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Parents in Kids' Sneakers Day

Spring has sprung. Put the snow boots away, and break out the sneakers. And now that those sneakers are out, why not let your students' parents travel in them for a day?

"Middle school students still need their parents, even when they seem to be pushing them away," Tara Fair, principal at Central Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma, told Education World. "Parents think they have to back off, but middle school is the most crucial time for parents to stay active. They can be involved and know what's going on and still give children room to grow and gain independence. It's a balance."

To help parents achieve that balance, Fair came up with the idea to invite parents and significant others into school for the day -- the whole day!

"We do open houses in September; parents come in at night and rotate through their kids' classes and find out about curriculum and activities," Fair told Education World. On Central Middle School's Parents Day, however, parents go to school all day with their children!

"When we started the program four years ago, we had to clarify that we didn't want a dog-and-pony show," Fair explains. "We encouraged the teachers not to change anything -- to go on with their regular activities and maintain as normal a day as possible. We know ahead of time which parents have accepted the invitation, so we set up chairs for parents to buddy up at their child's desk in each class.

"If the kids go to their lockers, the parents go to the lockers. When the kids go to lunch, the parents go to lunch. If the kids are taking a test," Fair warns, "the parents take the test!"

To learn more about Parents in Kids' Sneakers Day, see the Education World article Parents Step Into Students' Sneakers for a Day.