Parents are more likely to get involved and stay involved when they feel that the school respects them and their unique situation. Schools that have an inflexible "one role fits all parents" rule close doors to parents who may be going through tough times.
Teachers (many of whom are parents themselves) know that the ability of parents to be involved depends on many things. Mothers and fathers may be dealing with a family illness or the problems of an aging parent, conflict between family members, financial or job-related stress, or the academic or behavior problems with another child. Parents who have a close, trusting relationship with teachers feel more comfortable talking with them about such family issues, because they trust that this information will be kept in confidence. Some parents may prefer to share confidential information with a school guidance counselor, who will then keep a watchful eye on the child and provide necessary consultation to teachers.
Teachers know that these situations may have an impact on a child's work or behavior at school and if they know about what's going on at home, they can take these situations into consideration as they work with students. When trust is high, and when schools are flexible in their expectations of parents, everybody benefits.
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