photos in this blog. Retain within and do not use or copy outside this blog without written permission. 

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author & Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting Involved in my Child’s Education and School- Is there a Difference? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Getting Involved in my Child’s Education and School- Is there a Difference? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Yes, there is a difference; a Parent who has a child that attends school can be involved in his/her child’s education without being involved at and/or with his/her school. Not being clear or understanding the differences between the two or what each encompasses often adds to the conflict of schools and others’ expectations of Parental Involvement in Education and with schools.

A Parent being involved in his/her child’s education can entail overseeing, assisting and providing learning experiences outside the classroom and can preclude direct involvement, contact or interaction with the child’s school. Such can encompass helping the child with his/her homework; teaching the child a subject or skill; taking the child to the zoo to learn about animals; planting a flower garden and teaching the child various aspects of planting and growing things; fishing, or the art of researching and collecting information via the Internet. Education takes place through exposure, observation and practice, not to mention the attainment of the many virtues and attributes which are necessary in life. The Parent does not directly interact or involve him/herself with the child’s school; nevertheless, he/she provides an Education to and educational experiences for the child.

When schools refer to Parental Involvement; such are two-fold and their expectations of Parental involvement encompasses the following:
Ÿ  The child should be presented to the school in a position to learn. Such entails a child arriving at school disciplined, properly fed, clothed and with the necessary tools/supplies ready to learn. However, there is often a “far cry” or vast difference between (what the school wants) expectations v. reality (what it gets).
Ÿ  Parental Involvement in the form of support of and/or to the school. Such usually entails: 
            A. Support of the child- the Parent’s support is first and foremost to the child and secondary to the school. The Parent may attend special school events, school functions, Parent-Teacher Conferences, etc.
            B. Support of the school- the Parent may assist with fundraising efforts on behalf of the school, accompany students on field trips, etc.; he or she provides limited support and generally only at the request of the school.
            C. Volunteerism on behalf of the school- the Parent may coach a school team, serve as liaison between the school and an outside entity, head up a Parent-School organization, etc.
            D. Volunteerism inside the school- the Parent actually spends time on a regular basis inside the school, interacts with various sectors within the education setting and perform a host of volunteer duties in and around the school.

If the goal is to get Parents involved in their children’s Education and/or Schools, should not all concerned and involved individuals and sectors understand the difference between a Parent’s involvement in his/her child’s education and involvement in or with his/her child’s school, as well as what each entails or encompasses?

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author & Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dealing with the Problem Child- Part 2 by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Dealing with the Problem Child- Part 2 by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

In Parents Taking Charge in Education Blog Post: Dealing with the Problem Child, Part 1, I concluded with the mention that in Part 2 of this article two examples, which would emphasize children’s replications of the actions of adults, as well as what you may want to consider as a remedy in dealing with the problem child would be forthcoming. Now, let us begin Part 2 with my sharing those examples:
1.      A couple of my classes under my BUS Pre-law Degree Program consisted of Criminal Justice Classes; it was there that I learned what was/is known as the “blue veil.” Actually these veils exist within each profession along with a representative color. They allow those within the profession to protect each other, cover and hide the misdeeds and unlawful actions of some within the profession. For instance, the “blue veil”- indicative of law enforcement (police) and their uniforms of “blue.” Would you not agree that youth gangs operate similarly?
2.      Bullying has become or is becoming a more serious problem among youth; are we not submerged in a society filled with bullying adults?

If the present world in which we now live can become at times unbearable for some adults, how do you think children feel; more importantly, how do they cope? Many do not and thereby receive the label of “Problem Child.” In essence, many children are floundering; they feel rudderless, helpless and hopeless.

When you have done all you can and the problem(s) is not resolved with your child, what you may want to consider as a remedy- offer you child the opportunity to become acquainted with the CREATOR (GOD) of the Universe and The Holy Scriptures (Bible). Why consider such as a remedy? Such can ground and provide stability, continuity and purpose in one’s life. 

Now, as a Parent, you may be expressing concern, disapproval and/or even opposition over or of the aforementioned consideration as a remedy. Good; such means that you are entertaining the thought. I would like to address briefly a few concerns or opposing views of some parents and respond:
Ÿ  Some do not believe in The CREATOR (GOD) or The Holy Scriptures and do not want to force or influence their child/ren from a religious standpoint - you have exercised and take pride in being able to exercise your choice, but as a Parent, have you provided your child with the same opportunity or choice in this matter?
Ÿ  Some must now contend with their children asking what appears to some Parents uncomfortable questions about the Creator and The Holy Scriptures - talk to your child and be honest; if your views differ, explain them and how you arrived at them.
Ÿ  The CREATOR (GOD) belongs to or is one race or nation’s GOD - the CREATOR is a spirit and is not a respecter of persons. The CREATOR (GOD) is CREATOR (GOD) of all; failure to understand such depicts a lack of understanding of The Holy Scriptures.
Ÿ  Fear or risk of the child becoming involved in or influenced by a Cult - life itself is a risk; there is no guarantee that your child will not become involved in a gang, the object of some predator or worse.

Be available to your child, listen attentively and look for opportunities to engage with your child in a non-confrontational manner. As to the aforementioned remedy, consider:

·    Providing a copy of The Holy Scriptures (Bible) and simply leaving it on the desk, bed or in some other personal space of the child. Without forcing or influencing the child, you have provided access and the Child can make a choice as to when or whether to utilize the provided copy of The Holy Scriptures (Bible). One can also find a wide and great variety of various books and materials on a plethora of subject topics for all ages in a Christian Bookstore. Many authors write on various subject topics which are informative and helpful without being judgmental.

Parents Taking Charge in Education’s Blog Post, Dealing with the Problem Child, Parts 1 and 2 have not been written to offer legal, medical or spiritual advice; Parts 1 and 2 consists of information you may want to consider as you and/or your child work toward resolving his/her unresolved issues or problems. Parents, when the day is spent and after all is said and done, the responsibility of your child/ren rests with you, the Parent (s).

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