August 31, 2016
Much has been said about ways to improve the education system in America. Most of the discussion centers around core competencies, standardized testing and funding, but there are other things that create effective schools, too.
Schools in which the majority of students have parents closely involved with their education show indications of success more than schools without parent involvement. The involvement includes parents working with their children on homework and making sure assignments are complete, as well as communication with teachers.
Committed teachers understand how to juggle the time demands of lesson planning, grading, classroom management, and parent communication, in addition to finding ways to keep students interested in learning. Teachers know specific methods to meet the needs of students with special needs or learning disabilities while continuing to keep pace on the curriculum for the entire class. It is a difficult job, but good teachers contribute to effective schools by producing successful students.
Whether it's the president of the PTA or an after school tutor, volunteers are a vital part of effective schools. It's for this reason that United Way has a mission to recruit volunteers, mentors and tutors for every school in the nation. Studies have shown that students who have a caring adult active in their lives are less likely to get in trouble with things like drugs, alcohol, and gangs. Volunteers make the difference especially for students who come from single parent homes or homes where both parents work and are not readily available to help with homework or see to it that their children turn in assignments. Tutors help those kids who need the one-on-one attention that a teacher in a crowded classroom cannot always provide. Mentors help to remind students the value of an education and encourage students to stay in school for the sake of their future.
That means that even if you are not a parent or a teacher, you can make a difference in your local schools by volunteering to read, tutor, or become a mentor!