From The Superintendent’s Seat
Taking a Leadership Role at School
We all know that it is important that schools and parents work together in the best interests of the children in order to provide the best possible education. Parents who step up to a leadership role also work cooperatively with one another.
The superintendent, the principal, and the teacher all have very clearly defined roles at school. But what exactly is the role of the parent leader?
Parent leaders often walk a tightrope in their dual roles as advocates for the children and supporters of the school administration. However, if they keep the following in mind, they can reap the rewards of making a very positive impact on their children’s school experience. As a parent leader, you are helping to facilitate what all (or most)
parents want. You know you are not there for your own personal agenda or to only help your own children with their individual needs.
It’s important to be inclusive. Listen to the ideas and concerns of all parents. Be available to talk and listen and try to keep your judgments to yourself. Develop cooperative relations with school officials.Understand the chain of command, and advise other parents to follow that chain—teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent.
Parent leaders also delegate tasks, share the responsibilities, and are generous with praise and appreciation. Every parent who is involved at school is a volunteer and is giving of his or her time and talents. Parent leaders are in a good position to reach out to new parents. Do your best to make newcomers feel welcome, and help by introducing new parents to others with children in the same grade. You are sensitive to the fact that your school community includes individuals of all different backgrounds, political beliefs, and educational philosophies. Parent leaders can communicate regularly with the principal and agree on what the role of the parent association will be throughout the school year. You can establish a cooperative relationship and one of mutual respect and you will truly be a success as a leader in your school community.#