Practicum Action Inquiry Essay

The lack of parental involvement is a continual problem in the field of education. Parental involvement in education is when a parent participates in and supports their child’s education. Parents can also support their child by volunteering in the school their child is enrolled in and by participating in school and events in the community. Several contributing factors affect the process of parental involvement taking place in the school community. The environment and child’s background are a few of the issues that affect the school and community on the regular basis.

I feel that quite a few issues should be addressed and looked into by school administration as well as educators. One of the most important concerns is the lack of guardian involvement in a child’s academic progress. The absence of guardian interaction affects the child’s self-esteem, performance in school, school climate, and interaction in the community. I have taught for the last five years and noticed pupils, who have guardians and caretakers seemingly disconnected from their student’s academic instruction display problems with remaining interested motivated and engaged in their education.

Theoretically speaking, bullying is also a problem that is detrimental to the makeup demographically of Carl Wunsche High School. The district, administration, and educators constantly struggle with creating ways to stop bullying from taking place. The schools in the district use several preventative methods before victimization happens on the regular basis, but the issue still presents itself quite often. As a result of the lack of parental involvement and bullying has been on the rise within Spring Independent District.

Background and Context for the Problem Research suggests the component missing in educational equality, when speaking of academic progress is guardian interaction. School environment and guardian involvement are essential in preparing a student and establishing success in their academic progress. While guardians are the first “teachers” of pupils, guardians essentially have a positive affect on their success. The issue comes about at various academic institutions when the need to it is difficult to call guardians for various reasons.

Guardian interaction at school functions, teacher conferences, school meetings and Admission Review and Dismissal meetings are scarce. It is infuriating when I see this taking place because I feel all parents need to be involved in their child’s academic success. It is also upsetting when I try to schedule a conference with a parent regarding my concerns with their child and they never seem to be available to meet. Also, it is upsetting when I have made several contacts via email and by phone and the parent never responds or returns my calls.

We have a program called Parent Connect in our district. Parent Connect is a virtual program that enables guardian’s interaction to the student’s attendance, academic progress, behavioral history and the ability to read comments that are made by their teachers. Parent connect is a great tool however the majority of the parents fail to access the system. When parents do not take advantage of this online program it leaves them unaware of what is really taking place with their child’s attendance, behavior, and grades. . Data Analysis

According to (Larocque, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011) the citizens of our society are starting to increasingly become diverse; therefore, the pupil population in academic settings is also becoming very different. Demographics at the academic institution are broken down as follows: * White 14% * African American 40% * Hispanic 41% * Other 5% * Economically Disadvantaged 71% * Limited English Proficient 18% Data shows there is a difference between Hispanic, Native American, and African pupils in contrast to their White peers.

Based on this information, it should be realized how important parental involvement in a child’s education is and why it is at the center of the students needs. “Given that increased level of parental involvement in schools and in the education of their children is positively correlated with increasing educational achievement, it is important to devise ways to increase parental involvement (Larocque, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011). ” Research Questions/Hypotheses Administrators and educators, their needs to be a creation of answers to the issues we deal with in the school environment.

Finding innovative ways to communicate with families of all ethnicities and non English speaking families may assist with the lack of communication and parental involvement in the school. Addressing language barriers and cultural barriers may also assist administrators and educators with combating this issue. Different means of communication may be used in order to make sure the parent understands and obtains the information being presented to them. Families should not be intimidated by the language that is used by school personnel so they should always speak in terms that are relatable to families.

Communicating via email, over the phone, face to face, or through parental bulletins are ways teachers and parents can communicate with each other. It is imperative to have someone to translate to the non English speaking families. Having a translator will ensure the parents understand all of the issues and concerns that were discussed. The flexibility of a teacher or administrators schedule is important because it may allow more parents and guardians to attend school activities and teacher conferences.

Students are motivated to perform at their highest potential when their parents are involved. Teachers should become knowledgeable about their students cultural background, differences, traditions and the environment in which the students are raised in. Parents should be allowed to have input in expressing their expectations of their child’s teachers. Parents should also participate in setting goals for their child’s educational future. Creating a safe and welcoming environment for parents gives them a sense of reassurance and security. Topics in the Literature Review

African-American and Hispanic pupils have an increased likelihood of experiencing bulling vs. white students. In addition, students with emotional, cognitive or learning problems reported having less than “very good” mental health also experience increased chances of being bullied. Many guardian characteristics that increased the likelihood of child bullying were getting angry with their child frequently and feeling that their child often did things to bother them. There also were issues that lessen the likelihood that a student will become a bully.

Older students, those residing in a home where the primary form of communication is not English and those who consistently completed their homework were less likely to be bullies. Guardians also took on a protective role. Guardians who shared ideas and talked with their students and those who met most of their child’s friends were less likely to have children who bully. In regards to the statement written above, the demographics of the students at Carl Wunsche and the school environment allows for both predators and prey of bullying.

Parents should get familiar with the language used in text messages and emails, become familiar with the websites their child visits, the social networking sites and use parental codes to block certain websites and applications downloaded on their cell phones. Parents should not allow their children to have access to the computer in a private setting. Parents should place their computer in an open environment or in a “family room” for their child to access.

If parents follow these suggestions this may decrease the risk of unsafe behavior on the computer. Bullying in the school should be taken more seriously by all school personnel. A bullying intervention plan should be available and implemented in the schools when bullying occurs. Bullying should never be taken lightly; it is a very serious problem that schools face on the regular basis. If bullying escalates the effects on the student can be morbid, can be traumatic for the family and the child’s peer or damage the student’s mental state.

Addressing cultural barriers, encouraging parental involvement, monitoring computer usage by students, and addressing the issue of bullying as it arises are just a few ways that would be beneficial to all parties involved if the ideas and suggestions were put in effect. I am elated that these issues are being addressed at the school where I teach. All schools should address these issues because they are very important to our youth. Some of these topics can be detrimental to their health and also damage their self esteem. Although the issues are there, my school system has taken several advances into finding plausible solutions.

References

LaRocque, M. , Kleiman, I. , ; Darling, S. M. (2011). Parental involvement: The missing link in school achievement. Preventing School Failure, 55(3), 115. Retrieved from http://library. gcu. edu. edu:2048/login? url=http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true;db=ehh;site=ehost-live;scope=site Gendron, B. P. , Williams, K. R. , ; Guerra, N. G. (2011). An Analysis of Bullying Among Students within Schools: Estimating the Effects of Individual Normative Beliefs, Self-Esteem, and School Climate. Journal of School Violence, 10(2), 150-164. doi:10. 1080/15388220. 2010. 539166