Getting Volunteer Teachers and Urban Parents to Work Together
Tucker, Ingrid Laura. “Getting Volunteer Teachers and Urban Parents to Work Together”, Boston College, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/711.
Parent involvement is critical to student success. Many schools across the nation are making a concerted effort to establish relationships between teachers and parents. There are a myriad of barriers that prevent those relationships from occurring. The challenge is even greater in urban schools. This qualitative case study examines the impact of volunteer teacher perceptions and attitudes on establishing relationships with urban parents at an all girls' middle school in the inner city. The study specifically investigated the beliefs of volunteer teachers before and after their participation in the study. The study will also examine whether teachers considered parents as an in integral part in supporting their children's learning as a result of their participation in the study. Five volunteer teachers, a master teacher and the parent coordinator participated in the study over the course of a year and a half. The data from this study showed that despite cultural and socio-economic differences, volunteer teacher can work with urban parents. The findings indicate volunteer teachers do value parental involvement. Teachers believe with continued professional development, they can establish authentic relationships with parents. Teachers in the study reported that parents want the best for their children. Teachers indicated that their relationships with parents are critical to student success. The findings of this study will provide implications for educational practice, policy, future research and researchers' leadership. Limitations to the study include a small sample size, the duration of the study and the role of researcher as Head of School.