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Issue Prompt-8

“Parents must be involved in their children’s education in order to make them successful.”


Sally is a Sophomore in high school. Although she is a bright girl and has the potential to excel in school, she lacks the ability to apply herself and therefore is not doing well. As a result, she does not enjoy school and often cuts classes to hang out at the mall with friends who share her same ethic. Sally enjoys athletics and earned a spot on the Girls’ Softball team. She competed in six matches, but when progress reports were issued, she was forced to leave the team because her grades were not up to par. Sally’s father is a lawyer and often works so late, the family rarely sees him. Sally’s mother works in an office, but after work, she enjoys going out with her colleagues. Often, Sally is on her own when she gets home and must prepare dinner for herself and her 12-year-old sister. Sally’s parents have missed countless parent-teacher conferences and have yet to meet most of her teachers. They are aware of only one instance of Sally’s truancy; usually she gets home in time to erase the school’s message from the answering machine. When her parents heard about her “first” unexcused absence from school, they did nothing but tell her not to do it again.


Tommy is also a Sophomore. He is intelligent and works hard to obtain near-perfect grades. He enjoys school and enthusiastically participates in all of his classes. Tommy is the goalie on the Boys’ Soccer team and can be depended upon to maintain his important position on the team. Tommy’s parents are divorced, and Tommy and his twin 10-year-old brothers live with their mother. She works in an office and gets home promptly by 5:30. Although she must rely on Tommy to watch the twins after school, she always prepares dinner when she gets home. After dinner, Tommy and his brothers must finish their homework before they are permitted to do anything else. Tommy’s mom checks everyone’s homework when they are done and helps them with work they do not understand. Although Tommy’s father lives an hour away, he often meets Tommy’s mother for parent-teacher conferences, and he consistently makes it to Tommy’s games. Tommy has never considered skipping school because he knows the consequences at home would be great.


Two students, two very different results at school and two opposite attitudes about life. The difference? Parental involvement. Although teachers can equip a student with the tools he needs to succeed in life, it is up to parents to instill in their children the motivation and determination to use these tools to be successful. To do this, parents must be willing to be involved in every aspect of their children’s lives, particularly in their education. It is unfair for parents to expect teachers and school administrators to take sole responsibility for the complete education and training that prepares a student for his adult life.


Some parents feel inadequate to help their children in school because they are unfamiliar with their children’s school subjects, or because they did not do well in school themselves. No matter how little academic knowledge parents have, however, they can play an integral part in her child’s education. For example, there are many opportunities to volunteer in schools. Parents can become a part of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association or Parent-Teacher-Student Organization. Parents can help with sports’ teams or at the very least, make an effort to support the athletes by coming to the games. If parents’ jobs hinder them from attending school functions, they can play an important role at home by keeping their children accountable in school matters like homework. They can help their children with things the children do not understand or get a tutor if they do not understand it either.


Although parents cannot always help a child scholastically, they can teach their children lifelong lessons in motivation and determination. If a man wants to learn how to fish, he can obtain a net and a boat and learn how to cast the net. But he is not a fisherman simply because he has the right tools and knowledge. Someone must instill in him the motivation and determination to sit on a boat day after day performing the tedious task of casting a net that does not always produce a big catch. In the same way, a teacher can give their students the book knowledge they need to be experts in various fields; however, it is the parents who must empower their children to use the knowledge to be successful. This requires parents to teach their children the value of education and thus inspire motivation; parents must teach their children never to give up and thus inspire determination.


Only motivated learners have the determination to gain the knowledge and responsibility that will enable them to succeed in life. It is the responsibility of parents to instill in their children these qualities. One of the most effective ways parents can teach their children the importance of such qualities is by modeling them in their own lives. Parents should make an effort to model responsibility through motivation and determination in their own lives. Such examples provide the best lessons a student will ever learn.

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