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Getting Involved at School

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I am a 33-year-old father of four children and would like to become more involved at the school. (My children's education is very important to me.) I asked the principal if I could observe a day in my child's class and was told "no." Please help me in any way you can with information or please lead me in the right direction. Thank you very much.

A: I don't know any principal proud of his school and his teachers who would refuse a parent a chance to visit the classroom. After all, the best education occurs when we take an intimate look at how our kids are being schooled and join with the teachers in an alliance that produces the best education for our kids. I would ask the principal again if you could observe your child's class and if he denies you again without an explanation that truly makes sense, I would ask to speak to a member of your school committee and/or the president of your PTA or PTO.

School systems I know are always looking for parents to bring their particular skills and talents into the classroom when it can enrich their students educational experience. Be persistent in a cordial way and I'm sure you'll get to be more of a participant in your children's education.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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