We are living through an era of teacher shortages and low test scores. It is hard to know what we can do to make a difference? But become a parent volunteer in the classroom can improve their academic performance, behavior, and social skills, not to mention help the school, community and even yourself.
There are many studies that show the advantages of parents and guardians volunteering at their kid’s school. Both parents and teachers need to realize this and encourage more positive parent engagement. Here are 8 reasons why classrooms are better with parents in them:
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #1: Your child’s academics could improve
A parent volunteer can reinforce childrens’ learning in the classroom, provide extra academic support to students and boost academic performance: A study by Fan and Chen (2018) found that parent volunteers were positively associated with academic achievement among elementary school students. When parents volunteer in schools, they can help support and enhance the academic curriculum, assist teachers in the classroom, provide individualized support to students, and even lead educational activities.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #2: It can improve parent-teacher communication
Parent volunteers can also help bridge the gap between parents and teachers, which can lead to better communication and support for your child. A study by Heberlein and Richter (2019) found that parent volunteers were associated with improved communication between parents and teachers. In an era where a lot of parent-teacher communication has a twinge of anger or frustration, reminding parents that teachers are humans who want what is actually good for the students, but are also burnt out by behavioral problems and low pay, could help to bridge that gap.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #3: Teachers love it
A study by Li and Shedd (2021), Volunteering and Teacher Well-being in the Journal of Educational Administration, found that teachers love parent volunteers. Parents can help the teacher by being another adult in the classroom as well as supervising students who are either more advanced than the rest of the class, or helping those who need extra help. This decreases teacher stress levels and helps alleviate some of their workload. This can lead to a better work-life balance for teachers and improve their well-being. Li and Shedd found that parent volunteering was associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of stress among teachers.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #4: It could improve your child’s behavior
Parent volunteers can also help improve students’ behavior and social skills, which can improve academic performance. A study by Wang et al. (2022) found that parent volunteers were associated with better social skills among students. When parents volunteer in schools, they can help facilitate social interactions among students. They can lead social activities and foster positive relationships between students.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #5: It can create an overall positive and welcoming environment
A study by Berkowitz and Astor et al (2017) found that parent volunteers were associated with a more positive school climate among elementary school students. Parent volunteers can help establish expectations and encourage positive behavior.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #6: It can help students develop a greater sense of self-efficacy
Students who see their parents in the classroom develop a greater sense of self-efficacy, or belief in their own ability to succeed academically and can help boost students’ self-confidence by providing individualized support and encouragement. A study by Vasquez et al. (2019) found that parent volunteers were associated with higher levels of self-efficacy among middle school students.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #7: It builds on itself
Parents can increase other parents’ involvement in the school. A study by Davis and Pyle (2019), Parental Volunteering and School Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention, in the Economics of Education Review, found that parent volunteers were associated with higher levels of parent involvement in schools. When parents volunteer in schools, they can provide additional resources and support for students and teachers. They can donate supplies and materials or even fundraise to support school programs. This draws more parents to volunteer.
Benefit of Parent Volunteers #8: You can improve your own feelings towards the school
A study by Wang & Shu (2019), The Benefits of Parent Involvement for Promoting Children’s Academic Achievement in the Journal of Educational Psychology, found that parent volunteers were associated with higher levels of parent satisfaction with their child’s school. When parents volunteer in schools, they can bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the school community. This can promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation among students and teachers. Wang and Shu (2019) found that Chinese immigrant mothers’ involvement in their children’s education was associated with better academic achievement and increased cultural understanding.
Parental involvement in schools as volunteers can have a multitude of positive effects on students, teachers, and the school community. They play a vital role in education by providing support and assistance to teachers, administrators, and students, and by creating a sense of community within the school. By getting involved in their child’s education, parents can help improve academic performance, behavior, and social skills, and can help create a positive environment for students. Becoming a volunteer is the simplest grass-roots way to help change education.
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