School is a place to learn and take benefit from a host of academic activities that are integral for the students’ development. However, when the term urban schooling is used instead of just school, there are many factors and considerations that one has to take care of. The urban schools are encountering a multitude of problems that make them require immediate solutions to the serious issues. One of the main problems faced by urban schools is that the students find enormous difficulties in building connections between their school and homes. The focus of the paper is on highlighting the several issues that hinder the possible school-home connections. Moreover, the significant issues concerning instruction and curriculum would also be analyzed that are related to constructive social and academic experiences (Beveridge, 2007, pp.3).
There are various types of issues that are faced in the context of urban schooling. Talking about the issues that teachers face, one can get to hear numerous complaints from them. The teachers in the urban school setting do not find sufficient level of motivation to be able to manage their jobs. They are neither paid good as compared to the teachers of sub-urban schools, nor provided a healthy environment. They have to follow the old courses and textbooks that have nothing of particular learning for the students. Moreover, they have to deal with a diverse group of children who have no basic knowhow of discipline and decorum required in an academic setting (Dantas & Manyak, 2010. Pp. 224). As we discussed in class, it is no easy task to be able to truly have that special bond with a student for many and various reasons.
The issues of children are plentiful when we get to see them more closely while analyzing their backgrounds and families they belong to. The students are not getting the required levels of attention that they should receive in the schools from their teachers. The students do not feel themselves comfortable in the school setting and are often found to be confused due to their inability to comprehend most of what is taught there. Due to the teacher’s lack of training as well as worn-out textbooks, the students are unable to fix their concentration on the subjects. It is an unfortunate fact but the condition of the urban school buildings is also terrible, making the whole scenario a sorry affair for the children of these schools (Beveridge, 2007, pp.3).
There are various sorts of issues that are especially important to discuss regarding the building of home-school connections in urban schools. It is an established reality that the involvement of the parents is essential for imparting education in their children. The parents’ involvement not only exhibits the level of concern the parents have for their children, but also brings to light the several issues they themselves are struggling with. There might be some economic pressures or cultural issues preventing them to get themselves fully involved with their children’s education (Dantas & Manyak, 2010. Pp. 224) because at the end of the school day when they go home, it is the parents who they are returning to. If there were no motivation and encouragement being shown from the parents as well as from teachers at school during the day, the students are most likely to start getting side tracked or lose interest quickly causing students to limit possible potentials or worse, to drop out of high school.
The research suggests the need to get parents involved in the children’s education so that the children could actively participate in school activities. It has been stressed by the researchers that the schools need to formulate certain principles and guidelines that could play a role in bringing positivity in the children’s academic achievement. It has been observed that many schools have previously attempted to create home-school connections by calling for the involvement of the students’ parents. The results of the study asked for the clear-cut meaning of the active pupil participation in the urban schooling. It has been constantly observed that many people are not fully aware of the considerations that one has to bear in mind regarding pupil participation in schools (Dantas & Manyak, 2010. Pp. 224).
It is not only the involvement of the parents that is crucial for the students, but the teachers’ total support and involvement is also required to assist the students in their learning. The teachers need to get serious about the children’s studies; taking this important responsibility on their shoulders for making any positive change in them. Hence, the school-home connection can be rightly based upon the interrelationship between children, teachers and the students’ parents. The specific activities that the parents need to get themselves involved regarding their children’s education are taking a regular note of their daily activities at school as well as looking after their assignments and results. They also need to visit the schools on parent-teacher meetings to discuss the various problems children are struggling with (Epstien & Voorhis, 2010, pp. 1).
It is important to mention that many problems crop up in the way to build home-school connections due to cultural issues. The children come from various cultural backgrounds where not everyone is familiar with the need to act differently with the members of other cultures. Moreover, there are many issues related to racism and class division as well that make the task of home-school connection quite more difficult. Not only are they partially or completely unaware of the basic norms of other cultures, but they also face language barriers. They are often not able to fully comprehend communications due to their lack of understanding of the foreign language (Epstien & Voorhis, 2010, pp. 1).
The economic issues follow the language and culture barriers for the students of the urban schools (Valdez, Dowrick, & Maynard, 2007, pp. 67). Mostly the children belong to less privileged areas and are socially disadvantaged due to their lack of resources and accessibility to things helpful for their learning. They are able to take benefit from their only source of learning, that is, their school. In this case, the parents need to take a look at this state to cooperate with the teachers for the betterment of the children. It is clearly not sufficient for the children to rely on the old textbooks but they need fresh exposure to latest happening as well. So, the parents need to understand their own responsibility in their children’s learning in addition to leaving it all on the teachers alone. Both the parents and the teachers can work side by side to enable the students to cherish the positive learning experiences in their urban schools.
Throughout the course of Urban Schooling class, I noticed that no education is a long term success unless the collaborated efforts from teachers and parents were happening. The few things that the school administration can take care of are helping the children’s parents in several possible ways. For instance, teachers can inform the parents and explain to them the ways through which they can be beneficial for their children’s learning. Keeping in view the belongingness of the parents to various cultures, the school staff can deal with them in their culture-specific ways. Both teachers and parents need to respect the cultural differences and help them in every possible way out of the language barriers and related cultural issues. The parents have a right to know about their children’s basic activities at school so the school must provide them with a weekly or monthly report concerning their children (Valdez, Dowrick, & Maynard, 2007, pp. 67).
The parents too must also be willing to create an environment at home where their sons and daughter can return to from school day, and to at least “converse” of what was happing at school. The most important thing for students to have is that comfortable and safe place where they are able to speak their minds and not be judged or criticized for. Rather than to take the harsh approach by criticizing children on a low test scores or their behaviors, parents must have the patience to listen in order to prevent their children to shut down their feelings. If we are constantly saying that children are our future, it would be foolish of us to not to nourish them with as many opportunities possible and to teach them with devotion.