Advocating for your Child in School

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. You have great knowledge about their strengths, weaknesses and experiences. You are their FIRST teacher and their GREATEST supporter. You are also ultimately responsible for your child’s education. How can you be sure that your children are receiving the quality education they deserve? Be their advocate!

> Read the “Advocating for Your Child” Fact Sheet in English
> Read the “¡Abogue por su Hijo en la Escuela!” Fact Sheet in Spanish
> Listen to the Parenting Today radio show: Advocating for Your Child in School (mp3, 12:48 minutes)

WHAT IS AN ADVOCATE?

An advocate is someone who argues for a cause. In the case of your children and their education, being an advocate means supporting and standing up for them as they make their way through the education system. Parents are natural advocates for their children!

ADVOCATE WITH YOUR CHILD!

Prepare your child for every school day. Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and breakfast before you send them to school. Be sure they arrive on time.

Stay tuned to your child’s experiences. Ask them every day what were the best and worst things that happened to them at school.

Help your children learn to advocate for themselves. Help your child practice how to tell a teacher they didn’t get a handout or don’t understand a grade.

ADVOCATE WITH THE SCHOOL!

Get to know your child’s teachers. Every school year, make a list of your child’s teachers. Ask to meet with each of them at the beginning of the year. Do not be afraid to ask them questions.

Get involved with the school. Join the PTA and attend Open Houses and other school events.

Keep good records. Your child will receive a lot of important school papers, permission slips, and more every year. Instead of just tossing things aside, read them and then keep them somewhere safe.

WHEN THERE’S A PROBLEM.

Whether it’s bullying on the playground or a drop in grades, advocating for your child can be very important!

  • Sit down and talk with your child about the problem. Ask them to explain it from their perspective so that you can support them as you work through the issue.
  • Request a meeting. Make an appointment with your child’s teacher to discuss the problem. Bring along someone else for support.
  • Keep a positive attitude! Remember that you and the teacher are working together to help your child.
  • Remember that you are an expert when it comes to your child. You know your child better than anyone else.
  • Ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions or request more information! You have the right to ask about any aspect of your child’s education.