Ron Clark's article 'What Teachers Want to Tell Parents' has gathered much Twitter time these past few days. Well I am about to add some more time on the subject directly and indirectly. I am going to give Mr. Clark the benefit of the doubt that he wrote the article to create discussion, not his belief.
The only aspect/side this blog will not have first hand experience will be that of a teacher, having been a student, now a parent, school volunteer, past school council chair and presently a school trustee. To be honest I don't know how or where this blog may go.
Although schools are attempting to be one to all you, can teachers & schools be one to all? Everyone, parents/students/teachers, is different: thinking, strengths & weaknesses, expectations, values, capabilities, resources, philosophy.
Parent Involvement/Engagement is all the buzz today in education. "Parent Involvement/Engagement Increases Student Success." So we are inviting parents into all aspects of education. Where though is the best placement of this involvement/engagement? What does it look like? I have question though, 'Where is the limit or boundary of this involvement?' Should there be one? Does this lead to certain expectations by/of the parents? 'Involvement or Engagement'
Is respectful, open, two-way communication the key ingredient? Don't Leave Out Parents , Questions That Create Engagement . Are teachers able to accommodate parents expectations? Do parents know how to assist the teacher. It is a learning experience for both and changes with each teacher and parent. Above all: Mutual Respect
I never hurts to 'Self Reflect' . The common ground between teachers & parents can get lost. Teachers determine what you want from parents and how you can assist them in their child's learning. Parents determine what you want from the teacher and how you will assist them in your child's learning. Mutual Goals
One can not over look 'The Relationship' between student and teacher and parent. A good relationship within the classroom extends throughout the school and into the community. This includes families (school & non school), businesses, services, organizations & governments. The saying: 'It takes a community to raise a child.'
'Help Parents Become Involved'
What come to mind is the AMDSB's Character Attributes: Respect, Empathy, Courage, Compassion, Responsibility, Perseverance, Optimism, Honesty, Fairness and Integrity. We are all in it for the child.
Here are some responses to Ron Clark's article: 'What Caring Teachers Want to Tell Parents' , 'A Letter To Ron Clark' , Wars Between Parents & Teachers' . 'Response to Ron Clark' I know @sheilaspeaking , @lornacost & @bachtrac and others would like to know your thoughts. Thanks for the support.
I previously touched on this issue in: 'Parent Involvement' , 'Parnet Involvement II' & 'Questions on Engaging/Involving' . I know I will be returning to this topic often.