Parents, teachers learn to work together for education - Brownsville Herald: Education

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Parents, teachers learn to work together for education

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Posted: Monday, November 9, 1998 12:00 am

By FERNANDO DEL VALLE

Valley Morning Star

HARLINGEN -- Like hundreds of other parents Saturday, Guadalupe Chavez learned

love means helping your child with the homework.

And her 9-year-old son Claudio found out why his mother looks over his

shoulders when he opens up his schoolbooks.

"My mom takes care of me," he said.

About 1,000 parents and teachers learned how they can work together to better

children's education at the Harlingen school district's ninth annual Parent

Involvement District Conference.

"I learned you need to have a lot of patience to help them," said Chavez, a

Harlingen housewife. "It's very important that parents motivate their children

in their education."

Schools Superintendent Jesus Chavez said parents and teachers from around the

Valley made it the district's biggest conference.

"It's critically important that parents get involved to better serve our

students," he said. "One of the great things I've seen is the combination of

teachers and parents working together for the students. You see parents of all

ages, grandmothers, (and) extended family. This is bringing the school and the

home together."

Keynote speaker Margie Mancillas, assistant vice president for student affairs

at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, told

parents they were the critical link between home and school.

"Schools are beginning to realize they can't do this by themselves, that

parents are critical partners with schools for their children's educations,"

said Mancillas, the keynote speaker who replaced university President Juliet

Garcia, who was absent because of illness.

Getting involved in a child's education is part of the love of being a parent,

Mancillas said.

"Children need to know you are the most important person in their lives," she

said. "Children need to know you care about their education, about their

friends, about what they do both in and outside the school."

In classrooms across Harlingen High School, guest speakers urged parents and

teachers to work together to better students' education.

As part of a child's overall education, parents and teachers have the

responsibility to instill moral values in children, said Christina Garcia, the

district's assistant superintendent for personnel.

"We see in this world that the family is failing," Garcia told a group of

parents and teachers in Spanish. "We must be strong to rebuild the things that

have failed. We have to have the courage to teach children good values."

Parents pass their sense of values to their children, Garcia said.

"If we don't show respect, how are our children going to learn it?" she asked

the crowd.

In her keynote speech, Mancillas stressed homework was part of a parent's job.

"Homework should be a concern for the entire family," she said. "You need to

show them that education and homework are important."

Children whose parents help them with their homework do better in school,

Mancillas said.

"Monitor assignments you need to make sure you're there," she said.

"Children complete their homework with more success under the supervision of

their parents."

Parents must get involved in every aspect of a child's education, she said.

"It's important to be in contact with your children's teachers and guidance

counselors," she said.

Maribel Muoz said she feels her mother's love when she helps her do her

homework.

"It shows they're interested; they give us our support," said Muoz, a senior

at Harlingen South High School.

Anna Maria Zamora came from Brownsville to learn how to be a better parent.

"We're here to strengthen our parenting skills," she said. "The old values are

being lost and we have to find solutions."

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