Parents Deserve Professional Development, Too!

If we truly believe that parents and teachers must be allies in education and partners in the nurturing of the whole child, then we must consistently explore ways to not only engage parents with the school community but to actively involve them in the process of meeting the essential needs of every student.

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If we think of professionals as those who perform their duties with enthusiasm and integrity, then this expansive and noble definition of a professional certainly includes parents! All the more reason that we should honor the crucial role that parents play in the fulfillment of children and elevate the role of parent to that of professional.

If teachers are expected to continuously refine their craft and grow as educators through professional development opportunities and workshops, then schools should offer parents the same structured time and frameworks to interact with and learn along with their parental peers.

If we dedicate time and resources to these two categories of profession development, one format for teachers and another for parents, then we should also combine these two groups at regular intervals so they can really grow together, both as individuals and as close collaborators who have the common interests of children at heart.

If we value teacher articulation between grade levels and subject areas, then we should also develop close articulation between the classroom and the family room. Supplying a seamless transition of elemental expectations and outcomes between home and school forms a wraparound effect that both soothes and stimulates kids to cooperate, contribute, create, and comprehend.

Thankfully, it is quite easy to move from if/then suppositions to right now actualities by providing parents with the tools and experiences necessary to act as colleagues with their children’s teachers.

The Book that Guides Parent Professional Development

Right now, schools can assist parents in maximizing their child’s potential in ways that extend beyond academics alone. Through the intentional advocacy of schools and principals, parents can also gain a clearer, more cohesive relationship with their child’s teachers.

A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents: How Children Thrive with Leadership, Love, Laughter, and Learning explains how to support and inspire all students towards success and satisfaction. When parents and teachers share common goals and methods to meet a child’s essential needs, this cohesion and consistency reinforces positive, productive behavior.

The Four Ls of Parenting

This affirming, practical parenting approach provides expert insight for connecting with the classroom and influencing children in four fundamental aspects:

Leadership supplies the appropriate role modeling, responsibilities, and routines children require in order to feel a soothing sense of security, structure, and stability.

Love offers the attention, encouragement, and acceptance that create a strong bond of trust and open communication between parent and child.

Laughter adds the inspiration, excitement, and adventure that embolden and assist in each child’s personal exploration of creativity, purpose, and direction.

Learning develops and reinforces children’s knowledge, wisdom, and skills vital for a contributing, self-sufficient life.

The Four Ls of Parenting directly lead to the cooperation, confidence, contentment, and capabilities parents and teachers both strive to foster in every child—all accomplished with increased efficacy and delight while nurturing and educating the kids they care about so deeply.

Amazon’s #1 New Release in Parent Participation in Education

Ready-Made Parent Professional Development that Provides Action Plans and Direct Outcomes

By reading, studying and discussing, A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents: How Children Thrive with Leadership, Love, Laughter, and Learning, parents become an ally in their child’s education and reap the following benefits:

Acquire a renewed parental confidence, enthusiasm, and efficacy. In a conversational, straightforward style that addresses both the opportunities to be seized and the challenges faced by parents, children, and teacher’s today, this book offers sensible solutions all parents can begin using immediately and that work with every child.

Gain a deeper perspective about children’s essential needs. Discover what all children fundamentally require from parents, as well as what parents need from children in return, so that relationships flourish. Explained with passion and poignancy, the philosophy of the Four Fs of Parenting is universal and easily adaptable to all families.

Learn from a current teacher exactly what children need in every classroom, as well as what their teachers need from their students in return. The partnership between teacher and student functions optimally and its rewards increase exponentially when each side contributes equally and essentially.

Stay on top of what is really going on at school. Menus of indispensable questions allow parents to find out everything they need to know about their child’s teachers. Also discover precisely what each child is doing to get the most out of their school experience—all from the privacy of home and in a positive way both parent and child will benefit from and enjoy!

Effectively interact with teachers. Learn how to diffuse common conflicts between parents and teachers, as well as how to make the most out of parent-teacher conferences. A list of questions parents can ask any teacher helps target needs so parents receive the information, advice, and explanations necessary to be an equal partner in their child’s education.

Discover the power of parental self-reflection. Another extensive list of elemental questions allows parents to focus, refine, and improve the personal ways they provide leadership, love, laughter, and learning that work best for their child.

Influence positive, productive change in children’s attitudes and actions. Through leadership, parents will engender respect, cooperation, and self-control in their child. The proper assertion of authority as the adult in charge will also develop a child’s responsible choices to keep them safe and trustworthy.

Grow closer to your child. Through a loving, nurturing relationship, parents will foster the self-assurance and sense of belonging that support a child throughout their life.

Galvanize active family involvement and rally eager participation. By providing laughter, parents inspire children to explore their individual interests, pursue their passions, and develop their talents in order to find meaning and self-fulfillment.

Empower and embolden progressive academic growth in children. By providing and supporting learning, parents expand and reinforce core competencies in children so they possess the self-efficacy to feel useful, essential, and accomplished.

This book has it all because all children need it all! What distinguishes this book from any other book or program is that it specifically explains and capitalizes on the core commonalities between parents and teachers. It provides a common reference point and easy terminology for parents and teachers to communicate and collaborate better than ever before.

A Plan that Principals and Parents Can Support

Parents, ask your principal for your own professional development. Let them know that there is a need and desire for parents to work in tandem with teachers.

Principals, ask parents if they would like their school to provide cohesive, collaborative PD opportunities and resources. Increasing parental involvement in school is at the forefront of education reform because we know that its effects are transformative and lasting.

The American Library Association’s Booklist rave review:

A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents is available directly from Rowman and Littlefield Publishers at a 20% discount using promo code RLEGEN17 at checkout. For bulk orders, contact Special Sales ( or by phone at 717-794-3800 ext 3023.

A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents is available directly from Rowman and Littlefield Publishers at a 20% discount using promo code RLEGEN17 at checkout. For bulk orders, contact Special Sales ( or by phone at 717-794-3800 ext 3023.

This book is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.

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Robert Ward

Robert Ward is an enthusiastic educator who has taught English at public middle schools in Los Angeles for over twenty years. He is also the author of two powerful books for teachers, as well as A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents: How Children Thrive with Leadership, Love, Laughter, and Learning, which was Amazon’s #1 New Release.

Robert’s articles have been featured in Edutopia, Education Week, the U.S. Department of Education’s “The Teacher’s Edition” newsletter, International Literacy Association, and UKEdChat magazine.

Visit Robert’s website ( and his blog ( Interact with Robert on Twitter (@RewardingEdu), on Instagram (rewarding_education), and on his Facebook parent-teacher group, Allies in Education.

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