Question: My child's school claims that teachers also benefit from parent involvement in the school. Is this true?
Answer: Yes, parent involvement in education goes far beyond just helping out kids (which it also does in spades). When parents are involved with their kids' schoolwork, parents and their children's teachers reap a number of benefits, as well. This may be particularly important for parents of tweens.
Teachers with many involved parents tend to have better morale than teachers with many uninvolved parents. When parents take an interest in kids' schoolwork, it makes teachers feel worthwhile and valued. An increase in teacher morale may, in turn, benefit the students since the teacher may be more engaged and passionate about her work. Having engaging teachers is particularly important during the tween years, when interest in school can wane due to unique developmental needs.
Parents who are involved with their kids' education also feel better about themselves. In particular, involved parents report having higher confidence and greater personal satisfaction than parents who are uninvolved. It could be debated whether higher confidence leads to greater involvement or vice versa. It's highly plausible, though, that taking an active role in your child's learning makes a parent feel particularly useful, thus enhancing confidence. This, in turn, enables parents to model healthy self-esteem for their children, which is especially important for tweens.
Since both parents and educators benefit from parent involvement in education, it makes sense that studies show school climate to be best at schools with active parents. So, all in all, your child's school was absolutely right: if you want to make a big impact on kids, parents and teachers alike, all you need to do is get involved.
Hornby, Garry, and Lafaele, Rayleen. Barriers to parental involvement in education: An explanatory model. Educational Review. 2010. 63, 1: 37-52.
Pomerantz, Eva, and Moorman, Elizabeth. The how, whom, and why of parental involvement in children's academic lives: More is not always better. Review of Educational Research. 2007. 77,3: 373-410.