Lessons From the Field. A Day in the Life of a Full-Time Parenting Educator

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Family Relations






Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

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Last Page



Objective The purpose of this study was to learn more about the daily activities of 10 parenting educators, hired to implement a federally funded fatherhood education program. Background Federal grants for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs have increased employment opportunities for parenting educators, who often take on multiple duties. Despite initial job descriptions, adjustments are necessary to achieve programmatic milestones and satisfy further expectations. Nevertheless, research available to guide employers regarding the hiring, managing, and time allocation of parenting educators is limited. Method Descriptive analyses of the activity logs of 10 parenting educators were conducted. Parenting educators also participated in retrospective interviews at program conclusion. Results The largest percentage of time was spent on class activities, followed by professional development, and administrative duties. Conclusions The duties of full-time parenting educators go well beyond teaching. Implications Individuals entering into parent education positions come from a diversity of backgrounds. Their understanding of the discipline of parent education may be limited by the types of experience they have had to date. Organizations hiring parenting educators may benefit from providing new employee training that includes theory, skills, and concepts related to family life education, business, marketing, and administration. In this study, we provide lessons from the field gleaned from the parenting educators hired to implement a federally funded fatherhood education program. Implications include strategies for posting, hiring, and supervising parenting educator positions.

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