Military parents have more influence on their children’s academic success than they might think. Not only can they encourage their children to read during the summer, complete their homework assignments on time and study, they can also join organizations like the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).
The PTA administers and supports local chapter programs and events like Healthy Lifestyles, Teacher Appreciation Week, Family School Partnerships and Parent-Teacher conferences. At its official website, the PTA states that it is the “largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation.”
Since it was founded in 1847 the PTA has worked to include parents, including parents serving in the military, in a child’s academic success. One of the more familiar ways that the PTA gets involved at the local school level involves parent teacher conferences which are generally held at the start of the school year. The concept has evolved into parent teacher meetings that are held, not as a group, but in private so teachers and parents can discuss individual students’ academic progress. Parents can also bring social and personal challenges their child might be experiencing to a teacher’s attention at these meetings.
As with other human relationships, key to the success of the PTA is trust. Military parents must feel that they can trust teachers and believe that teachers have their child’s best interest and overall development as a human being at heart. Likewise, teachers are benefitted when they feel that military parents genuinely care about their children and want to see their children succeed at school, at home and in life.
Tools that parents serving in the military and teachers use (or can use) to improve student development and learning include: