Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

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.

More on: Expert Advice

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 FamilyEducation.com 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.


Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks